We invited Thornton and Guy fan fiction author Nancy Klein to share how she works and offer some advice.
What type of environment do you need to write?
Quiet helps. A cup of coffee. I’ll often sit down to write after I’ve just exercised or done a bit of meditation and my mind is quiet.
How do your ideas come to you? Do you always write them or do you let them disappear?
A lot of my ideas come when I’m doing my daily walk. I’ll just go along day dreaming and things will often pop into my head and I’ll play with them. I try to write them down when I get home-this works sometimes, and sometimes the ideas are gone. Ideas also come to me in my sleep, but I never remember to keep pen and paper by the bed.
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 have to have a plan from beginning to end–not every detail, but just to know where the main thrust of the story is going to go.
Do you prefer writing easy, quick stories or long, layered stories?
Long, layered stories are what I write, even when I think I’m going to create a quick story. Ideas end up branching off one another, and the story sometimes takes a detour or two.
Which do you find easier to write: dialogue or description or are the equally hard/easy?
Dialogue is by far the easiest for me–my betas often have to prod me to put more details in my descriptions.
Is there anything that you won’t write or feel uncomfortable writing?
I won’t write detailed sex scenes–I feel silly doing it.
[Armitage Authors note: Don’t believe that her stories lack passion, however! Nancy’s sex scenes pack a powerful punch without all the mechanical details.]
What do you do to cure writer’s block? What advice can you give to new writers who might be scared to post their stories?
Just keep writing, even if you do a few pages and throw them away. Keep at it. Write descriptions of your characters, things they might say. Try writing the last chapter first, just for fun. Everyone is afraid of posting their stories–I still am, and I’ve posted three pretty long ones. Ask someone else who writes to look at your story. I have the best betas in the world–they make sure I stay true to the characters and details, and nag me when I’ve gone too long without posting (like now, ahem). Also, reading helps me. I will read something wonderful–often poetry–and it will inspire me to get in front of the computer again.
What is your favorite book and why?
I don’t have a favorite book–it seems like every fifth book I read is my new favorite. But there are some that I read over and over again, and I feel like they are fresh that 20th, 30th time–North and South, Wives and Daughters, Persuasion, Jane Eyre, Shirley. Right now I am in love with Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being. What she does with point of view and plot is amazing.
Nancy’s North and South
story, How Far the World Will Bend,
is available at Amazon here
And don’t miss her fantastic Guy and Marian story, Grant What I Wish
, at Wattpad.com here