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What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
 
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First I have to have at least a one line description of what my subject is, by that I mean, a thought, a memory, an idea, or just a few words that will jog my memory or creative juices. That worked for the books...but now that I'm writing the screenplay based on the books, it's a whole new ballgame. The books are the idea source but the writing is completely different. Now I have to have dialog, action, and scenes as well as a seamless flow that carries the viewer effortlessly along the river that is the story. Thankfully I have found software that helps me build the screenplay in a manner that will be acceptable to those who pass judgement on the worth of the final product. 


Thinking. Lots and lots of thinking. And research for inspiration. I rewrite a dozen times in my head before I even begin typing. Then I rewrite again. 


I tend to jot things down on found pieces of paper - bar coasters, index cars, Post-It notes, etc. I sift through them on occasion, often tossing them, sometimes expanding on what I can decipher.

The actual writing more often than not occurs on a laptop, a smokey treat and drink at close hand.
 


Starting is the hardest. I try to write every morning, after breakfast. I usually begin by reading a few passages from Huang Po, to get in the mood. Sometimes it works. 


I don't have a process when words come together in head and they sound good
I write them down.
 


Have to be in the mood to write. Also need to be completely alone. 


I dont have a definitive process. But usually an idea comes into my head or I see a real life situation involving myself or another person and then I put it down on paper. Later at my own convenience, I will reflect on them and play starting point in my head. Starting is usually the hardest for me, but once I give it a go, the story begins to flow. I can write anywhere - in my room, office, with my friends, anywhere I have the desire to write. 


Before I go to sleep at night, I put myself into the story. The next day, I write down any new thoughts I came up with. If I think of something that will be pertinent to the story later, I write those thoughts down and refer back to them when it is appropriate. 


I have no process. Meaning that I don't plan my stories. My inspiration can come from anywhere at any time. I have awakened in the middle of the night to jot down an idea that came to me in a dream, or a thought that awakened me. I could be driving carpool and suddenly find myself inspired by something that my kids say or that we see. This is how it happens for me. Once I sit down at my computer to put those thoughts to (paper)...from the first word it just comes and before I know it I have lost myself in my world of writing. The fun part comes after my story is finished...and I go back through it. I read it aloud. I start asking for opinions and making little changes. It's a building proccess. And THEN I get to put them all together to form my manuscript. 


I never thought about it. I simply sit down and write. 


"The Execution of Justice" actually took me YEARS to write, as I was employed full time, and really did not have much self-confidence in the novel. Many friends and relatives kept asking about when I would finish the novel. One day, May of 2008, my Godson, Moises Raudez, (who also worked with me in the bail bonds agency), forced me to lock myself in my home office and WRITE the novel. It took me less than a month.

My creative process begins with setting the plot. Then comes the story line, the protagonist and the antagonists, the supporting characters. I have adapted a technique learned from JANET EVANOVICH, I make a "story board" to follow each day.

When I actually sit down at my computer, I place myself in the mind of "Detective Mike Walsh", and I get the story, with all the supporting characters, locale descriptions, weather conditions, and dialogue flowing.

After the first draft, I re-read and revise, revise and revise some more until I am personally satisfied with the end product.
 


The creative process of writing first and foremost requires a vivid imagination. Children develop such an imagination early in life, which is a processing tool, and it grows when wonderful children’s stories are read to them.

Thus, as a child, I learned the art of day-dreaming, building castles in “the air”, and exercising my imagination. It took up a great deal of empty voids and was an excellent deterrent to boredom, as well as putting me to sleep at night; therefore, before starting a new novel I start with an idea that always revolves around more than one character.

The idea can be one I’ve thought of while reading a book, one that is sparked while I’m writing a book, or one that is inspired by an actual event, such as the manuscript I’ve just finished. Then my imagination takes over—usually while I cook, clean, do gardening, or other chores and pastimes and a plot begins to form. Once I have a plot, characters, setting, and a beginning, (which sometimes gets changes) the characters come alive through their hopes, dreams, relationships, problems, etc. and the book actually seems to write itself through my fingers clicking on the keyboard keys.

I never worry much about specifics such as spelling, grammar, etc. during the first draft. I simply let the thoughts pour out at will. When that is done, the real work begins: rewriting, which is followed by numerous rewrites and much, much, editing. Because it is so important to keep facts straight, I actually went through seven edits on the book I’ve just finished. It requires a great deal of dedication to what you’re doing and perseverance to the task. But once finished, there is nothing more exciting or satisfying than holding my published book in my hands.
 


I think any writing starts with an idea. I don't "sit sown to write". I interrupt any activity to go to my laptop and write down a thought or describe a feeling. 


It's tough. During the least likey moments I get a surge of creativity and will grab anything worth writing on to try and jot down titles or ideas. I've found that I truly enjoy the memoir/essay genre and sometimes just a simple smell or 30 second conversation with my dad will throw me back into a fountain of funny memories. Then it's a matter of sitting down and actually recording them. I still have not mastered the art of discipline. Many other writers have told me to try and write at least 30 minutes a day so the "daily" thing is what I'm currently working on. 


I have characters and a place in mind when I sit down to work on a play. The same is true of poetry, though often it is a phrase that comes to mind or an image. Often I just play with words on paper. 



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