Today I am very excited and pleased to share writing advice from Kaycee Browning, author of Ember Flame! :o )
Thanks for sharing this with us, Kaycee!
Me: What is your favorite part about writing? Why?
Kaycee: I love nearly everything when it comes to writing, but I especially enjoy building characters-whether it be filling out pre-writing character sheets or watching as they come to life through words on a page. Some say that there are only two types of authors: character authors who propel their stories by exciting and complex characters, and plot authors who drive their stories by creative and unique plots. I don't know if that's true or not, but if it is true, I think I'm a character author. I enjoy studying the nuances and complexities of humans. God made us so very different from anything else in this world. We're confusing and intense and there is always another layer to a human. It's fun studying that anomaly and trying to copy it on paper.
Me: Who helped you the most while you were beginning to write?
Kaycee: I've been blessed with many encouraging friends and family members, but my parents definitely win the "Most Helpful" award. Even though neither one of them are writers, they saw that I enjoyed writing so they bought me a curriculum called the "One Year Adventure Novel." Like the name implies, it taught me how to write an adventure novel in a year. They constantly encouraged me and helped me find the time and perseverance to write my first novel. I'm writing my fourth novel now, and their encouragement and support had never stopped. I'm so thankful for them!
Me: What first gave you the idea for Ember Flame?
Kaycee: I was at a Christian overnight camp several years ago. Towards the middle of the week, my best friend and I were discussing that morning's Bible study, which had been on the book of Judges in the Old Testament. Judges is a book that chronicles the time in Israel before they had a King. God constantly had to pick new leaders for His people because they kept turning away from him. The leaders, or judges, were regular human beings. They had doubts, struggles, and weaknesses, yet God used them to further His kingdom. My best friend and I were talking about this strange and awesome concept, and I suddenly blurted, "Someone should write a fantasy based on this!" My best friend gave me an 'are you serious? You write it!' look and 'Ember Flame' was born!
Me: Do you have any more projects in the works? (Is that a nonsense question? :o P)
Kaycee: Haha, not to use a cliche (shudder) but there's no such thing as a stupid question! :) I'm currently writing my fourth novel through National Novel Writing Month. It is the third book in the trilogy that 'Ember Flame' begins. I've written a bit of fan fiction and I've written a few short film scripts. I have an idea for a completely new fantasy novel that I'll hopefully begin writing in April. I guess I'll see where God leads me!
Me: What is the most valuable writing advice you can give to other young writers?
Kaycee: The best advice I can give is to let yourself be vulnerable. Let your emotions shine through your writing, write what you are passionate about, write like nobody will ever read your novel. And then, after you do that, do not edit your emotions away. The reason people pick up a fiction book is because they want to feel emotion. In real life, people wear masks. You never really can know someone as well as you can know a fictional character. And that’s okay. That’s how life is. But as a writer, you don’t have the stability of wearing a mask in your writing. You must be brutally honest. You must tell the truth. You can’t be afraid of someone not liking your work. You can’t be embarrassed of people reading, what feels like, your heart. Sure, it'll feel awkward at first, but your reader will thank you for your honesty.
Thanks again, Kaycee, for the advice and encouragement! :o )