Today we’re welcoming Adriana K. Weinert to the Emerald Musings blog as we wind down our Author Interview Blitz! Adriana is an upcoming author after my own heart, having a Ph.D. in molecular biology, and a drive to write speculative fiction. You can find her blog at Catching Words.
Question # 1: Let’s start with a fun question– Why do you write?
There is nothing else in the world, no activity other than writing that makes me feel fulfilled. For years I tried to become something else—a scientist—and perhaps I managed. But now I know the difference between finding the right path in life and a path that, if not wrong, is at least not the one where what I do makes me whole. Writing is still work for me but it’s not difficult. It makes me feel whole.
Question # 2: What is one “piece of writing advice” that you wish you’d never taken?
Actually all of them! For a while, I tried to force my writing into a certain predefined shape, but the result was mostly frustration. I have as yet not found a single piece of advice that completely fitted the way I am and the way I write (Elizabeth Percer’s Nine Non-Rules of Writing are perhaps an exception). I don’t believe general rules will help a writer thrive and write sustainably, as we are all individuals.
But if I have to pick out one type of advice that I wished I had never come across, it would be an advice on the actual mechanics of writing i.e. how often and how much per session a writer should write. Following such advice almost bottled up my creativity in a bubble of guilt. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t strive to improve. But love for the craft rather than oppressive guilt turned out to be a much stronger motivator for me. So I scrapped the Excel sheet where I kept a log of my daily word count and focused on trusting myself instead.
Question # 3: How would you explain your creative process to a five-year-old?
I would say to the five-year-old in question that when I write, it’s like I have a cup in my head that fills up with stories and I need to write the stories down to keep the cup from overflowing. When the cup is empty, I need to have a rest and let the cup refill again.
Question # 4: How do you know when something in your manuscript should be edited, removed, or left just as it is?
I read more than I write. And when I read, I can’t help but read as a writer. So I note (mostly in my head) what works for me and what doesn’t, and I try to figure out why. This ultimately helps me when I’m reworking my own writing. In a way, I’m developing my writer’s gut feeling, since a gut feeling is in reality a decision that is rational but too complex to be easily explained on a conscious level.
I’m what some call a pantser—I write without an outline and I first bring a rough draft to completion before I do any reviewing and editing. At this stage, there is hardly anything in this rough draft that can be left just as it is. When the rough draft is finished, I finally outline the plot that has sprung into existence, which helps to figure out what needs removing (and adding). But ultimately, I follow my gut feeling i.e. the deeper understanding of the craft that I work on developing over time through reading other people’s creations and writing my own.
Question # 5: And finally– What do you plan to write tomorrow?
At the moment I’m working on the rough draft of a fantasy novel that is almost done. So tomorrow I will write one more page and then another and then perhaps one more and so until I have my fill for the day and my story cup empty.
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