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Interview with:

Robert Medak [rjmedak] 


WRITING
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
Dick and Jane books as a kid. I had to write in Senior Composition in High School. I wrote some How-Tos while working for Pacific Bell. I began writing poetry and prose when I met the woman who is now my wife. She, and facilitators at Writers' Village university (WVU) were the first to read my writing. I continue taking writing courses at WVU, when I have time.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
I don't really have a favorite genre, I like them all. Look at my website Stormy Writer at http://www.stormywriter.com
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
This is a hard one to answer, because the process is different, at different times. I have been on the way to work and something will trigger a thought and out comes a poem. I was taking out the trash one day and a sight started me thinking, out came a poem. I was recently tagged to write a Christmas story, while laying in bed, I was thinking and had most of the story created in my mind before falling asleep. I woke up the next day and wrote the short story in less than an hour. It also helps to put your fingers on the keyboard and your butt in the chair. If you keep your eyes and ears open, there is so much in the world to inspire a writer. Reading a good deal also helps your writing. I try to read and write something every day. That is what a writer does.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Asimov to Zola. I have read everything I can get my hands on, from the classics to Science Fiction. As to what I like, it is subjective in my case. I don't like authors that tend to be wordy. My Favorite author is Edgar Allen Poe. But I also read poetry, inspirational, self-help, philosophy, magazines, eZines, and more. By reading everything, you can see how the writing affects you, and you can see what works and what doesn't, this will help your own writing. Read pages per day of books.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Good writing. There are many ingredients that make a story. 1. Plot 2. Believable Characters 3. Realistic Dialogue 4. Setting 5. Pace 6. POV 7. beginnings, Middle, and Endings that make sense 8. Consistency of theme This are some ingredients that will make a story that people will want to read.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
Personally I like first person, which is the hardest to write without a bunch of I's and Me's. I have been told numerous times that publishers want third person. I am working on third person. It is really a matter of through who's eyes you are seeing the story. It is really the POV that makes the story work.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, Issac Asimov, J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert Louis Stevenson, Orson Scott Card, Aristotle, Plato, Khalil Gibran, Eudora Welty, Emily BrontŰ, Charlotte BrontŰ, Mary Shelly, Ian Fleming, and many more.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
Someone the reader can identify with. Someone with the same characteristics that the reader may know personally. A person that you love, hate or causes a reaction or emotion in the reader. By being open, and observing real people in real situations and their response to it. A writer should always carry a notebook, pad of something to write down items they observe in daily interactions with people, animals, or just the place they live. These are all ingredients to creating a living breathing character in stories.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
I would like to think so. I don't have much of a chance to tell stories orally. I am a bit of a hermit because I like it that way at this point in my life. I would rather read and write than interact with groups of people. A small few people is what I like. I am uncomfortable in groups where I don't know the people.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
I write for myself first. I find writing to be like tranquilizers in a way; if I don't write I start feeling depressed, writing keeps me sane and creative. I like the feeling of creativity. There is something special about creating a story, article, or web content that make a writer feel satisfied and creative. If you don't get something out of writing, why write at all?
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Writing is my psychiatrist. When writing there are always internal conflicts. It is what the writer does with conflicts, that can make him/her a better writer, or it can cripple their creativity. I am still working on shutting out the negative voices and write my story. It takes time to learn how to shut out the crazymakers.
Does reader feed-back help you?
All feedback helps the writer, not just readers. Critique groups, a spouse, a friend you trust, people in general you trust. Feedback from any source is good. It will help you see what is and what isn't working in a story or article, or whatever you happen to be writing.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No. A writer has to be very careful with competitions. Many are nothing more than scams to ensnare the unsuspecting aspiring writer. If you have to pay to enter, I would walk away.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes. I run most of my writing past my wife, and avid reader. Also, critique groups and others whose opinion I trust.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I do have a voice, but I also believe that my writing voice changes depending on what I am writing. When ghost writing, you must emulate the voice of the person you are ghosting for.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I am a very informal person. I have to deal with distractions and family commitments, and mundane things of life. I write when I can. When writing an article or a series of articles and given a deadline, I work on them until they are complete and submitted. I have never missed a deadline as a freelance writer. I am more of a night person, so I usually writer in the late afternoon or evening. I have also been known to work from late evening through to early morning. Probably because I worked from Midnight to 8am, and, also from 4pm to 12am for many years.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
Animals, books, reference books, reference software, TV, music, something to drink. I have to feel comfortable and connected to life to write. Just me. My mother always wondered how I could do homework in front of the TV. I couldn't tell you what was on, but i can't work in silence. I need some kind of noise to break the silence.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I do write on the computer. I do not print frequently. I do not correct on paper, unless I am editing a manuscript that comes to me that way. I write and edit on my computer. I write the piece I am working on, let it percolate for as long as I can, then come back with an editors eye, fix my typos, and anything else I see that needs to be fixed.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook, DIGG, Flickr, LinkedIn, my blogs, and sites that you need to register and join groups.
What has been your experience with publishers?
Most of my writing to date has been freelance writing for various companies. I either submit the work or post it to a blog as instructed by the client. I have numerous projects in the works. I will be submitting my work to publishers in the near future, I hope.
What are you working on now?
I have a children's book, a YA-Adult, Adult, eBooks. The YA-Adult is Science Fiction, the adult is about alternative lifestyle, the eBook I am currently working on is to answer some questions I have been asked in regards to freelance writing. I will be offering an eBook about freelance writing to writers that sign up for a specific online writers conference in 2009 where I plan on being a presenter for a freelance writing course I will be creating. I created a course for writers at Writers' Village University that I facilitate; I have also facilitated other courses.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Look them over. Edit them or have someone edit them; show them to people for their feedback. If enough people say the same thing, look at it change it if you feel like it, then start the process over. If they like it, submit them to publishers.
 

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[rjmedak]
Robert Medak
Osborne, U.S.A.


[rjmedak] Robert Medak
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