I was recently tagged in a post that’s been circling around the blogosphere, featuring a series of four questions:
1. What am I working on right now?
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
3. Why do I write what I do?
4. How does my writing process work?
I took the opportunity, and will answer them now. I thought this was a perfect opportunity to explain to you just where I’ve gone off too? Why has there been no regularly posted material?
Question 1: What am I working on right now?
Lots! This is a large reason why I have not posted for a long time. At the moment, I am leading a group of young, able authors at my high school in a project that will eventually lead to the publication of an anthology of short fiction in both print and ebook format. I am hoping to wrap this project up by the start of summer. Along with working on entries to that, as well as guiding everyone in that direction, I am also working on a collection of flash fiction, entitled Life Is But A Dream, that will act as my official Kindle debut. This, I am hoping to be published by the end of summer. Taking a swing away from fictional writing, I also am managing a blog called indie/alt, a blog that focuses on indie and alternative music. I am building up an ever-growing lineup of shows to attend, and subsequently review. In addition to concert recaps, I am also including band and artist interviews, album reviews, song features, and more in an effort to hopefully propel me toward a career as a music journalist. So, yeah, lots!
Question 2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Now we’ll focus on my fictional works. I started out as a horror author. Just straight up gore, blood, scares, darkness. At this point, my work differed from others because, well, you don’t see many teen authors, let alone teen authors who write in such a mature, macabre fashion. I got a lot of praise this way, but I don’t like to say it’s only because of my age my work stands out. I have lately begun to read works from authors such as Raymond Carver, authors who write such amazingly gritty and realistic stories in only a couple pages. Minimalism has begun to sneak it’s way into my enjoyed categories of writing. My debut collection will see a lot of this. Don’t get me wrong, the darkness, the gore, the blood and scares, are all still present. But the caliber of writing, the flow of words, is getting stronger.
Question 3: Why do I write what I do?
I’ve answered a question similar, if not identical to this, in an interview before. Horror and gritty realism clings to me. And it’s not because I’m a violent person. You don’t need to worry about me. I’m fine. I promise. I was quoted once as saying, “There is a small difference between artists and the criminally insane. Both have extremely dark, violent thoughts. Criminals act on them, artists create art with them. We are artists.” This is, in a nutshell, why. I believe everybody has dark inner thoughts. I do. And I figure, instead of harming others, and myself, why not do something with it. I say, take all the negative energy and put it on paper. Do something creative with it. Take the darkness, and make beauty.
Question 4: How does my writing process work?
For longer, more planned and thought out pieces, I will sit down and create an outline. Usually, this outline is the story itself, but simplified to only plot, written without regard to spelling or grammar, devoid of dialogue, and very simple. Then, I read the outline and expand it into what becomes the fully developed story. However, for most short stories, I simply start with an idea, however vague it may be. Then, I simply sit down, and begin. There’s some excitement in seeing how everything progresses and ties together naturally. It’s almost as if, while you’re reading a story, you’re simultaneously creating it.