Read, write, and keep track of all ideas that occur to you. This is how you feed, exercise, and reward your subconscious. Never shrug off an idea as being without value, because that provides negative reinforcement to your subconscious.
To avoid madness, try to keep all your ideas together. I like to get one of those five-subject, college-lined notebooks. The ones with pocketed dividers are best, because you can keep loose notes and clippings there as well.
It’s good to read through your notebook once a year or so.
Do you have lots of ideas for stories?
I have lots of ideas, but most of them are vignettes, sketches, snippets. Great writers could take two or three such things and turn them into a story, but unfortunately, this isn’t the case with me. Most of my stories arrive only after many false starts and much wandering.
Do you use outlines when you write?
I’ve used outlines several times, and I need to do more. Free-writing is what I prefer, but I have to accept that without planning, such as what goes into an outline, I tend to wander aimlessly. Sometimes our natural inclinations have to be overruled if we want to maximize our abilities. Even in artistic pursuits, discipline is required.
What modern books or authors have influenced you the most?
Roger Zelazny is one writer I admire, especially his Chronicles of Amber. There’s been so much Tolkienesque fantasy written, it’s always a joy to find someone doing epic fantasy that isn’t derivative. Zelazny just had that crazy imagination. He also figured out a way to have godlike main characters in his books without losing the conflict or the sense of balance. That’s hard to do.
Did any of the major literary events of recent years influence your writing: Twilight, Hunger Games, Fifty Shades of Gray, Harry Potter?
Fifty Shades (I read the first one only) was a book that I looked at specifically as part of writing Agushaya. I’d already finished the draft at that point, but reading Fifty Shades helped me compare what I was doing to something that qualifies as an erotic romance. (Not to mention, something that qualifies as successful.)
I’ve heard people criticize the writing in Fifty Shades, but that book does a great job of keeping the tension high, which can be especially tough in erotic romance, where the genre requires that the main characters be really, really friendly with each other multiple times, and the sooner they start getting friendly, the better. Keeping the tension high in that kind of situation, to me, is a major challenge.
Just my being able to read Fifty Shades at all was a major plus, because the premise is very girly, to the point of giving me hives: a good looking, young, unmarried billionaire with tons of time on his hands, paired with a 21 year old attractive virgin female. Excuse me, but I think I have to throw up now….
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Genre - Erotic Fantasy
Rating – NC17
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