Every month I chat with an up and coming writer, to share ideas with him or her, and to chat about the writing process. This month, Bren Kyveli took the time to answer a few questions.
DH: How often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?
BK: I write about 5 days a week, the weekends are spent with the hubs and the kiddo on some outing. Up until recently, I couldn’t really write throughout the day so I would have to wait until the family went to bed for the night to write. I’d sneak into my office at 10pm and write until midnight. And quite honestly, that wasn’t a very productive block of time, I’d spend more time on social media and just enjoying the peace and quiet than actually writing.
But now the kiddo goes to preschool from 9am to noon every day, so I use those three hours to write. It’s only been about three weeks since this new time slot but I tell you, I’ve written a little more than half of my novel! Which is more than I’ve done in the past year of “working” on it.
DH: Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
BK: Well, both. I call myself a plantster because sometimes I write totally off the cuff without planning a single word and other times I plan every detail and still other times it’s blended. I’ll plan the ending or know a character or have a certain setting and the rest of the story just kind of falls into place.
My favorite way to write is off the cuff, some of my best work has happened that way, but writing that way often leads to roadblocks with no immediate solutions and the piece will sit unfinished. But on the other hand, if I plot and plan too much I’ll get overwhelmed, loose the magic and walk away from the piece.
DH: I love that. I think it applies to me, too. What’s your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?
BK: Honestly social media has never been my thing. I think it’s because I’m a 90’s kid so I was that last generation to grow up without high speed, instant gratification technology. However, I do realize social media is absolutely essential to becoming a published author in today’s world. So I’ve embraced Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and even started my own blog. (I’m still completely clueless about Snapchat, Instagram or any of the other social platforms, though.)
Between posting my work to my blog thepolkadotcoffeecup.com then tweeting and posting the link on Facebook I’m starting to build a tiny fan base. Of people, I’m not related to.
DH: I hear you there. Any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
BK: Don’t be afraid of your talent. Not everyone can defy the laws of physics and create a tangible story people can hold in their hands from nothing but their thoughts. Seriously you are good enough to write a story, someone out there even if it’s only one person, will adore your work.
Really what’s the worst that can happen, Granny accidentally reads your graphic Erotica and tells you, you need to pray for forgiveness for writing such filth? Trust me it’s not that big of a deal (yes that really happened to me). Her eyes won’t burn out of their sockets, she won’t write you out of her will. She might pray for your soul but please believe she’ll tell her bible study group about your work. And I can almost guarantee at least one of those bible thumpers will secretly go and read your work for themselves and love it.
And lastly, write with a pen and paper. There’s just something about real ink and paper that makes writing so much easier. Hit a roadblock? Write by hand all of the things that could go wrong. Don’t know what to write? Hand-write a journal entry from the POV of your toaster. Want to write a book? Hand-write it in a journal, that way you can not second guess yourself and delete gobs of useful verbiage.
There’s a reason it’s call writing, and a reason people have been doing it long, long before the invention of any keyboard.
Pen and paper, people. Pen and paper.
DH: What is your favorite motivational phrase.
BK: There are two. The first one is a quote from Hemingway. He said, “It’s none of their business that you have to learn how to write. Let them think you were born that way.”
Now I don’t take that as saying never ask for help or disregard criticism. I take it to mean, present yourself and your work with pride and confidence and it will be accepted as such. And the funny thing about that is, it’s true. When I first started writing I would mention I was new to the craft, pointed out my flaws, and didn’t present my work with confidence. Readers/critiques were ultra quick to tear my work apart, offering all sorts of rules and whatnots. But then I took that quote to heart and I could see the difference. Suddenly I was receiving praise, earning followers, and even being asked for MY advice on writing.
And the second I actually have tattooed on my left forearm. It’s a quote by Elizabeth Taylor. She said, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” I love this quote because no matter what life throws at you all it takes is a little booze to settle your nerves, a moment to decompress, and some warpaint to face your demons.
DH: Great words, thanks for sharing them with us. And I’ll be watching for that first novel. Meanwhile, you, dear readers, can find some of her work over at http://thepolkadotcoffeecup.com or follow her on Twitter @AuthorBKyveli or on Pinterest at pinterest.com/brenkyveli30
Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.