Welcome to week fourteen of the #WritersQuick5 series - where we learn about writing from fellow writers.
This week I’m pleased to feature writer Paul R. Lloyd. Paul’s writing comes in many shapes and forms across a prolific writing career. He is a business writer and marketing pro. He is also a blogger and a book coach. He has been featured in literary magazines such as Possibilities and Daedalus and also writes and self-publishes horror books on amazon.
Paul is a big supporter of his fellow writers and heads up the Write Time Writers Group in Geneva and is a member of the DuPage Writer’s Group and the Lively Arts. I had the pleasure of meeting my fellow Chicago Writers Association (CWA) member at a recent CWA event and he has been kind enough to share his insights with us this week.
Let’s see what Paul has to say…
Question #1 - Where do you write and why do you write there?
I work upstairs in the spare bedroom where I can close the door. If I peer out the window at the correct angle, I can watch tree tops sway in the breeze in a way that reminds me of Wisconsin for an instant vacation. My laptop rests upon a little desk my dad and I built back when I suffered through high school. Dad was a cabinetmaker so it’s a nice desk. Snpgrdxz, my teenage space alien shapeshifter character from my time-travel series, volunteered to become my muse. He parks on a pillow on the guest bed and makes snarky comments while I write. For example, this morning he said, “Why do you spend so much time editing? Get my story up on Amazon and be done with it.” He once told me to pronounce his name like there’s an “i” every place you think a vowel should go. He doesn’t complain when I pronounce his name “snip-grid-ix” but he insists I spell it without the vowels because on his planet they no longer believe in them. According to Snpgrdxz, only the lesser planetary civilizations resort to such primitive writing practices.
Question #2 - What is unique about writing for your particular genre?
I must figure out what genre I write in. With only six novels on Amazon, I have time. I write horror with a twist of humor, but I can’t find an outlet for “cozy horror” stories. In the past, I never intended to write about monsters, but the darn critters show up uninvited. So I should embrace the horror genre, a decision I now make right here on Kelly’s website. Horror stories scare the bejeebers out of you in a unique way that cannot be matched by that shirtless guy with the horse and the half-naked girl on the cover of those romance novels. But if fangs protrude from the horse’s mouth, you purchased a horror story by mistake.
Question #3 - What are some of your grammar or punctuation pet peeves?
The discovery of an error that masquerades as correct serves as my favorite pet peeve. Any errors. For example, what if I found out the second sentence in this paragraph was a fragment? Horrors. When I attended high school and Miss Burnett assigned an annual essay on “My Pet Peeves,” I always wrote about the dog. Then in twelfth grade, Emily Springbottom leaned across my desk (big exhale here just thinking about it) and said, “Miss Burnett wants us to write about stuff that fries our gourds.” I always thought it would be fun to fry Emily’s gourds but that would have to wait until after graduation. In the meantime, Miss Burnett’s annual assignment about “My Pet Peeves” became my biggest pet peeve. Peeves wasn’t just an ordinary dog, by the way. He served as a private detective without gum shoes. You can read about him in that novel I didn’t write yet.
Question #4 - At what point in your writing process do you start to bring other people in to review your work?
I prefer to take a manuscript as far as I can before submitting it to my critique group. Critique groups find the stuff you missed, but after a while, you learn to appreciate it about as much as I enjoyed that pet peeves high school assignment every year for four years. My futile search for first readers continues. Every time I find someone who volunteers for the honor, I hand over a copy of the book and then never hear back from them. They may be trying to tell me something.
Question #5 - What advice would you give to a new writer about the writing process?
The most important thing is to write every day. Okay, you can take the weekend off if you want. The second most important thing is to trust yourself. You are hardwired to hear, read or tell a story in a certain way so you have to work at getting it wrong. But that doesn’t mean you will automatically get it correct. Learn the craft. Take courses and workshops when you can. Google stuff when you can’t.
Trust yourself and learn the craft. Great advice from Paul for us today! Please be sure to follow Paul across social media and check out his novels and short stories.
Find Paul: LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blog, & Amazon Author Page
If you would like to be featured as a writer in the #WritersQuick5 series, please just reach out and let me know. I’d love to promote your work as well!
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