I love to create a variety of emotions, ones that contrast beautifully with each other in the manuscript. Too much of one emotion and the story won’t come to life. Humor and horror, love and tragedy, despair and hope, shock and satisfaction. These are the emotional beats I try to fit into my novels.
Shocking the reader with the unexpected is probably my favorite thing to do as an author. Because I’ve just ripped away the umbilical chord that makes you think that the book was headed in one direction, but took a dive into a ravine instead. I get a tad gruesome sometimes. Just a little. I won’t lie. I like it. I guess there’s a dark side to my imagination. But it all adds to the surprise and suspense!
I let the story go where it wants to go. There is never an outline for any of my books. I simply sit down and start to write, excited to see where a few ideas will take me. And I am always surprised with the journey. It’s my favorite thing about writing. Honestly, many of the biggest surprises of my stories, have surprised me to! As I write, I think to myself, as a reader, what would I want to happen? And then I go with that. It has put me in many tough spots as an author, because the twists are never planned. But I don’t think in terms of whether I can write my character out of the situation. Rather, my mind becomes excited with the challenge of how to figure it out and the surety that there will be a way.
Music is an inspiration. If it moves me, I’ll seek to capture the story or vibe of that song, and find a way to put it in my novel. Whether that’s the hard beats of a rock song that I can picture as the soundtrack to a strong action scene, or the melting softness of a love song that might play in the background for two people falling for each other.
Description is not my strength, nor is it something that is my highest priority. I’ve gotten better and I’m always tickled when people tell me I’ve described something well. But honestly, I get frustrated with trying to describe a scene with more than a few details. Because I’d rather focus on the action of the story. What’s happening to the characters? What are they feeling? What are they saying and not saying, but thinking? These are the things I love to portray. Detailing where the characters are, always slows me down when I want to get back to the nitty-gritty of the plot. Don’t get me wrong. Description is vital to the story and helping people imagine things. It’s simply not my favorite thing to do. Nor is it my favorite thing to read. I’m just as impatient at reading long details of the setting, as I am writing it! 🙂