Pull back the curtain and see how a suspense writer puts the thrills and chills together.


…writing was fun.

When I was a kid, writing was play. It was something I did because I wanted to, like having friends sleepover or fooling around with my dollhouse or throwing a ball to my Sheltie. I didn’t write because anyone told me I had to. I wrote because I wanted to, plain and simple. I loved telling stories.

Most of my early writing was written for someone. I wrote an entire series of Nancy Drew-esque mystery stories for my cousin Vinnie that pitted the wits of two thinly-veiled protagonists against a number of tricky situations. A high school overrun by vampires (this was long before the days of Twilight and bloodsucker overkill), an evil uncle in Scotland with a nefarious plot, etc. I loved writing those stories, but the best part was giving them to Vinnie and seeing his reaction.

When I got a little older, I wrote a story for a girlfriend where the two of us and the two boys we were madly in love with (who were only vaguely aware that we existed) were snowed in at the local diner. (This was a much more innocent time, so nothing too scandalous ensued.) It was writing as entertainment–for myself and my peers. Most of my poems were a loving tribute to one friend or another. I was always eager to write the next thing, but I don’t remember any pressure to write.

Writing is not a hobby for me. I want it to be my career, so I’m going to have to take it more seriously than when I was a kid. That’s a given. Is there still a way to make it more fun, I wonder?

Any advice for me, dear readers? How do you keep having fun at your calling? Or do I have to accept that the days of having fun (at least in this respect) are over?

On the bright side, I am almost finished the first draft of the new novel! As far as I can tell, I have three more scenes before the big confrontation. Then it’s just a matter of writing the epilogue and I’m done. That will be worthy of a HUGE celebration!

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  1. Madeline Mora-Summonte

    When I get bogged down in the “technical” aspects of writing a novel or get caught up in the hullabloo of publishing and ebooks etc., I take myself back to what it’s really all about = the story and the characters. I imagine myself telling someone about my story the way I would tell about a great book I just read. That re-found enthusiasm brings me back to the page, refreshed and ready. (Usually. Chocolate helps, too.)

  2. Elspeth Cross

    I haven’t found anything that makes it fun all of the time. There are stories that I work on that I adore because they make me smile but some days it’s strictly work. I don’t think that makes it a bad thing. I do have two quotes for this type of thing:

    “It can’t rain all the time” (The Crow) to remind me that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

    and “A bad day writing is better than a good day doing anything else.”

  3. Story Teller

    Thanks for the comments and support, Madeline and Elspeth! I do love writing, but it is work. If I had the luxury of time, and only one writing job, I think that would help considerably.

  4. Laura Best

    There will always be days that are not so fun. As much as I love writing– love finding the right words, right sentences, right phrases– some days it doesn’t feel like fun. Wish there was some magic formula. I’d pass it along.

  5. Life As I Know It

    I’m in the same boat…I find that as soon as I start getting paid for something, it becomes work instead of fun.
    congrats on the first draft!

  6. Story Teller

    @ Laura – glad to hear I’m not the only one who goes through this. I often toy with the idea of writing something “just for fun”, hoping that will help, but then I think about how much I want to be published and write full-time, and I feel like I have no time to spare. All my writing time has to be “productive”. Maybe that’s part of the problem.

    @ Life As I Know It – thanks for commenting and following! I really appreciate it. Glad to know there’s company in my boat. What are you working on?


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