FAQ For Writers
Where do you find inspiration?
Ideas come to me randomly and with no apparent method. My creativity pool can be overflowing some days and a barren desert on others.
The most important thing I can recommend is writing down any idea you have as soon as it comes. I use the notes app on my phone because who is ever without their phone nowadays? My ideas tend to come right before I fall asleep, but instead of assuming I'll remember in the morning (I never do), I will jot those half-baked goodies under the duvet and bleary eyed. Sometimes, it's only days later that I'll remember I even had the idea and what joy I give myself when I try to decipher what my notes are about.
Reading inspires me. Not necessarily with new ideas, but in the craft of writing. I read and listen to fantasy books and have found it a great way to learn different ways to develop world building, character development and interesting storylines. I also read outside of my chosen genre, and love a good crime detective series. It's probably why Fair Ones kicks off with a fantasy murder mystery in Realm of Lore and Lies. I adore a good 'whodunnit'.
Are you a plotter, pantser, or planster?
(Definitions: a plotter plots their novel, a panster writes with no plan and a planster is a writer who is a mixture of both)
Short answer: I start out as a plotter but lean closer to a planster by the end. I've never been a panster. I never stick to an outline but intuitively go where the story wants me to.
Longer answer: I start out by outlining the story. If it's a trilogy like Fair Ones, I will plot out the entire book 1 and outline the important aspects of the other books.
Once I have a solid outline for book 1 and decent outlines for the other books, I will break down book 1 into chapters using the method from Save The Cat Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody. This isn't rigid, and I have deviated from the plan (several times), but I find it a great tether to the bones of the story. While subplots and sometimes romances may change, the crux of the story doesn't.
Check out Save The Cat here.
Any recommendations on courses?
I’ve subscribed to Masterclass, and although I found it interesting, I didn't see the value in the one year membership. The classes I found most useful are Dan Brown and Margaret Atwood.
Jessica Brody (am I fan-girling enough? I'm not affiliated in anyway fyi) has an online Writing Mastery Academy. I subscribed for a few months, and while I recommend it, I didn't continue my subscription. There are some amazing classes (I recommend the Novel Fast Drafting and Save the Cat! Novel Writing Course). Although I may resubscribe in the future, I don't have time with my current schedule.
Check out Writing Mastery here.
What resources do you use?
I outline using Save The Cat Writes A Novel
A helpful resource in writing characters outside your racial, ethnic and religous diversity: Writing With Color
Gods and Fighting Men (Project Gutenberg Ebook)