15 September 2010

Interview with Kaily Hart and the Writing Process

I just had the chance to talk about writing and publishing with Kaily Hart. Kaily is published with Ellora's Cave and her first pub, a contemporary quickie called Picture This, has been receiving great reviews. Way to go, Kaily!

I had a lot of fun answering Kaily's questions because she's as interested in the process of writing as I am. It's fascinating to discover just how many ways there are to write. Some writers start at the beginning and write through to the end. Some (like me) are all over the place. Some plot and outline. Some just sit down and let the characters and story take them for a ride.

I think it's important to realize that there's no one right way to write. (There is, however, a right way to spell and construct sentences!) Don't feel as though you have to outline if it's a struggle. And don't feel that you have to just sit down and "create" if you feel that you need to work out a plot first.

Do experiment. Give yourself the freedom to try new ways of getting words on a page. Don't be constrained by the way you were taught in a workshop or an English class. But don't mistake my advice as a recommendation to spell creatively or to make up your own grammar rules. I've had students tell me that their bad grammar was their personal writing style. That's utter nonsense. There's a difference between the writing process and the writing product. The way you write is up to you, but the prose product has to adhere to certain rules.

If you feel that such rules cramp your "style," then by all means, break them. Just don't expect anyone to read or publish what you write.

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