I was invited to a blog hop by Ann Gelder, author of Bigfoot and the Baby (http://swerveandvanish.blogspot.com), and that has given me the impetus to actually begin posting on this site. I plan to use this site to discuss aspects of writing fiction – theory, technique, and practice, as well as the practical aspects of the publishing world – through my own experiences as a writer and a teacher. I have been teaching Creative Writing for more than twenty years, and I have taught in the MFA program at Bowling Green State University for the past twelve.   I have also published three novels, with a fourth due out in the fall of 2015. My goal is to write about fiction in a way that other writers will find stimulating. I will occasionally post exercises that have led students to create compelling works of fiction. The blog hop asks for a response to a set number of questions, and I think most writers would find it helpful to answer these questions. Here are the questions. My answers below.

  1. What is the name of your character? Is s/he fictional or a historic person?
  2. When and where is the story set?
  3. What should we know about him/her?
  4. What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
  5. What is the personal goal of the character?
  6. What is the title of this novel, and can we read more about it?
  7. When can we expect the book to be published? [Or: When was the book published?]
  1. My main character is Katherine Watson. She is fictional.
  2. The story is set in San José, California, in 2003, in the wake of the bursting of the tech bubble and the 9/11 attacks.
  3. Katherine works in Events Planning for a mid-sized tech firm, but she has been unable to plan for the events in her own life.
  4. Katherine’s husband lost most of their money investing in tech startups. They were forced to sell their house, and then her husband disappeared, and she and her two children moved back in with her father. As the novel begins, Katherine has just discovered that her husband has returned to the area and is breaking into her father’s house when nobody is there.
  5. I sometimes like to talk about the outside story and the inside story. The outside story is what’s happening out in the material world. The inside story is what’s happening within a character’s heart and soul. Katherine’s most immediate goal, her outside story, is to find her husband and force him to deal with the situation he has created. But her inside story is to understand herself and her place in the world. Katherine is a very angry person at the beginning of the novel, and has come to some kind of redemption, though partial and unfinished, at the end of the novel.
  6. The title of the novel, after long deliberations, is The Goodbye House. That may still change, but I’m fairly certain that it is set.
  7. The novel will be published in the fall of 2015.

Next in the bloghop, I am hailing Suzanne Hodsden and the wonderful novel she is revising, The First Wife.  See her at zannahsue.wordpress.com.