Today’s interviewee for the Blog World Tour: Fantasy Edition is S.M. Pace. Welcome to my blog, S.M.! My first question is a predictable one: how often do you write, and do you have a special time during the day to write?
This is going to sound strange, but I generally only write fiction, as in new drafts, on Mondays. I write for about 5 hours, getting down about 3k-5k words, which generally meets my deadlines for the week. The rest of the week is spent revising completed works, and writing blog posts. I also free write for about five minutes every morning to warm myself up. That can be anywhere from fiction, to just a vent about things that happened over the week.
That doesn’t sound strange to me. If the method works for you, then it’s perfect. Everyone has their own ways of writing. For example, I’m a pantser, not a plotter. Which leads me to my next question–do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I like to create a loose plot outline before I write, detailing the conflict, characters and outcome of each scene. How much any of those scenes, or the entire story, actually resembles my original plans, is pretty high up in the air. Sometimes the story will really click with me, and the scenes will flow beautifully.
Other times, like with Cry of the Hawk, the story seems to drag. In those cases, I tend to go off script more easily, which is what saved Cry of the Hawk’s draft for me. A new character appeared and brought with her some fascinating information that threw me for a loop, and gave the story new life.
My drafts generally end up looking pretty messy, but I can always fix them in revision, which is my favorite part of revision.
That’s great! I love it when a character swoops in to drag the narrative to where it should be, even if it isn’t where you expect it, it often works out for the best. Could you tell us a bit more about who this character is?
A young woman named Effami. She snuck up on my main characters, and revealed herself to be on their side, and to have information they desperately needed. Information that finally answered several questions I hadn’t realized I needed answered about the villain’s motivation and backstory.
I fell in love with her almost immediately and resolved to make sure she would stay in the story. Which means before I begin my revision, I’ll have to flesh out Effami’s home country, Kalindas, and her backstory. I love worldbuilding!
It sounds like she showed up in the nick of time. Worldbuilding is fun for me as well, although I tend to do it more on the fly than planned out ahead of time. Do you have any tips on what to do and what not to do when writing?
I would say, don’t let the internal editor speak.
Now if that goes completely against the grain of your writing style, that’s fine. Some writers revise as they go, and that works for them.
However, if you do that, and you find you can never finish a story, I suggest you try it the other way. Shut down that part of your brain that wants to go back for every typo, or weak line of dialogue, or clumsy plot point. That insists that when you change a major plot point halfway through the story, you have to go back to the beginning and work in that change everywhere.
My mantra is always “get the story done now, fix it later.”
It might not work for everyone, but that’s definitely a useful mantra for those who write better when they’re focusing on getting the first draft down before revising (like me!) Though sometimes that inner editor can be quite persistent! *glances at clock* Okay, we have time for one more question, and I’d like to move away from the writing side of things to the (*gasp of horror*) marketing side of writing. What are your views on social media for marketing, and which of them have worked best for you?
I love social media. I see it as a great way to connect with readers, which is so important for indie authors.
I have my blog, of course. I post three days a week most weeks, and I’ve joined several weekly and monthly blog hops. I have a Facebook account and page for my pen name, but I don’t do much with that at the moment. I also have a Twitter account, which I’m also still figuring out how to use. I tend to just tweet my daily blog post.
I guess my Patreon counts as social media. I use that to give away my monthly fiction serials a couple weeks earlier to subscribers, along with other fun goodies, like worldbuilding snippets, and other prizes.
That is a really good attitude to have, and it sounds like you’re putting it to good use. *a chime sounds* Ah, that’s the end of the interview! Thank you so much for being here today, S.M., and I wish you and your stories the best!
You can learn more about her through her various social media sites:
S.M. Pace’s fantasy novels, Shadow of the Wolf and its sequel Wings of the Butterfly, are available for purchase on Amazon and Smashwords.