Friday, September 4, 2009

[Interview: Part 3 of 5] John Miller, author of '2012: Kin Bin Tin Nah'

Speculative fiction author, John Miller spoke about how he started writing and identified some of the people and experiences that have influenced his writing.

In this part of the interview, he talks about his concerns as a writer:

What are your main concerns as a writer?

My major concern is realism. In order for the speculative fiction that I write to be successful, I must do it in such a manner that the reader will suspend disbelief.

While writing about epics that change the world, it becomes more difficult to be realistic because we’re talking about changing not just the character’s world… we’re talking about changing the reader’s world. But if I can write it in such a way that the reader suspends his belief and accepts my explanations of natural disasters, calamity or scenarios, then my story may influence the reader more than another writer’s story. Because my story is about the world the reader actually lives in; it affects the reader’s life.

My short stories influence only characters or locations, but my longer works affect large areas, cultures and/or the world at large. To me, suspending disbelief about what goes on inside a haunted house is easier than suspending belief about what happens to the entire world the reader lives in. The challenge is exhilarating!

What are the biggest challenges that you face?

Balancing the time spent writing and publishing the short stories of other writers. But I love being busy, and stress is something I seek out, vying to put more on my plate to test myself and promote the fiction of others through publication.

Balancing my own publishing endeavors with my writing is tricky. Many times my writing falls to the wayside as my time must be spent working on 2M Magazine put out by Dark Myth Productions. My own online publication Liquid Imagination pulls at me, as does promoting Liquid Imagination’s sister publication Silver Blade. Time management is the biggest challenge I have, but I think I do a good job.

To deal with this I have to create a daily agenda and a weekly agenda. Like goals, these “agendas” allow me to concentrate solely on the task at hand. When completed, I follow up on those “agendas” if that is what is needed and move on to the next project.

Writing is a world of its own in which writers and publishers are sucked into it, and sometimes there isn’t much time left for anything else. Writers tend to group together as do editors and publishers. Personally, I find myself associating with all three groups. This increases the challenge of time-management, but it is a necessary evil.

Do you write everyday?

I cannot help writing something each and every single day of my life. Short stories, novellas, novels and flashes. Sometimes I think my blood flows from my heart and transforms into the font of the written page; my heart bleeds into each story. If no one ever read anything of mine again, of course I would write. But I’m at the point in my life in which I have things I want the world to read. I’ve heard others tell me (insist, really) that I need to publish certain stories and tales.

I start each session before my computer and begin writing. It doesn’t matter what it is. Then, after two or three paragraphs (perhaps two or three pages), I pause and take a break. I stand on the front porch or take a walk, letting the story roil in the back of my mind without consciously going over the plot or idea or characters. Inspiration comes unexpectedly, but it flows rather quickly, and soon I am back at the computer, fingers typing furiously. Inspiration is wonderful! I don’t wish to type endless descriptions of a room or ten pages concerning the description of a house or street; I wish to convey what I felt when inspiration struck. I know what it feels like when the muse speaks to my heart, and that is the only idea I wish to convey with clarity upon returning to write at my desk. I will not fill the reader with what I believe to be powerful prose, nor will I use intellectual ideas or philosophies to entice the reader; I write only that which inspiration whispered to me. This is the what is most exciting to the readers, and this is what will satisfy them completely throughout the work.

Readers are not stupid. They recognize the wow moments a writer experiences while writing the story. If a writer is struggling for a hundred pages, the reader struggles, too. When the writer captures what I call the wow moment with clarity, the reader experiences the wow moment in detail. Personally, I believe inspiration should guide the beginning and ending of each chapter. Whatever the writer feels is what the reader will experience. It is a transference of emotions from one person to another, and if the writer isn’t experiencing high emotion in his wow moment… then I feel sorry for the reader.

I end my writing each day with satisfaction. I must conclude something of note and substance; I have to feel I have conveyed with clarity that day’s “wow” moment, and if I haven’t then I will not sleep well. When I have that feeling of satisfaction that I have conveyed with the utmost of my writing ability the “wow” moments, the ideas and subterfuges of the story, then it’s time for bed. This may be at two or three o’clock in the morning, but I’ve learned to not even attempt sleep until this sense of satisfaction and accomplishment is felt. Otherwise the story will keep looping in my mind, and I’ll dream it all night long in fitful sleep.

Related resources:

Author’s page, Edit Red Writing Community
Author’s page, Sonar4 Publication

Interviews
Possibly related books:

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