Today I have RH Russell, author of Venture Untamed, and the just released Venture Unleashed, here to answer a few questions about writing.
The best part of writing a book is becoming completely immersed in the story. The characters just start talking and hoping and dreaming, and I’m completely caught up in it and carried away from whatever is going on in my life at the time. It’s like reading a completely absorbing book, only much better. It’s actually a bit addictive! Yet, even though I’m swept away, there is a sense of control. Within the limits of who my characters are, the situation they’re in–and logic, of course–I can affect the outcome. I can help Venture and Jade say the clever things I always wish I’d thought to say in the moment, and I can work things out for them in the end if that clever thing they said turns out to be something they regret!
The best part of writing a book is also one of the hardest parts! I’m constantly working on the balance between writing and the rest of my life. It’s not just a matter of budgeting time, but also of shifting focus. It can be difficult to pull myself out of Venture’s life, out of the world of Richland where Venture is fighting for his freedom and Jade’s future, and back to reality.
My schedule is too much in flux to allow for a regular writing routine. I have a family, and my spouse’s work schedule changes every day, often at the last minute. My coaching and other responsibilities complicate our schedule even more. Writing every day, on schedule, would be great, and for those who can do it, I say make that commitment and stick to it. But for those who want to write and have an erratic schedule like mine, it’s important to know that you CAN succeed without writing every day. I do set aside time for writing, often big chunks of time. Whether an evening at the library or getting up early on my spouse’s day off and spending the whole day writing, the key for me is to do some pre-writing (usually in my head, while doing chores, driving, etc.) so that I’m ready to write when I get the chance. And of course I have to constantly be looking for the opportunity to claim that time. When I can get big chunks of writing done every once-in-awhile, I find that the ten or twenty minutes I grab here and there to write in-between the writing marathons are more productive, too. Though it’s more difficult than writing without distractions, I’ve learned to write with all sorts of noise and activity around me as well. It can be done!
Usually I have a very general idea how I want the book to begin and how I want it to end, and some ideas for cool scenes that could take place in-between. I start at the beginning, but often after a chapter or two, I end up skipping ahead. I’ll think of a scene while I’m running errands, waiting for an appointment, or trying to get to sleep at night. Then I’m itching to write it, and I’ll go ahead and get a rough draft of it out as soon as I get a chance, whether it’s the next thing that happens in the story or not. The order of events gets switched around during the revision process, too. This was definitely the case with my Venture books. I was amazed how changing the order of some events made them more powerful, and really helped the story come together.
About RH Russell:
The ambitions, the struggles, and the triumphs of the fighters in the Venture books are inspired by the author’s involvement with combat sports. Eighteen years on the mat with talented young fighters have given R.H. Russell not only the experience to write about fighters in an authentic way, but a heart for the fighter in all of us.
The giveaway is open worldwide until midnight EST on Dec 19, 2011. Please be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win.