In week four of 'Getting to know You' we meet Stephanie Pace. Just to remind you, the idea of the Third Writer's Platform-Building Campaign is to build our writer's platform whether we are published or not and to pay it forward. Stephanie and I have some things in common apart from both being campaigners and in the MG/YA group; we are both teachers too and have you noticed that there's been a couple of us already. So without further ado I'll get on.
Stephanie what do you think it is with teachers and writing or writing and teachers?
I'm not sure but the link is certainly there. Many of my classmates from college were writers and we were far from all English teachers. The math, science and history people loved writing as well, perhaps because it's the best way to get out all those crazy things that happen in the classroom.
Like me you write YA fantasy and Urban fantasy. What makes the two genres different? (This isn't a trick question BTW, I genuinely want to know.)
Well, I'll admit the official definition might be different, but my working definition is as follows. YA fantasy is what I call anything I write that isn't set on Earth and contains magic or magical elements. Urban fantasy is my name for my fantasy works set on Earth, usually modern day.
Thanks, that clears things up nicely for me.
Now on your blog, I see that you seem to have two WIPs. How does that work? Are you revising both? Is one a first draft? In short tell me a bit about how you work. How does that work?
Not every well, to be honest :-) I usually end up focusing on one WIP for a few weeks then switch to the other when the spirit moves me. Shadow of the Wolf is in final revision, and hopefully done soon. 2101 Untitled is in first draft, and crawling along. My mind likes to have two stories going at once because I get bored easily, and since working on a revision is very different from writing a first draft, that's how I try to arrange my simultaneous projects. Once Shadow is done I'll have a brand new piece in the revision slot.
I've asked every one else so I'm going to ask you, are you a plotter or pantster?
A bit of both. I jump into a novel feet first with only a vague idea of what's going on, get about 10K words in and realize I have no idea what to do next. Then I go back and determine where I want the plot and characters to go, and what sort of conflicts will get them there. 2101 has stalled because of that very reason, so I'm now in the process of creating a loose outline for about 46 scenes.
As we're all writers here, what's your top writing tip?
Keep writing. Often said, but very true. Keep yourself fresh by writing at least a couple hundred words every day, and if you hit a wall, plow through it. Maybe what you write will be terrible, but the important thing it to get the story done. You can always go back and fix it.
I'm always on the look out for stuff to help me write, so what's your most valuable writing resource?
Critique groups. Critters.org and Scribophile have been life savers for me. You can never be sure how well a piece is working until someone else reads it and tells you what they think. I recommend finding a few people to get close to within a larger group, people you trust to give an honest opinion about your writing. You'll find plenty who do nothing but gush over everything you submit, but while that's a great ego boost, it's not terribly helpful.
We're getting to the end of the interview here, so finally why did you join the challenge?
Because I love a challenge :-) So when I read there would be contests and challenges I was all for it. I also wanted to get to know other bloggers and find a place for myself in the community. I've already met a lot of amazing people while blogging and I'm looking forward to getting know many more.
Well thanks Stephanie, I hope that you do get to meet some new people. You can find Stephanie over at Word by Word, go take a look.