I’ve always spent a lot of time reading, sketching and writing (notes, letters, emails, etc.). Finally, finding myself without any other real commitments, I decided to try my hand at it, but was unable to get more than a chapter or two before running dry.
It occurred to me my problem was that, while I could suspend my disbelief in the time it took to read a quick novel, I couldn’t do it long enough to write one. The charismatic hero, the powerful anti-villian who never makes a mistake, the overarching plots, they all rang hollow.
Once I decided what the problem was, I decided to throw out the rule book regarding plot construction, relying on my childhood favorites, the classics from the 1800s to the 1950s. Thus my writing tends to reflect an earlier, less refined writing style, one I feel has a bit more substance to it than the all too common novels of recent decades. I still appreciate those, but I wanted to try something different.
You’ll find that each book I write features a different challenge, where I decided not only on an interesting plot, but a particular writing challenge–like killing off all of my characters or including a cast of hundreds, or a hero who leading a religious movement who doesn’t believe in God. I also tend to throw in the many personalities, temperaments and personalities I’ve met over the years, though you’d never recognize them as I take bits and pieces from many people in creating my characters.