AMA 2 (June 2021)

What part of writing – actual writing – do you like most and least??

I honestly like all things about writing, but I do have struggles. Despite teaching writing professionally, the part of the writing process I struggle with is limiting my idea. I can teach story structure and even follow it, but when generating characters I snowflake out with a million subplot ideas (and I love it!). I constantly curtail them though because to write a story is to produce something finite, that has a beginning, middle, and end. But my characters don’t end, and I know their lives before the story begins, so it’s like… which PART of their story do I most want to share with readers right now?

I start by plotting and finish with editing to get the sleeker final product. But it always feels that my characters have far more complex (inner and outer) lives than can nicely fit in a single plot.

A lot of readers request “more!” which is definitely great for my self-esteem – I’m so glad my characters can feel vivid and get so much love – but I also know that I already chose what I thought was the most interesting part of the characters’ story. It is hard to find a second plot that will work well as a sequel.

I recently saw another author somewhere post that “authors write series” like it was a truism about all authors.

Yes, I have a sequel to my first book, but it was really born from extra material I had that would have caused the first book to be too long, it was finishing up a major subplot that had been born out of actions by the characters in the first story. I’ve also been working a sequel to my third novel because I didn’t think my characters had reach an HEA, only an HFN and there was more of their relationship development to share. But that is only slowly developing because I’m still considering all the different threads and deciding which ones to limit it to.

~ Lara

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