Here’s a new instalment of our Writing Process Series to inaugurate our 2016 posts. This time we get some insight into the matter from Charlotte Hawkins, the published author of a well-known Gisborne trilogy.
Enjoy and get ready for more interviews in the coming weeks.
What type of environment do you need to write?
Solitude and quiet. I find it impossible to work when other people are around, and most any noise breaks my concentration.
How do your ideas come to you? Do you always write them or do you let them disappear?
They just pop into my head. I have to write them down or they vanish.
Do you plan a story from the beginning to end or start with an idea and let the chapters come to you as they do?
I plan everything as it comes to me. My “Muse” dictates everything, so I rarely have a set path to follow.
Do you prefer writing easy, quick stories or long, layered stories?
Layered stories, for sure. When a story comes into my head, there are so many images and details floating around in my brain that I can’t contain them all in a short story. I just have too much to say.
I think I’m much better at writing dialogue. It’s not that I dislike writing description. I love it just as much. But I find that the voices of the characters speak to me in my head. They’re alive and say exactly what they need to. I just write it down.
Is there anything that you won’t write or feel uncomfortable writing?
I don’t think I would ever write mysteries or thrillers. I have little interest in the darker topics those kinds of stories sometimes take. I feel there’s too much darkness in the world already.
What do you do to cure writer’s block?
I wish I had a real cure. Some writer’s have it, but I don’t. I just have to wait it out.
Find a good beta, preferably a fellow writer. Keep your work between the two of you until you feel comfortable sharing. Then, move on to writing groups. You’ll most likely find that your fellow writers are your best cheering section and your greatest sources of advice. After all, they’re in the same boat as you.
What is your favorite book and why?
Jane Eyre, bar none. I’ve never felt such a spiritual connection to another story.