Plotting is difficult for me, and always has been. I do that before I actually start writing, but I always do characters, and the arc of the story, first... You can't do anything without a story arc. Where is it going to begin, where will it end.
I wish that I had known back then that a mastery of process would lead to a product. Then I probably wouldn't have found it so frightening to write.
I have to know the killer, the victim and the motive when I begin. Then I start to create the characters and see how the novel takes shape based on what these people are like.
Oh, yes, I taught 13 and a half years. I taught English, first at a Catholic school and then at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif.
The Pacific Northwest, and particularly Whidbey Island, is extremely suited to be a location in a novel.
Art can't be taught; passion can't be taught; discipline can't be taught; but craft can be taught. And writing is both an art and a craft.
I taught English, first at a Catholic school and then at El Toro High School in Lake Forest, Calif.
I write the kinds of novels I like to read, where the setting is rendered with love and care.
What we are is what we were always meant to be, and that's writers.
Essentially and most simply put, plot is what the characters do to deal with the situation they are in. It is a logical sequence of events that grow from an initial incident that alters the status quo of the characters.
I attempt to write a good novel. Whether it is literature or not is something that will be decided by the ages, not by me and not by a pack of critics around the globe.
Lots of people want to have written; they don't want to write. In other words, they want to see their name on the front cover of a book and their grinning picture on the back. But this is what comes at the end of a job, not at the beginning.
The English tradition offers the great tapestry novel, where you have the emotional aspect of a detective's personal life, the circumstances of the crime and, most important, the atmosphere of the English countryside that functions as another character.
Writing is no dying art form in America because most published writers here accept the wisdom and the necessity of encouraging the talent that follows in their footsteps.
It is the job of the novelist to touch the reader.
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