Welcome to week twenty of the #WritersQuick5 series - where we learn about writing from fellow writers.
This week we bring you insights from Shawn C. Adams, a writer that explores multiple genres - fantasy, horror, YA fiction - in multiple formats - including short stories and a novel in progress. You can find Shawn’s work on Amazon/Kindle Unlimited, including his short story Ma & The Boys with more to be posted this summer. You can also learn more about Shawn on his website and via a Facebook group he started for writers to work on helping each other with writing, publishing, and writing as business.
Let’s here what Shawn has to say…
Question #1 - Where do you write and why do you write there?
Any place I can get free time and use a computer. Mostly on the couch in my living room at the end of the day, or on a plane flying out to a client location. I will admit that sometimes the stories force themselves into my consciousness strong enough that I am unable to do anything else - even my day job.
Question #2 - What is unique about writing for your particular genre?
For me, I am particularly fond of the fantasy genre. I love that it provided a safe place to write about the issues that plague our world in new ways. The way the Drizzt books (by R.A Salvatore) tackle race and acceptance based on the individual, or the DragonLance books (by Weiss and Hickman) represent the ability of humanity to redeem itself against all odds. These central concepts are beautiful, and are more easily digestible when viewed in the fantasy setting. Everyone can find some piece of any fantasy setting to identify with as they read through them. For me, I tend to be writing stories with a strong female lead and/or a central male lead that doesn't take himself too seriously. Most likely motivated by how I view myself and the influence of my wife and my my mother.
Question #3 - What are some of your grammar or punctuation pet peeves?
As silly as it sounds, my two biggest pet peeves are: 1) Lack of punctuation (seriously WTH?) and 2) People that only put a single space between sentences. I know it is acceptable, but how about ask yourself if you should, instead of if you could once in awhile?
Question #4 - At what point in your writing process do you start to bring other people in to review your work?
Usually I bounce ideas off my wife and kids before I start writing. I don't expect much feedback at this point, and am probably just doing it so I can hear the ideas out loud. For actual review of my work, I won't let others read anything that hasn't been through at least two revisions. Even then I am VERY picky about who reads my work, prior to publication.
Question #5 - What advice would you give to a new writer about the writing process?
Writers write. I have heard people say, "you must write every day". Telling you now that is nonsense. My best advice would be to write as often as you can. If you feel a story nagging at you, don't fight it because you are working on something else, go with where you are being pulled. If real life gets busy and you can't find time to write on some days/weeks, don't worry about it. Feeling guilty and forcing the process won't make your writing better. And finally, if what you are writing feels terrible, keep writing. Get it out of your brain and onto paper/word document/etc., then fix it through the revision process. NO ONE writes so well that they are ready to go to print without revising their work. The better the writer, the more times you can be certain they have revised their work.
Thanks Shawn for these great answers!
Please remember to check out Shawn’s work on Amazon and on his website. You can also follow him on Twitter and join his writing group on Facebook.
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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