Red Dwyer ~ Live 3 pm EDT (GMT-5)
28/01/2013 at 12:06 #923
Early birds left questions for Red. If you have questions, ask! She is answering them from 3-4 pm 29JAN13.29/01/2013 at 15:00 #932
Hello. I am Red Dwyer.
I want to thank everyone for stopping by today. Before we began, some visitors dropped by with questions. I want to answer those while we talk.29/01/2013 at 15:12 #933
Laurie Beall asked: How long does it take to finish writing the books from conception of the idea to the final layout?
(Laughs) Did you walk to work or bring your lunch? (George Carlin)
I hate to answer depends because it is inaccurate. From concept development to writing is often the longest part. Development is sometimes an on-the-fly task for me, especially with fiction. For non-fiction, dev time is as short as a few hours to a couple days.
Writing is based on dedication. When I commit to writing a book, I will produce, edit and proof around 10,000 words a week. When I am on hiatus (from daily writing tasks like blogging), I can average 3,500 words a day.
Poetry waits on the muse…as with everyone else.
On average, I can produce a book from concept to print version in a month.29/01/2013 at 15:16 #934
Gail Thornton asked: You’ve published poetry, self help, and fiction. What is your approach to each and what do you have in mind for the future?
Non-fiction is the easiest. Layout an outline, research, write, proof, lay out, print.
Poetry is next easiest. I write the poems as I hear them. When there are a sufficient quantity, I read them all to see where they belong. Poetry books for me are always about the layout, as I never force the writing. i.e. I do not rhyme to a theme or prompt. (full stop)
Fiction is the most fun, but the most work. It requires more research than self-help. Character sketches are a must. Setting profiles are next. Initial plot concept morphs as characters come to life and decide not to do what you planned for them to do.
Proofing is a matter of finding all the places where you wrote the characters as you saw them in the beginning…before they grew up and decided you were not the best parent after all. Those story holes are the reader’s rabbit hole. Sewing them up is not always as easy as changing punctuation. Sometimes, I will completely scrap the end to a book because my characters detoured before we got there.29/01/2013 at 15:18 #935
I am working on a crime drama, the second and third books in the Darkness Series, a book of dark poetry and have the initial concept under development for another self-help book. Depending on time commitments this year, I will likely produce three or four books on top of the flash fiction anthologies, Flash in the Pan, of which there will be three more this year. One is due out this Friday.29/01/2013 at 15:19 #936
So you don’t just dive right into a fiction story and let it write itself as it goes?29/01/2013 at 15:20 #937
Laurie Beall asked: When you wrote the Self Help, (Killing Us Softly) what was the original intent, and where did the idea come to write the book?
It was not my idea. I blogged and wrote everyday while my late husband was dying. A doctor who read the blog asked me to put it into a book then. I refused- both emotionally unprepared and I felt the concept of a memoir distasteful. I felt no one would care what I had been through based on the attitudes I encountered at the time.
Two years later, she asked me again. Being far enough removed from the situation, I was able to see the concept of incorporating practical advice based on my own experience blended with research. The only intent of KUS has always been to help those who struggle with the lack of support to caregivers.
The book ultimately became more universal as the research showed it applies not only to cancer but other terminal illnesses. The content reveals enough of day-to-day life to enlighten those who are not immediate caring for a spouse but are in a position to help, be they family or friends.29/01/2013 at 15:22 #938
Dave, there are many stories which that ends up happening. What I plan is completely lost to what happens as the events unfold. It is a lot like planning a family reunion. You know who will be there and what you want to happen. What really happens is often quite different.
Most of my stories are fully formed before I write. The ones which are not become series where the characters drive. Darkness is one which was not whole in the first place. My crime drama has only detoured twice, so we may still get to the ending I foresaw.29/01/2013 at 15:24 #939
Laurie Beall asked about Killing Us Softly: It’s a rather intense book, did you take the time to clear your mind during the process?
No. I wrote the bones of the book in my journals and my blog. When I committed to write the book, I completed the research and wrote the bulk of the book in three weeks. Because of the emotional chaos of the situation, it was more therapeutic to set to the task and finish it.
I did, however, take a month between writing and attempting to edit it. I needed to be far enough away from it to read it with a blunted sense of emotion. Were it not for my editor, this book would likely still be cooling its heels in my WIP folder.29/01/2013 at 15:29 #940
Janet Russell asked: Since Killing Us Softly is about such emotional and traumatic times, did you find you spent more time writing as you journaled? Or later as you brought everything together? How much time went by after your husband passed before you were ready to go back and work on it and face it again?
I absolutely spent more time journaling. There were more than 40,000 words in my journals and another 15,000 on my blog. The bulk of this book is researched advice. I spent far longer journaling than I did writing KUS.
My husband was dead for two years before I entertained the idea, despite it having been pitched to me before his death.
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