- Tell us about how you write!
When I started working on my books, I heavily relied on NaNoWriMo, which means “National novel writing month”. It takes place every November, when thousands of writers around the world take the challenge to write 50.000 words in a month. During the rest of the year, I may be busy with work and other projects, but in November, I just used to sit down at home, turn on the computer and make writing my priority. And it worked really well – before my daughter was born. Now I just try to steal some time for it when she sleeps in the afternoon and in the evening. When I can, I write on my computer, but if not, I download the text I am working on from dropbox and work on in on my phone. I got really good in writing on phone keyboard 🙂
I find it hard to categorize myself as writer of plot-driven or character-driven stories, as I would rather call what I do a “sandwich approach” of plot-characters-plot. I first outline the story and the direction where it is heading, then I place the characters in it and let them find their own path through it. I always write the story in order, to get from A to D, I need to pass through B and C, I can’t skip it and return to it later, because something can happen in C, that makes D different from what I planned. What I get to Z or the end, I already know what exactly happens in the story, so I can get back to the beginning, and pass over the story once more, editing and adjusting it with the exact plot in mind, often rewriting or deleting whole chapters. That’s why I needed to write all books of my series before I can edit it into the final stage. This way, it can’t happen that I write myself into a corner because of a part that is published and can’t be changed anymore, although it takes much longer.
And Tolkien still remains my literary role model, not only through writing, but also the way how he managed to balance it with his scholarly interests and family, and for his passion and dedication to each of those.
- How did you hear about Europe Village Project?
I saw the post on Facebook when you were looking for writers.
- Why did you apply for Europe Village Project?
I got curious about the project so I checked it, and it felt like it was meant for me. I believe that writing doesn’t have to be a solitary experience, from the drive of many people writing in the same time during NaNoWriMo, to text roleplaying, where every person writes only the actions of their character, and through interaction with other characters, a story is born. I have made several online friends through such projects, and even visited some of them in their home country. Writing together, meeting new people through it and getting to know new places is the essence of the project, and I have been doing it long before that. I was also excited about the prospect of working with a professional literary leader and improving my writing through it.
- What do you think about the teamwork involved and our workshops?
It is certainly more exciting then writing alone, sometimes even too exciting when we have different opinions on something 🙂 The workshops were both fun and really hard mental work, when you have just two days to come up with a whole story that the whole team would agree on. It had some really low points, when we felt that everything we did until that point is in vain and we have nothing, followed by “eureka” moments (well, not really moments sometimes, if it required a long discussion) when the pieces suddenly fell together.
- Have you ever participated in teamwork like this before?
Maybe when writing the botany textbook with my co-authors, but I think there the plot was much clearer 🙂
- What is the hardest part of working as part of a team?
Understanding each other – not what the others are saying, but what they are thinking. Some thoughts and feelings are hard to formulate, and more persons can understand the same differently. That happened after the first workshop – each of us understood what the book will be about… just understood it differently from the others. We had to get back to the beginning and formulate these things very clearly and carefully.