June 10, 2013

Creative Process For Me

By Tawdra Kandle

The creative process is delicate and individual. When I chat with other authors, I’m always interested in what they require or avoid during writing sessions. What one might crave, another may abhor.

When I’m knee deep in writing a book, I try to avoid recreational reading. I can still enjoy non-fiction, magazine articles and manuscripts I’m editing, but I do my best to stay away from my favorite authors and series, as I tend to be a sponge. I absorb style, and it translates into wording and rhythm that I might not normally use.

However, I find that I cannot stay away from all entertainment. In fact, my writing usually suffers if I do. If I’m stuck at a certain point in my story, seeing a movie almost always gives me a creative jolt, helping me look at things in a slightly different manner, and prompting that all-important question: what if?

I have a tendency to create rules for my characters, giving them boundaries and definition. This isn’t necessarily a bad habit, but it can be limiting. Stepping outside those lines and wondering what would happen if I pull a few people with me shakes up a story and opens new doors.

Once those doors crack, I find my characters become chattier, as though they’ve just been waiting for me to follow them and see what happens next. I know it sounds wacky, but it’s true. A famous author once advised her protégé that she must keep a firm hold on the people in her work, never permitting them to tell her where the story goes next. I don’t agree. Listening closely to my characters as they talk about their history, their hopes and their dreams gives me insight into the movement of the plot.

I’ve accomplished some of my best writing in front of the television, with music on my computer. I know it goes against all traditional wisdom, but it works for me. So if you happen upon me watching the Winchester brothers, computer on my lap, I’m not slacking. I’m just soaking up inspiration.
Tawdra Kandle is the author of THE KING SERIES, a young adult urban fantasy quartet. Born in South Jersey, Tawdra published her first short story at the age of 13 in Child's Life magazine. During the early years of her marriage and motherhood, she wrote articles and columns on parenting and homeschooling, as well as some homeschooling curriculum. THE KING SERIES is her first published full-length fiction. Tawdra currently lives in central Florida with her husband, and children, both skin and fur types. And yes, she has purple hair.
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