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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What If...

Please welcome guest blogger Mary Abshire

Hi Everyone! Thanks for stopping by to read my post.

Isn't fiction great? Add a touch of fantasy, paranormal, and romance and I'm hooked. What I find so wonderful about fiction is that anything goes. Let the imagination run wild.

First, let me say I'm new as a writer. I never took any writing classes, except a few online, and I don't have a writing degree. My degree is Business Information Systems—nothing close to writing. I'm not a teacher and I lack the credentials to instruct about writing. But I do have a passion for writing, I am a newly published author with two more releases on the way, and I love to read. I can't teach, but I can share with you a bit about the why, how, and what I write.

For me, writing starts with my love fantasy and paranormal, more paranormal. I've always had a fascination with vampires. Werewolves, witches, and other supernatural creatures caught my fancy too, but not so much as vampires. I started reading books with dragons and I'm finding them very enjoyable too. I know there plenty of other books with different creatures. Heck, we even have aliens. Isn't that interesting? The more I read the more my mind opens up to a world of possibilities.

What if? That's what Stephen King put in his book, On Writing. I'm not much of a fan of his work, but that one book was awesome. I highly recommend it.

As I'm reading and going about my day, I think about those two words--what if? I was watching a Verizon commercial a few months ago and it had a genie. Now there's something you don't read about much. What if they existed and someone down on their luck came across one by accident? The possibilities are endless with what to do with the genie and the person who found him. Though I haven't written a book about a genie, I do have a good idea for one. My genie world would be a bit twisted because that's me. LOL.

The two words pop up when I'm at work, in meetings, shopping, driving, etc. I think—how do I put this in a fantasy, or paranormal world. Yes, I'm goofy and I might look like I have glassy eyes, but I don't care. I keep the imagination working. (In case you haven't guessed, I'm a thinker.) Why do I do this? Because when I'm writing, I want the story to be original. The basic plot might not be new, such as fighting evil, finding love, fighting to survive, but everything else around the plot I strive to make entertaining and fresh. As a reader, I love new ideas, new worlds, different creatures. I take that basic concept and apply it when I write. It's a big challenge.

Once I have the plot, I create the characters and then build the world. I don't outline. I plan one to two chapters at a time in my head and I already know what the ending will be. The goal is to get to the ending without getting distracted with all the little details in between. And once I reach the end, I try to make sure I have everything wrapped up. It sounds simple, right? Simple is good. The challenge is keeping the story fresh and interesting so the reader wants to read more. The challenge is in the details.

I write because I enjoy it. My technique works for me, for now anyway. As for the material/subject matter, I love paranormal, vampires, supernatural creatures, fantasy, aliens, the dark and the mysterious. I'll stick with what I love.

Will I take more classes in the future to help me improve my writing? Maybe, time permitting. I found some books on writing useful, but I don't own any or reference any on a regular basis, other than my thesaurus. Do I think it is necessary to take writing classes to become a writer? No, definitely not. Do I think writing classes help? Sure, if you utilize them. In my opinion, if you have a passion for writing, then tap into that and write to your heart's content. Don't stop writing or reading. Find a critique partner or group. Make goals and stick with them, even if they are small goals like writing 500 words a day.

If you truly love writing, stick with it.

About Mary: I am a part-time Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy author living in Indianapolis with my loving husband, witty daughter, and ridiculous cat. The paranormal world has always been an interest of mine. I grew up watching Sci-Fi and Horror shows. As a teenager--many, many years ago--I read Anne Rice and wrote to pen-pals (stamps were cheap and computers weren't in every household). Though I dropped the pen for a while, my love for the paranormal continued. I started writing full length novels a few years ago and haven't stopped. Not only do I love stories about vampires, I enjoy books with demons, werewolves, shapeshifters, dragons, and just about any supernatural creature.

Catching an Evil Tail

Half-demon Jessie Garrett wants to live a normal life among her friends and keep her soul catching ability a secret, but supernatural creatures keep popping up in her world. Adding to her struggles, her vampire lover remains out of the country, and when he offers no valuable explanation as to why he hasn't returned, she wonders if she should move on without him.

As if Jessie doesn't have enough worries on her mind, the demon yearning to seduce her shows up at her home. She longs to liberate herself from the debt she owes him, and when he asks for her help, she jumps at the chance to make a new deal with him—one that will guarantee her freedom. The only catch? She has to send the soul of a werewolf to hell.

Love, trust, and loyalty are on the line. Torn between her feelings for her vampire boyfriend, a hot Alpha wolf, and a demon vowing to protect her, Jessie must figure out her heart's true desires.


Rosalie Lario said...

Love your blog post, Mary. For me writing is all about the characters. As you noted, it's hard to have a completely original concept (and I have to wonder if people would want to read one anyway; there's a reason saving the world plots are so popular). But for me it's the characters who can really make a story pop.

When I read a book, if I'm thinking about the characters the next day, then that classifies as a great story. And so that's what I strive for when writing, an unforgettable character.

Mary Abshire said...

Good point, Rosalie. We need characters that stand out and that the reader's enjoy or can relate to. If a reader doesn't like the character, they probably won't read the entire book. And if they do, they won't buy the next one.
Thanks for the comment!