I know it’s not Monday, but…

Technorati Tags:


How do you write your books?

Believe it or not, folks really do ask that question. Writing is not an easy job, and producing one of my novels requires around two years of steady (all right, mostly on-off, but kinda-sorta steady) thinking, researching, writing and re-writing. Lots of re-writing.

In all truth, my contribution to these stories is a very small part of the project. Important – at least I’m told it’s important, but for all that a very small part of the process of writing.

Because I don’t write by myself. I don’t mean that I have a staff of hack writers. I wouldn’t know what to do with them, if I did. I do the creative thinking, at least at the beginning. And all of the typing. And deleting, and formatting and re-formatting of the text.

But the characters write their parts. They decide on what has to be done. Sometimes they argue among themselves, but that’s usually quickly resolved.

The environment plays a big part in the story, too. The roads, the shopping centers, the design of Terry’s office, the layout of his hotel room, what kind of vehicle he’s driving, that sort of thing. The layout of the city he’s working in plays a big part in these stories. I don’t make these things up, folks. Or, I don’t make most of these things up. It’s just too much trouble keeping track of them when I’ve got an entire world filled with stuff I can make use of.

The environment shapes the story. It provides the backdrop and the scope for the lives and actions of my characters.

The climate plays a big part in any story, or it should. Is it January in Tampa, and pouring rain, or summer in the Everglades? Are the roads slippery from the grease and rubber caked into the surface? Climate should play a big part in the decisions the characters make and how they react to their changing situation.

And, of course, there’s the ever-present plot. Or not. Frankly, I don’t care all that much about plotting in my stories. I do care a great deal about how my characters react to the situations I put them in, and the decisions they make and the prices they inevitably have to pay for having made those decisions.

I don’t bother with a plot outline. I find it very restricting. I do care about my characters. My characters drive the stories I write. Not some damn plot outline.

Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

About Gary Showalter

Gary Showalter was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. He lived in Aruba, Florida and the Panama Canal Zone before joining the U.S. Army during the 1960s. Following his discharge from the Army, Mr. Showalter picked cotton in East Texas, baled hay in Ardmore Oklahoma, sold light bulbs in Los Angeles, California, and built cattle pens in Fallon, Nevada (during a blizzard, of course). After settling in Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Showalter worked as a professional gardener before turning his hand to furniture making. In 1981, he moved to Israel, married, and raised four children while working as a furniture maker, silversmith, goldsmith, and ornamental wood turner. He served in the Israel Defense Forces Reserves for sixteen years, and when not on active duty he worked in government and private security. He has also served in senior management positions in two software development companies in Israel. During his time in Israel, Mr. Showalter published articles dealing with international terror and the Israel-Arab conflict in the Jerusalem Post, Israel national News and several political science web sites. Mr. Showalter returned to the United States in the fall of 2003, to care for an elderly parent. He published his first novel, “The Big Bend”, in the fall of 2008. His second novel, “Hog Valley”, is now in print. Mr. Showalter's third novel, “Twisted Key”, was published in the fall of 2011, and his fourth novel, "Lonesome Cove" is now available in Kindle format and should be published in paper near the end of 2012. Those words were written a few years ago. Frankly speaking, the literary well has dried up. I now live in Dunnellon, Fl, where I amworking as the caretaker on a horse farm and looking to build a workshop here on the property where I can get back to building furniture. With any luck I will be sinking piers some time early in November and hope to have the floor joists ready for flooring by the end of the month. I'll get back to you on that.
This entry was posted in Writing. Bookmark the permalink.