Michael Wehunt tagged me for the “Writing Process Blog Tour," a vastly talented, literary minded author who's done a lot of good work in the dark fiction world. His stories have appeared in places like Shock Totem, One Buck Horror and Crowded Magazine, and are forthcoming in markets like Cemetery Dance and Unlikely Stories. Check him out; you won't be disappointed.
What are you working on?
I'm currently working on a short story about a man who has lost the excitement of life and the hope of ever being happy. It's inspired by my experience working for the USPS--an organization that, in Dante terms, would probably fit somewhere around the fifth level of Hell--set in the modern world with fantasy elements. It's been a little difficult calling it done because I'm not sure if it wants to be first person or third person, present tense or past tense, finished or unfinished, a blessing or the bane of my existence. Decisions, decisions!
I have a lot of other stories in the works, too, at various levels of completion. From sentence fragments, to entire stories not yet ready to see the light of day.
How is your work different from others’ work in the same genre?
I try to write damn good stories that I love. What makes it different is that it emanates from my gut, my heart, my brain, and not the next guy's or girl's. We all live in the same world, but everyone sees things differently. These are my visions. Like 'em or lump 'em.
Why do you write what you do?
There's no one thing that can sum this question up. Suffice to say, it's an addiction and it doesn't hurt that it's a hellava lot of fun to boot.
How does your writing process work?
I'm a pantser most of the time, which is to say I don't have a clear idea of what I'm creating until the story's finished. I let the characters, environment and context determine what occurs, but I'm also subconsciously aware of pacing, atmosphere, and the ideas and feelings I'm trying to convey.
Sometimes I use prompts (a picture, a phrase, or a video) to inspire me. Sometimes I outline if I have a basic idea of what I want to accomplish. When I'm stuck, I'll usually try reading a story in the same genre with the same approach. That is to say, if I'm working on a first-person, present-tense horror story, then I'll read a first-person, present-tense horror story. That way I can see how other writers tackle similar problems that come up.
If that doesn't work, I may just sit and think, or work on something else. Anything to put pixels onto Word docs.