Jamie Harrington has been kind enough to do an interview for us (even though she was in the middle of a busy writing week). Definitely check out her blog, Totallythebomb.com, and yes, the name says it all. I’ve picked up several gems there to add to my writing toolbox. Not the least of which is Storysaurus. Rarrrr.
Okay, here goes:
1. What’s your revision method? (Do you use critique groups and/or beta readers? How many revisions do you average before you feel that your work is ready?)
For me, it’s first and foremost about what I like. If the story feels wrong
in some way, then I run it by some very trusted friends, but if I like it,
then I find a couple of unknown readers to check it out. There’s nothing
like a first time read, so it’s always nice to have enough people to read it
after each major revision. I revise as I go, and I revise totally out of
order, so I couldn’t tell you how many revisions before my work is ready. I
guess, when I can read it out loud without stopping every other sentence to
change the wording–that’s when it’s ready.
2. When you begin a manuscript, do you favor an outline, or do you tend to fly by the seat of your pants?
The first thing I do is open up a blank word document and start typing. If I
get past page five or so and I still like the story, then I know I have
something I need to start thinking about. Lots of times, though, I make it a
page and a half in and decide it’s complete crap. When I do come across
something I feel like I can turn into a book, I outline. The thing about an
outline is, it’s just a guide. You can (and should) change it a hundred
times while you’re writing the rest of your manuscript. My favorite method
of outlining is the storysaurus, not just because it’s ADORABLE, but because
it’s easy to change.
3. What’s the weirdest source of inspiration you’ve ever experienced? (A crazy dream maybe? The subway? Vacuuming your carpet?)
Gosh, I’ve been staring at this question for like twenty minutes. The thing
about inspiration for me is that it’s like a creepy second nature thing. I
dont’ even know how it happens, I just know that it does, and I’d better
have an iPhone, a notepad, or something to get the thought down on paper
before I lose them!
4. If you could go back in time to the point when you decided to try this writing thing as a career, what is the one piece of advice you would give your past self?
Don’t rush it. These things take time, and the more effort you put into
making this career happen, then better off you’ll be. I’d also tell myself
not to sweat the small stuff and celebrate every win (Partials, Fulls,
Getting an Agent) no matter what size.
5. How do you fight the am-I-crazy times when you doubt yourself or your work?
Writer friends. You have to have writer friends. They understand the
rejection, and won’t let it get you down. Without my real life and online
crit groups, I don’t think I could get through all of this.
Bonus #6. If you could choose one single meal to eat three times a day, every day, for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Oh, Spaghetti. Is there anything more wonderful than spaghetti? I think not.
I can think of a few things more wonderful than spaghetti. Like Chipotle veggie bowls. Oh well, even great minds sometimes disagree.
Jamie, you’re hilarious. Storysaurus will shape my next story. Thanks again for your time. Best wishes for your writing!!
P.S. What do you guys think about the questions? I’ve used the same set for the last several author interviews. They ask the major questions I want to know of brilliant authorly minds, but I can definitely come up with more. I’d love to get your feedback.