Wednesday, October 19, 2016

5 Things I Want My Readers to Know

Beach bums or my next cast of characters?
(Photo: Morguefile)
A while back, a fellow author posted things she wanted her readers to know about her. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, so I jotted down a few ideas of my own, and thought I'd share five writer-type things I want my readers to know about me. 

It all starts with the characters. For me, everything begins with the people -- the story, the plot, the entire book. I start by creating a cast of characters -- who they are, what they like, what they dislike, what they want -- and a problem or inciting event. From there, the rest of the story emerges.

I'm a pantser. I don't plot. Sure, I have an idea of where I want the story to go, but my characters usually express their opinions, too. In the end, I may or may not end up where my synopsis said I was going (I usually don't). You've heard of flying by the seat of one's pants? That's how I write.

I enjoy promotion. Although I truly dislike promotion of the "buy my book" variety, I love any form of promotion that puts me in touch with readers. I like writing newsletters, crafting blogs, tweets and Facebook posts and meeting people at book signings and events. It feeds a different part of my creative side than writing does, and the feedback I receive really does get filtered into my books. One reader comment can trigger an entire subplot. 

I don't read nearly as much as I'd like to -- at least not when it comes to novels. As much as I try to squeeze in my stack of novels, I end up reading mostly non-fiction unless I'm on vacation. During the school year, I read a lot of articles and books in the psychology/social science realm, but, since I believe everything we read impacts us in some way, I draw inspiration from these materials, too -- not just for the classes I teach and the articles I write, but also for my fiction, if indirectly.

I find a lot of my reading material on Twitter. My Friday Feature has become one of my favorite things to write, and I often find the article that sparks it all in a tweet. I read very little in the way of print media any more, instead finding the "latest and greatest" via social media, which leads me to the electronic version.

As much as I complain and become frustrated over a lack of writing time, I really do believe that a writer can't write unless she has a life and experiences to inspire her. Fortunately, my life provides plenty of those things. 

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