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Quote from: markdeniz
I heard a rumour that you moved from fanfic to novel success. How would you answer those that say real writing isn’t about fan fiction but creating your own worlds/stories/characters?
Karen Miller: It’s true Mark. I wrote a lot of fanfic before I moved on to original fiction. As for it not being ‘real writing’ because you’re often not dealing with your own characters/world building, tell that to professional staff writers on tv shows, like House and Dr Who and Battlestar Galactica and so forth. Tell that to Harlan Ellison, who’s written a number of tv scripts.
Writing is writing. Fanfic has the capacity to teach a great deal of craft — when it comes to narrative prose yes, it can fall short when it comes to teaching the skills of character and world building but there are many other skills you can learn or polish in the process of writing it. I did.
Quote from: JaimeMcD on Today at 08:33:06 PM
Congratulations on all your accomplishments thus far.
A lot of new/young writers I talk to struggle a lot with time management and making time to write. Have you found your writing-related time management has improved since you began? Also, do you hold to the statement writing every day is essential for writers?
Karen Miller: Thank you, Jaime!
The trick is, there is always time to write. But there isn’t always time to do everything you want. So at some point you need to sit down and say well, either I can read a book/surf the net/watch a dvd/talk on the phone/go to the gym/bathe the dog/scrub the loo OR I can write. Some of these choices are easier than others. *g* But unless, like me, you’ve got the luxury of writing full time, if you’re juggling a job and family for eg, something has to go to make room for the writing. And that’s an individual choice. But you gotta make it, and stick with it, sometimes in the face of relentless pressure from people who don’t get it. That’s where the grit comes in.
As for writing daily, well, yes and no. Yes insofar as it keeps you in touch with the work and the world. Yes because otherwise, like committing to an exercise program, it’s so easy to let things slide. *g* I think on the whole it’s best to take a realistic look at your schedule, slot in 3 or 4 writing sessions a week and honour the commitment, than making rash unrealistic promises to yourself, breaking them, and feeling like a failure.
Quote from: JM
Have you ever written something with a character or characters you really didn’t like?
Karen Miller: Well, Empress was tough to write because Hekat is so not an easy character. I had to go to my darkside big time to fully bring her to life … I can’t honestly say I dislike her — like an actor playing a villain I find a way to relate to every character — but she was a tough broad to do.
Quote from: JM
Ah, yes. Getting into character. Do you find yourself having to do that a lot, or do your characters tend to be more like little pieces of you/your friends?
Karen Miller: Hmm. I’ve never thought about this exactly. Let me ponder …
sometimes I wonder if my background in theatre as an actor and a director has influenced how I approach character in my fiction. Because I write mainly character-driven stories, and because I use quite a tightly focused character POV narration, I’m always leaping in and out of character, so to speak. I have to look at the world through their eyes, and try to imagine what they would do in a given situation. In order to do that effectively I think, like an actor, I need to find the echo within myself of that particular person. So I’d have to say that so far, every single character I’ve written is available to me in some degree — but that many of my characters do things that I would never do, either for the good or the bad.
None of my characters is wholly or solely based on anyone I know, either myself or a friend or family or work colleagues from the past — but all the people I’ve met in my life have definitely informed me about human nature, and that goes into character creation.
Does that make sense?
Quote from: JM