If you're following the Indie E-Con scavenger hunt, then you've come to the right place. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, then you've still come to the right place. This post is part of a series introducing people to the various authors taking part in this year's Indie E-Con, an online writer's conference run by Kendra E. Ardnek designed to connect readers with indie authors (and vice versa). These introductions also include clues to a scavenger hunt that will give you a chance to win awesome stuff. For my part of the hunt, I'm featuring a post by Kimia Wood.
Link to Full Scavenger Hunt: http://kendrasgiraffecrafts.blogspot.com/p/indie-e-con-2018-scavenger-hunt-stops.html
First stop (Kandi J. Wyatt's blog): http://kandijwyatt.com
What if a family wrote stories together?
That's my family. And I don't just mean we each have stories that we write – it's literally a group activity, like playing Scrabble or Twister together.
My dad wrote stories as far back as high school and college, so when he saw me with an interest in writing, he nurtured it.
I wrote because I had characters bubbling up inside me who wanted to get out. My mother said my stories were good (all mothers do that, y'know?) and my father said I had talent. Sweet action – Dad says I have talent!
So I kept writing. Each story usually begins as some characters or an image, and from there I ask questions. “What if this happened? How would these characters get to that place? Where could they go from there?”
Once the characters have lived in my head long enough, I ask my family these questions. Then we all start asking, “What if…?”
“What if a private investigator had custody of his wheelchair-bound younger brother?” (Hayes and Hayes)
“What if a community of Christians made preparations before the collapse of society?” (White Mesa Chronicles)
“An exiled prince finds the heir of the usurper wounded — what if they were both good guys, and he rescued him?” (Sons of the King)
“What if a prince was banished by his uncle through a portal – with a special brand that lets him affect portals?” (Eris – a story I came up with, but my dad wrote. Told you it was a family activity.)
Every book I write is better than the last one, because I get better at writing – and I get better at asking (and answering) questions.
I've asked a lot of questions for my latest series: White Mesa Chronicles. It takes place fifty years after American society collapsed under its own weight, and I had to find answers for what the city would look like, how the people would behave, what resources would be available (y'know how much stuff is imported?!), and how characters with different personalities would respond. I had to develop a zombie parasite from scratch. I had to create characters who didn't think exactly like I do 😉
But it was lots of fun — especially the parts where my family thought through all the possibilities of “what if?”
The author life is hard – don't let anyone lie to you. It takes glueing your seat in a chair and writing words, words, words when you'd rather be baking cookies. It takes choking down the tears when your Amazon dashboard says you've had four sales…in the past year. It takes staring your favorite scenes and characters in the face and saying, “You don't fit the story anymore.” *delete*
But I love my family, and I love when we get together and brainstorm “What if…?” I don't want to give that up. So, whether my books reach a million people, or just my grandparents, I want to keep asking my family, “What if…?” – and keep writing characters that come alive with more and more deep, complex relationships!
If you pick up any one of my books, you'll see strong family relationships played out, or at least mirrored. You'll see decisions that reinforce a Christian worldview. And you'll definitely see the result of many hours' brain-storming…though it's just possible we didn't catch all of them!
“What if there was a zombie parasite, but the main character was immune?”
“If the goats are immune to the parasite, and it takes 24-hours for symptoms to take effect, and the bad guy is producing the serum that – why did we need this plot point?…Where were we again?”
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