Blog Hop

What is a Blog Hop? A Blog Hop is when several Bloggers get together and share a link to each others Blogs. I post today with a link back to a blogger who linked me last week. Next week, on this same Blog, I post three links to additional Bloggers and they link back to mine … so on and so on. The only requirement is you answer three questions as I have done below. By the way, I am looking for three bloggers to link to next week … Wink, Wink…

What Am I working on…

I’m working on several different projects. One is the next book in the Nucor series. Another is a new book with a new idea…sort of a cross between Dexter, aliens and the invisible man. Then there is always the Blog, short stories, and article submissions.

How Does My Work Differ From Others In My Genre… 

 Good question, but what makes any  author differ from another? It comes for the unique perspective that all writers posse. It is individuality that sets them apart. For me, I like freedom of expression, Individuality.

I certainly do like molds for Jello, cakes, and cookies, but not for my writing. I write in three Genres; Science Fiction, Detective Noir, and Mystery Crime with a twist of Sci-fi thrown in as with my series, Death…the first book of that series This Way Do Come, combines Sci-Fi, Mystery, Crime, Murder and Humor into a book I found very fun to write, to read, and talk about.

I’ve tried the traditional Sci-Fi genre of sticking to the established rules of thumb with, space-time continuum, distances, velocities, planets, and the like…it is boring, so old school. I like new and exciting. Give me Flash Gordon on a Saturday afternoon TV… but give me Russell Blake, Brandon Hale, Chris Ward, Nick Russell, Corrie Fischer or one of the many new fiction writers breaking ground on an evening with a bowl of popcorn, and I’ll give you back more imagination than you will ever find in traditional Sci-Fi or Murder Mystery Drama. New, innovative drama, and suspense is how my work differs…Individuality striving to stimulate the imagination.

If I have a “cookie cutter” book or series, The Package would be it. I have fun writing about David Winters and his latest infatuations, along with murder and other crimes. Set, like an old Radio Drama from the 40’s, I add modern convenience like cell phones, new cars, and the internet. I still like old swag, the noir if you will.

Why Do I Write The Way I Do…

Another good question and most, it if not all, was answered in the previous question. Let me add this though. I write the way I do because I find Science Fiction fascinating. I like Star Wars with all the goofy creatures and planetary travel…but I love real Space Exploration which sets my imagination rolling, propelling me into the realm of Nucor or the world of Dr. Milo.

I love real Crime Dramas where the outcome is never the obvious.

I love Noir.

Someone once told me that if you write about the things you love you will never go wrong. I love my wife, and sons very much, but I cannot write non-fiction. I’ve tried. Everyone ends up as dinner for some alien from the planet Zutar. If you are not a fiction writer you probably will not understand the analogy. My mind wonders from one think to the next as I write, and even now as I write this I want to add the Alien from Zutar…if I could I would.

How Does My Writing Process Work…

Stephen King wrote a book called, On Writing. I use his techniques, but of course, I have my own little variations.

First and for most, I must have something to stimulate an idea. For me that is pretty easy to do. Real life, the non-fiction stuff, produces many ideas that to some may seem meaningless or trait. I see a good-looking young lady and I think, David Winters sure would like her. I hear about a grizzly murder, or a twist in a crime case and I’m all ears. I look up at the stars, read science journals, or simply talk to one of my sons. Ideas come from just about everywhere, and one does not have to look far if they just open their imagination.

Once I have an idea I chew on it. Yeah, you heard me…I chew on it…I think out it. If there is a story or a plot developing my imagination takes over. It does not have to be a full length motion picture in my head, but the beginning of one. If I like it I will pull out my binder and start etching an outline, the beginning the middle and the end; characters, places, atmosphere. The voice of the narrative comes to life and before long I’m at the keyboard typing it out. I try to always follow my initial outline, but a story has a tendency to write itself. As mentioned before, I like freedom and outlines inhibit growth of a story sometimes…although someone like me who has a tendency to “tangent” needs an anchor. An outline does this. An outline pulls me back and… keeps my mind from wondering, where it will goooo, uhm.

Character’s, and the burden of their character, give your story life causing the twist and turns that make drama so powerful. Good character development is the key to any good story. But like I said, it is the burden you give them that propels the story along. The situation, the place, and the events surrounding it all draw in the reader.

Sometimes I do not use a plot at all and allow the story to tell itself. I know that sounds crazy…and it is. But after you’ve written several stories or novels the process described above becomes ingrained into what you write. I’m not saying once you’ve written with an outline you should never do it again, cause it is the anchor the ties you to the moorings of your story, but by free styling you write uninhibited of preconceived notions about the character. You start off with a sweet innocent girl and find she has a past that is not so innocent and everything you knew about her is a lie…Ewwwaaahaaaaaa…that’s the stuff good stories are made of.

When I write freestyle I start off with an idea and just simply start writing…

Jack stepped off the train and onto the platform and stood. Fellow passengers rushed past him hugging and kissing waiting family, friends, or who ever, Jack didn’t care, no one was there for him. He gripped the handle of the small bag he carried at his side across the platform and through the train station. The night was cold, rainy, with a mix of sleet and snow. He held tight to the bag, nothing was going to happen to it as long as he held it tight…

I type out about two thousand words or more and stop. I may keep going if the juices are flowing but I stop mostly. I do not word count but I know when the idea for the day has run its course. Then I re-read it and do some light editing…

Jack stepped off the train onto the platform and stood. Fellow passengers rushed past him, hugging and kissing waiting family, or friend. Jack didn’t care… no one was there for him. He gripped the handle of the small bag at his side squeezing the black out of it. Nothing was going to happen to it as long as he held it tight. The night was cold, rainy, with a mix of sleet and snow. Into the night he rushed…

Then I continue with the story. When the book is in its first rough draft I seldom do anything more than a light edit. I look for word usage, commas, spelling, and so forth. I look for flow and rearrange it if needed. Then I hand it to the proofreader. Regardless of how I feel about the changes I make them, much like a kid taking castor oil and with all the same enthusiasm. Once the proof is done I reread it. I might even add in some new ideas and then it is back to the proof reader again. After we are both satisfied, I send it out to seven or eight beta readers. More often than not they will catch things the proffer missed, or maybe something in the plot I did not see. After the necessary corrections are made it is back to the proffer one last time. Then it is off to the publisher…I’m an Independent, so it is off to where ever I’m choosing to have it published.

That, in a nut shell, is how the process is for me…

When you get a chance, hop on over to Suzie O’Connell Blog. She is the author of, Mountain Angel, Summer Angel, Twice Shy, Wild Angel, North Star Collection, and Chestnut Street.

Also, check out the next line on the Blog Hop…

Hollie Spaulding 

Chris Ward

Brandon Hale

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