Writing the Harrow, Part One

I’ve been asked how I write. How is it that you’ve been able to come up with so many ideas, a different world, and even a language?

Well, there’s no magic formula for novel-writing. Every novel demands its own structure, its own pace, its own way of looking at the world. Writing a novel, or any piece of fiction for that matter, isn’t just a head-banging exercise in utter frustration and despair, although at times it can sometimes be just that. It's about how the journey is taken.

For those who know me, they know my wife and I love Key West. And for those who have visited Key West, you know what I am about to say. Writing for me is like being in Key West. It’s a deep swim into your own head space, a really fun adventure, and one of the most thrillingly things a person can do. It’s your own separate world; it’s what you get to make of it; it can be relaxing and soothing; it can be exhilarating and breathtaking.

For the Harrow series, my writing style has been and remains different than others. With the Harrow and any epic fantasy, I get to make it, populate it, cultivate it, and bring all of the pieces together. I do not write from an outline; I allow the story, the characters, and the place to take me where I need to go. Next, I have the setting lead me. A perfect example of this is with Ian McEwan’s chilling novella, The Comfort of Strangers.  The story derives much of its tension from the setting of Venice - the convoluted streets and hidden alleys are essential to the feeling of disorientation that leads to the protagonist’s undoing.

For me, the author is on the same journey as the reader during the act of writing or creation. She or he simply is the first to experience it all.

Tu kai a’ kai!