On the porch today, I’m joined by Urban Fantasy Author Casey Knight. Casey has a wonderful series out about a classy female wizard who has a flare for fashion and a knack for dispatching the undead, deranged demons and freaky fae-they’re not all cute cuddly sprites. While in the swing enjoying our mint juleps, I asked Casey what she’s learned along her writing journey. She shared with me some important tips she gathered from her editor. Let’s see what she has to say:
- Read as much as you can from all types of writing and then keep a notebook. I keep a notebook on what techniques, approaches, characters and types of writing I enjoy. What speaks to me intrigues me and keeps me wanting to turn the next page.
- Once I have a theme or idea for a book I research actual places, events, and people. The search for interesting settings, traditions, rituals and ruins gives my fertile imagination plenty of material to spark an idea.
- My main characters are all a combination of traits drawn from memorable people I’ve met or read about in my life. They all have quirks that make them interesting and unforgettable. Usually there is a little bit of me in those imperfections making them easier to write about.
- I try hard to describe their everyday actions and interactions in a way that show the reader who they are. I don’t want to tell them who a character is. I want the readers to reach their own conclusions. I can tell a reader the sun is shining or I can tell them that the glare off the water was blinding.
Thanks Casey! What advice would you give a new writer?
The advice I would give a novice writer would be to keep a notebook of your thoughts and anything that catches your attention. This can be an interesting conversation, news releases and story line that capture your imagination. Then I suggest trying to describe those places, people, and situations until they come alive on the page.
It’s been great having you on the porch. Find out more about Casey on our Porch Guests page, and at her website.
Excellent post! I particularly liked the way Casey distinguished between “showing” and “telling” when it comes to characterization and description.