Guest Post #5 – Chris Stocking ‘Write To Perfect’

I am very pleased to present to you today Day 5 of our Guest Post series with an interview with none other than Chris Stocking! Another wonderful, inspirational blogger who I have followed since day dot. His blog Write To Perfect is chock full of advice, writing techniques, his insightful opinions and snippets of his novel/WIP. Go on over and take a read 🙂

Chris – come on down!

1/ What Inspired You To Write Your Current WIP/Published Work?

Since I’m currently working on the second book in the series, I’ll talk about the first book, London Darkness: Infernal Inventions. The main inspiration about it came from a news story, actually. I’d recently heard that some scientists in a middle-eastern country were being killed because a group didn’t like what they were building. I believe it was nuclear weapons or something of the sort.
A few days later I learned about the Steampunk genre, and I immediately fell in love with it. Victorian London, steam-powered machines, cogs, gears, classy clothes, tea, all of it. It appealed to me in a way that fantasy and science-fiction really haven’t yet.
So, after the somewhat glorious disaster that was my second novel, I decided that my third would be Steampunk. I came up with some basic characters, but I was having trouble thinking up the main conflict of the story. Then, I remembered that news story. I thought “Why not just replicate that news story, to some degree, but put it in Victorian London with inventors instead of scientists?” After that, the story just took off. The more I wrote, the more excited about the story I got. I had a ton of fun writing the book, and I’m eagerly waiting for the edits and basic cover design so I can polish it and publish it.

2/ If There Is Anything You Could Do Differently With Your Writing If Given The Chance, What Would It Be?

I wish I could come up with a set schedule for writing. Everywhere I look people are coming up with lists and schedules and they are getting loads of things done, writing or not. I wish I could do that. However, because I work per diem, my hours are random. Sure, I get my schedule a month in advance, but with working, trying to stay in shape, going to school, and planning a wedding, setting aside a time every day to write can be very difficult.
I’d like to think that I’m a morning person, but I’m really not. In most cases, I’m a mess until I have my morning coffee. I lack focus, and I find it hard to get out of bed. Most times I write at night before bed, or if I can squeeze some in on a day off. But, if I write too late at night, I end up staying up too late; and when college is in session, that’s bad news.
The closest thing I ever had to a set writing schedule was last semester. I found that I was able to write quite well in the classes that allowed me to use my laptop in class. The teacher posted all the notes in class, so as long as I studied those before a test I was able to do reasonably well, and I did. So, every Tuesday and Thursday I would pull out my laptop and crank out anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000 words in an hour and fifteen minutes, depending on how my inspiration was flowing that day. Also, because I carpooled with my fiancée, there were times where I had to wait for her to get out of her class, so all I could do was wait around. I also found that I was able to write quite well, sometimes even better in these situations. I didn’t have to worry about half-focusing on the class to make sure I wasn’t surprised with a question or miss a due date for an assignment.

3/ You Have An Auditorium Full Of Aspiring Writers – What Is The One Most Important Piece Of Advice You Would Give Them?

Make sure your characters have a reason for what they’re doing. Why does the reader care? If your character doesn’t move the story along with a strong motive, the reader is going to lose interest. Or, even if the motive is relatively good, if the character keeps getting stuck in the same rut, or it’s evident that the story is going nowhere—although it may take longer—the reader will still lose interest.
Providing an emotional hook behind the character’s motive is a great way to keep the reader interested. Whether it is saving the world, saving another life, or saving their own life, choosing the right emotional hook is a good way to keep your character motivated toward an overall goal, and keep the reader interested, and wanting to find out how the character is going to solve the problem, and prevent the emotional crisis from happening.

And there you have it. Another great interview. Thank you so much for participating Chris!

Please enjoy it and come back tomorrow for my next victim; Delancey Stewart!

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About Virginia

Writer, reader, crossword puzzler and conspiracy theorist.

6 Responses to “Guest Post #5 – Chris Stocking ‘Write To Perfect’”

  1. Chris is such an inspiring talent. Go read his short stories over at his blog. Time Well Spent! He can and will offer his opinion of your work, especially if you ask. His critiques are balanced and fair, which makes them more useful. I am looking forward to his Steampunk series with loads of anticipation.

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  2. Thank yoi so much for this opportunity! I had a ton of fun! And thank you for your kind words! It really means a lot to me, and it’s comments like that that keep me pushing to be the best writer I can, and to be as helpful as I can. 🙂

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    • I meant every word Chris – you really are a very talented writer! This is a great community to be a part of and to help each other become better writers is first and foremost 🙂

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  3. Great piece. i am definatly going to check out Chris’ blog

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Some General Updates | Write to Perfect - May 31, 2012

    […] let you all know that I participated in a “get yo know ya’” post exchange over at Poeta Officium. I’m honored that she would allow me to take up some of her blog space. Go check it […]

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