Author Chuck Wendig posts these cool ‘5 Things I Learned Writing…” so I stole the idea from him. Thanks to everyone who is following the blog tour + give away!
1. The heart of each character is what is most significant to them… I’ve learned this truth from studying my heroes, and keeping it in mind as I wrote A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS helped me stay on track with the plot and keep the story lean and mean. While brainstorming this novel I quickly discovered a few things about my protagonist, Sammy Wood, that were the most significant to him. His greatest FEAR is that he will one day crack like his father has (his dad flipped one day and crippled his wife with a lead pipe) and destroy someone he loves, and that neither he nor anyone else will see it coming; His greatest HOPE is that his mother, brother, sister and himself will be a family again; His greatest CHALLENGE, which is complicated by his overriding fear and hope, is that his family is being torn apart by a mysterious stranger he has to stop without losing himself to the darkness he knows lives inside him.
2. The types of stories I want to tell have changed over time. When I sold my first novel—Nursery Rhymes 4 Dead Children—three years ago, there was a crime element to everything I wrote, but they were supernatural stories. But as I began to read James Lee Burke, John D. MacDonald, and others, I really fell in love with the honest grit in straight up crime fiction. Real people affecting other real people’s lives, all of them flawed by their little or large hang-ups, each character the hero of his own story.
3. Mentors are priceless. Long before I ever sold anything, agent Ethan Ellenberg and author Tom Piccirill gave me advice that made me up my game and grasp the importance of craft. Piccirilli in particular was pivotal in my career and I’ve never met a more helpful professional willing to give guidance to a nobody. I dedicated my first Crime novel to them because of their influence. I also swear by hand copying my favorite novels into notepads to learn how my heroes have crafted their stories. I wouldn’t be a writer at all, or I’d be a much lesser one, if I didn’t have hundreds of books that made me feel and made me think.
4. I can accomplish a lot in a short time when I trust my instincts. I love to brainstorm and do a slight outline before writing and its useful for me, but as I’m writing, my favorite moments are always when a scene goes in a direction I hadn’t planned on and I can feel, I know, that it’s the right direction, that prior to that moment I had only been floundering. The more I trust my instincts the less I have to rewrite and the truer I feel the story ends up.
5. I love breaking the rules. I broke all kinds of rules writing A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS and really didn’t expect to sell it all. But I knew that what I had done could work if I the characters, the scenes, and their cumulative momentum were engaging enough.
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Prior blog tour/giveaway posts (more chances to win!):
So, You Want To Be A Writer
First Ideas/Are They Worth Writing?
Ways to Measure Your Success
Author bio: Lee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation. He is represented by the extraordinary Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary. Visit Lee’s website to discover more: www.leethompsonfiction.com