Part 3: Right here with me
The Creative Process
- Where do you get your story ideas?
Michael: Most of my ideas come from living life. Stories are literally everywhere. All you have to do is step off the beaten path and find them.
- How do you deal with writer’s block?
Michael: For me, every time I haven’t been able to put words on a page, it’s because I don’t have the inspiration. Either what I’m writing about feels dead, or the manner in which I went about telling the story. Usually, it’s the latter. If that’s the case, I do a lot of deleting.
- How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
Michael: I’m a pantser, so I develop as I go. For example, My Best Friend Death started out as Wouldn’t it be cool if Death became someone’s life coach?
I do have a formula for creating characters. I’m going to write one or two more novels using that formula, and then I’ll discard it. I don’t ever want to be call formulaic.
- Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser” (do you plan/outline the story ahead of time or write “by the seat of your pants”)?
Michael: Pantser all the way.
- Do you use critique partners or beta readers? Why or why not?
Michael: Yes! Critique partners and beta readers are the most important weapons in my arsenal. CPs and betas provide fresh perspectives that lead me in directions I never would have considered otherwise. I couldn't imagine penning a novel without them.
- How much time do you spend on research? What type of research do you do?
Michael: All depends on the novel. For My Best Friend Death, very little research was involved. Most of the novel related searches I did were to make sure I was using words correctly. I’m in the planning stages of a historical fiction novel. That’s taking a great deal more research.