Today I have a guest post from author Will MacMillan Jones author of the Banned Underground series. Enjoy the guest post and leave a comment below for the author.
As far as many indie writers are concerned, (and frankly as far as I am concerned, as well!) I am amazingly lucky. I am actually under contract to not one publisher, but too. Why am I so greedy? Well, I would have been very satisfied to place all my work with Safkhet Publishing, who handle my fantasy work: but they didn’t want to handle any horror, so I have a different contract with a second publisher for that genre. Unfortunately, this brings its own problems. Both publishers, not unreasonably, would like some product from me on a regular basis. And that means writing. A lot of writing.
Imagination is the key to all writing, as far as I am concerned. You can ‘write what you know’ all day long, but unless you employ some imagination, all you are going to produce is a biography. Mine, I assure you, would be a very dull read. And imagination can be a very flighty mistress, hard to pin down, easily distracted, quick to float away on a breeze. Running across a boggy field, swiping at your escaping flights of fancy with a butterfly net doesn’t work. Trust me on this one, I’ve tried it.
But I’ve found my solution. I’m not pretentious enough to declaim it is THE solution, just that it works for me. I’ve been writing what is called ‘Flash Fiction’. These are very, very short stories of 1000 words or less. I try and write at least two a month. Most end up in the bin, of course, but one or two are kept in a folder as they have a kernel of a decent plot in them. That’s it for me. Despite the voluble protestations of a medically qualified friend of mine who disagrees with me, I’ve come to the firm conclusion that your imagination is like a muscle. Like any other muscle (and trust me on this one, too!) you use it, or lose it.
And really, that’s how I write my books. I start with a basic plot outline, and then let the characters who inhabit my imagination loose to play. I can sit at my desk, with some music playing loudly enough to annoy my teenager, and just let my imagination do its stuff.