Thursday, June 17, 2010
Ever Feel Like You're Going in Circles? Talk to Shannon Taylor Vannatter
Shannon My upbringing was very solid with an intact nuclear family. This type of character is the easiest for me to write. Characters from dysfunctional backgrounds are harder, since thankfully I have no experience. However, characters with lots of emotional baggage are fun because they’re very conflicted.
Shannon Before I start a book, I work out the GMC and the spiritual issues for each character. I have a file of pictures I’ve clipped from magazines and catalogs. I look through them all and find a photo for each character. I paste all the pictures on a piece of paper and hang it next to my computer. This gets me started. After I begin, I re-read the last two or three scenes of what I wrote the day before to get me back in the story. I don’t do much editing until I finish the first draft.
SKC: Just working out your characters' spiritual issues can be good for any writer's soul! What else inspires you each day?
Shannon: Deadlines and knowing that readers will actually read my books and hopefully my stories or characters will touch hearts.
SKC: When did you know writing books would become the passion of your heart and what message do you filter in your stories, if any?
SKC: Sounds like your own love for writing helped you to conquer, Shannon.What do you believe is the KEY to writing a good book so far?
Shannon: Creating characters the reader wants to root for. It doesn’t matter how great the plot or spiritual thread is, if the reader doesn’t care about your characters.
Shannon: During the school year, I write while my husband is at work and my son is in school. Once my son gets home, the computer goes off. During the summer, I write after everyone is in bed. Since there’s a spiritual thread in each book, the Bible is often a research tool, which gives me God time while I work. Evenings and weekends are God and family time.
Shannon: Consistency in the story. Since the book is written over a period of months, it’s hard to keep everything aligned.
SKC: A good focus, Shannon. Consistency. (In so many things) After you finish your present projects what plans do you have?
SKC: You sound very busy. Okay. As you know, our readers here at A Pen for Your Thoughts usually get excited about the reflection question an author has to ask. What would you like to ask our readers and writers in the next few days, Shannon, and what book will you be donating this week?
SKC: Wonderful question. Thanks. Where else can we find you and your books on the web?