Before setting things up for our interview I was in a two hour meeting that ran over. Bear with me as I try not to be too frazzled. I've spend the last two days minus the meeting reworking my most recent story - again. Ever have those times when it just wasn't right?
Absolutely. As a matter of fact it was just September or October when I literally torched my work in progress. Now, I kept the jump drive, I’m not stupid…but what I had wasn’t working and I couldn’t make it work so I took the hard copies, pitched them in the charcoal and lit. It was liberating in so many ways. I think it’s tantamount to the story you’re telling that you know when you’re just adding words instead of bringing it forward.
When did you first decide you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t think I actually decided, and I’m not sure that it is actually a ‘want’. I am a storyteller. I like the name Bard, Eclectic Bard. I’m more of a word enthusiast and call myself that as well. Writing is an outlet for the stories that run unchecked in my head most all the time. The inner dialog about everything I’m doing, wanting to do, or never to do coming out. I did ARC reviews for several authors and found that as I was reading their work and looking for the pieces that didn’t fit, needed completion or were wondrously well done, that I knew I could do this and create worlds with the same elements that I was checking. I loved words and putting them together, writing became an outlet for something I already enjoyed. Why now or why publish now would be a good question and I think it kicked back up several years ago when I began ‘method’ role-play for other authors. Bringing characters to life and trying to create plausible stories for them between book releases as a means of marketing and promotion for writers I enjoyed or had reviewed and could emulate their writing style brought the passion back to putting words together and out in front of an audience. I have had some great opportunities and met some incredible writers through this process. Some of those writers are not out there published, but their work in the Role-play community is really outstanding.
Like I mentioned, sometimes I can't seem to write fast enough as the ideas are flowing. What is your idea flow like? Do you get one idea and stick with it to completion or does it seem that the more you work the faster your ideas come to you?
*laughing* In a pinch, if I’m hip deep in a section and an idea that is unrelated but will be vital later comes, I have been known to open a clean word doc and jot it down, but usually I add it to a running list in my planner. I am horrified to think that I might lose it in the throes of something else and so I have to jot it somewhere that I can locate it later and I’m notorious for losing scraps of things, so I cannot hope to keep ideas just anywhere.
If you knew how many half worked pieces I have sitting in the planner, half formed in a composition book somewhere in the stack, or on the computer you wouldn’t need to ask. If an idea hits I write it down, regardless of what I’m working on. It makes things take longer, but I think it’s like a tub with a half open drain when you write, you have to keep the little drops coming in or eventually there’s nothing left in the basin. I will eventually get to all of them, but not necessarily as they came to me.
I think that when you immerse yourself in the writing that ideas are like rabbits. That’s the magic of writing. When I’m really working on something it seems like I have more vivid dreams and the ideas that have been playing along the fringe refine themselves and become clearer. Not so much that they come faster, my mind just seems to be more open to the possibilities and they become such that I can bring them out in some semblance of order or with less confusion.
In the character development, my daughter was taking a creative writing class and they made a list of their characters, then did a page on each. For example: Their biggest fears? Waht is their driving purpose? Then there were quirky questions like thier biggest turn on/ turn off. Favorite color, favorite foods, stuff like that. I utilized that exercise and take it a bit further. I sometimes figure out where they are willing to comprominse. Some people are given to lust, some to greed, others to drink or food. Have you ever put your characters through the grinder with questions of this sort?
I think I partially answered this in the do you use real people question, but yes I put every character through a ‘grinder’ of sorts. I want to know them inside and out before I start, and I use the character page on Writeway Pro to help me with that. I can add anything I want, but I can also print out a template of their stats and have them sitting in front of me when I write. I have a pretty clear vision of how they dress, how they speak, what they like or don’t and what
drives them when the story isn’t about them. I think you have to to be able to write the story or you will forever be stopping to think, what would they do? You should know before they are in that scenario.
Who is/are your favorite author(s)?
As a big fan of JR Ward and of her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, there are reasons to like most of her characters. I liked Vishous for different reasons, the perfectionist in him resounded too much with my own little idiosynchrasies and I could totally see myself in similar conversations with my children. That's one of the criteria for me for authors I enjoy is if the characters feel real not forced or cardboard. How do you flesh out a cardboard character?
*laughing* I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard about the ‘other reasons’ people like Vishous. For me, his uncompromising dominant way was a perfect metaphor for how I see myself when I write. It is a ‘my way or the highway’ mentality while I’m creating, but one that serves me when trying to move the story. “And then what?” is literally in script above my writing wall in full view.
I’m not sure how you’re defining cardboard. To me, when you are developing a character you take them from one, to two, to three and four dimensional as you meet them and then get to know what makes them tick. I think being willing to sit back and let them reveal is important even if the one you end up with isn’t one you like. And by like, I mean they aren’t your favorite. It’s like there has to be the one you love to hate and sometimes they are the most multidimensional of all because they’ve gotten under your skin and you know them better just because you have to to keep them on track as they are.
As to the 'other reasons' *blushing here* I am a woman after all.
I love your description of that, we do tend to fully develop the one that irks us the most whether the character was based on someone we know or characteristics of someone, or just proves to be a general pain in the arse. What I was thinking is actually a character that the author didn'ttake the time to develop. They seem flat or one dimensional. I've read some in the romance genre that I seriously wondered how they ever got published. anyway, moving on.
Travel is one of my biggest desires. So far I haven't managed to do much of it and I think it's about time I do.
I say, “You are the only one who can change that.”
Well there you have it, words from the Bard himself, Abyrne Mostyn. Thank you for taking the time for our interview. I can't wait to read The Red Queen. If you'd like to read more from Abyrne you can check him out on here, or on any of these links!
Abyrne Mostyn Word Enthusiast