Michelle Minnich [tbogus301]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
I believe the first book I read was a Dr. Suess book. My mother could probably tell you, because I certainly can't. Let's say "Green Eggs and Ham" when I was two years old. That sounds about right.
I started writing in elementary school, when everyone learns basic written skills. The idea of make-believe and storytelling always fascinated me and I just wanted to keep doing it. Teachers were the first people to actually read what I wrote and give me constructive criticism for it, as opposed to just a grade.
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 think my favorite genre to read is literary fiction and unfortunately, I am still working on my craft, meaning I lack material worthy of publication to be placed here.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
Normally, I do drink a glass of wine before I begin to put fingers to keyboard. The wine helps me relax and calm my brain, honing in my focus to the task at hand so that I may not worry about the day-to-day stresses. I try to give myself two hours a day to write, constantly working at it in order to get better.
There really is no creative process that I use. I just work hard, write down ideas into sentences, and leave it at that. The next day, the first five-ten minutes are used to reread previous work, edit it, and then think about the direction in where the story is going.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
Pretty much anything, to be perfectly honest. Every author has their own unique style and one can borrow techniques from them.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
Round characters, clear setting, and interesting elements to the story, which can be anything from cool plot twists to hauntingly beautiful descriptions.
What voice do you find most to your liking: first person or third person?
It depends on the characters that I am using but more often than not, if I have a male-centric character, I use third person; for female-centric characters, I use first person.
What well known writers do you admire most?
Edward Falco, who was my advanced fiction professor. Antonya Nelson. Lucinda Roy. Stieg Larson. J.R.R. Tolkein. Amitav Ghosh. Paolo Coelho.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I create my characters by thinking about, and watching, people around me. The best thing to remember about characters is to make them not purely good or purely bad. Even the most pleasant person in your life is going to have a bad day sooner or later. Make things messy. Make them curse. Make them pass gas, if you have to.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Absolutely not. I say "um," "you know," and "like" a lot, which is a horrid habit. I'm working on eliminating these fillers from my speech.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
Not-so-deep-down-inside, I write for myself.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Yes and yes.
Does reader feed-back help you?
How else can one get better?
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
No, and I probably should.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
I found it, and it's sarcastically dry.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I've already discussed this.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
My glass of wine.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I write and correct on my laptop. I honestly cannot stand having a massive stack of papers all over the place.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I don't. I keep to myself.
What has been your experience with publishers?
A nerve-wracking one.
What are you working on now?
A short story anthology, as well as a novel.
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?
Dig them out, read them, pick out the best elements, rework them, type them up, polish them, and if by then you're not proud enough of them to show them off, you're probably not cut out for this.