Today we have writing advice with E. Kaiser, enjoy!
1. What is your favorite part about writing? Why?
When everything just syncs and the scene comes pouring out onto the page it is tuns even me; and I'm left sitting there thinking: "Whoa! That just HAPPENED! And it's perfect." and I show it to my sis, and her eyes start glowing as she reads... and I'm just completely off the tracks, the writing has taken over and done it's thing. I love that moment the absolute most.
2. Who helped you the most while you were beginning to write?
When I was 9 years old I read an abridged version of Little Women and learned the Jo March wrote stories, and then she wrote books! I was like "Wow! So that's how books are made!" I went around exclaiming at that 'til my brother looked at me like: "You're so ignorant!"
I knew what I wanted to do. But I didn't know how to go about it. I went to mom and tried to get her to tell me how people write books.
"Well," she said, "first you have to read a lot, and think about what you liked and what you didn't."
So I did, and that was probably the best over all advice on writing I've ever gotten.
In my teens I started playing with writing my own words, but I stayed in the practice stages a long time. I think this was a great thing, because I wasn't ready to put on a full performance.
One thing I think examples like Eragon story create a lot of pressure on a teen writer to "be big" before they've even gotten the time to soak up what life is about. I'd love to tell young writers to ease up on themselves. Focus on craft and style, and not about churning out a "book" that is the correct number of pages. Live life, let it in, filter it through, conquer some stuff in your own world, and then you'll have a deeper, richer tale to tell.
Because the real proof is in the pudding... how long are your words remembered? That's what makes a classic, the one that stays in the mind and heart of those who read it.
And that's a big job.
3. What first gave you the idea for Jeweler's Apprentice?
I wanted to write a novel for my youngest sis for her turning 16, I wanted to make it about a girl similar to her having an adventure; but she hates cliches with a passion so I knew I had to get creative with the details! So Fia was born more out of "nots" than anything else; she was not an orphan, not a warrior-chick or wannabe, not just turned "sweet sixteen", not a princess, not a pauper, not anything very extraordinary.
She is part of a huge, loving family, related to lower aristocracy, trained by her mother to be a lady, and also knowledgeable about farm workings. She loves books, (slight cliche, I'll grant you!) but she totally adores gems and jewelry, and her older sister married into a house of jewelers, so she's been learning a bit from her brother-in-law. But on the first ever visit to the king's palace by the whole family, Fia gets separate, sees what she thinks is danger, and tries to save the princess's... life? Reputation? Fia's not sure. But, it looked bad... and it ends up worse... she's know mixed up on the fringes of sensitive information concerning the civil war in their next neighboring kingdom.
And suddenly the king and chancellor want her far, far away where she can't accidentally talk.
So they concoct the perfect plan: reward her father by "giving" his daughter a desirable apprenticeship... to a famous, hermit-like jeweler high in the mountains.
Only thing is, those are the mountains that border the neighboring kingdom, and the war isn't staying on it's side of the line.
4. Do you have any more projects in the works?
Yes, Jeweler's Apprentice was met with demands for a sequel, so I wrote and released that in July of 2013. There are three more books planned, for a 5 book series.
I am also working on a Snow Queen retelling right now, which is taking up a lot of my time and will likely end up as a trilogy following the main set of characters through some tough spots in their lives. It is my first try at a fairytale retelling, so I'm a little unsure of the terrain, so to speak, so i fuss over it a lot. But the story is really compelling and the characters are so strong... I can't "not write it", so it's a dynamic writing relationship at the moment!
There are too many other books I want to write to go into that, and many of them have varying degrees of starts on them. So I foresee a whole lot of novels in my future. ;-)
5. If you were to start over, what would you do differently? (Providing that you still had the knowledge of writing you do now?)
Write more boldly. Don't worry about sounding like "other people" 'cause they're already taking up that space. Sound like me. Write like me. And just do lots of it.
Also, don't get discouraged thinking you'll never be published. That should be irrelevant, (and in today's indie world, not an issue now.) The question is, will you ever be WORTHY of being published? And only lots of time on your part can turn that into a Yes answer.
So go!!! Do it!
And then repeat!!!
6. Remembering when you were first starting out, what was the most important thing you were told, or learned along the way?
Being an author is a marathon, and not a sprint. So don't get panicky over the time it takes. You've got your whole life to live one way or the other.... will you be working on your book for the next five years or not working on it? Don't squeeze it into a little tiny space and say "Three months, tops!" That is doing both of you an injustice.
In the end, it's those with the patience to sit with the craft through the ebbs and tides, that will truly be "writers". I know you don't think it now, but when you're forty, you'll still be you. The only difference is you will (hopefully!) be a smarter you, and so you can write a smarter book. Don't think you have to do it as a teen or else you're a failure. Great successes can take a long while to build, and they're the ones that stand. So don't panic.
Breath. Trust the process. Life is a river, and like Lucky Llonio (The Chronicles of Prydain) it will bring all we need, both to learn and to write.
7. What is the most valuable writing advice you can give to other young writers?
Do the stuff you intend to make your characters do. Seriously, people, please do all the impressionable minds out there in the world a favor and actually do your homework on this.
Can't experiment with time travel? Okay, I'll give you that one.
But have you ever walked anywhere in your life? If you're planning on writing a book with any amount of walking, (and I'm looking at you, fantasy fans) pick a destination and walk to it. Take notes: speed, feels, actually arriving somewhere. Then walk BACK: yeah, that return trip can be a killer. Now you know how walking feels, and can write appropriately. This should be "required doing" for all books that involve characters walking places. I'm in a book right now, where the characters walk and walk, bypassing domesticated animals wandering around after a tragedy. WHAT??? Grab those critters and ride, folks! Come on! I call foul. (Oh, and most of the characters are wounded.) That sound you heard? Yep. Me internally screaming.
Anyway, anti-realism in books bothers me! Fiction should reflect real life, so that by reading it, we can learn better how to live. So false data gets me hot under the collar!
Thanks for having me, and I hope the writing adventures of all your readers go well!