Who What How When Where and Why?

When you’re writing an informative article, you want to incorporate all of these basic questions into the editorial.  I remember many class assignments in my high school freshman English class and how these simple words came into play – it tumbled over and over in my head.  My question was which one do you open with? Who?  When?  Where? Which question is the strongest?

Recently, I’ve been asked several questions about my Emily Stone Series and my writing rituals, so I thought I’d answer some of the basic questions.

Who do I write about? 

I write about good guys and bad guys.  There’s nothing more invigorating as a writer than pitting these characters against each other and seeing what happens next.  Sometimes it even surprises me!  I created a main character in my thriller series, Emily Stone, who decides to take on the need to track down serial killers and child abductors.  She does all this covertly and anonymously by sending her information to the cops.  I wanted to create a character that’s a little bit different from the norm – she’s not a cop (an ex-cop) and she’s not a vigilante (even though she’s put in life and death situations).  She goes up against some of the most heinous members of society and puts her life on the line in order to save a child or get the forensic evidence to crack the case.  You’ll have to read one of her tales to find out what makes her tick.

What genres interest me the most?

I’ve loved thrillers and mysteries for as long as I can remember, so it seemed like a perfect fit for me to write thrillers.  However, the horror genre seems to be nipping at my heels and begging for me to jump into and write a series.  I enjoy reading novels that blend the genres so I’m toying with the idea of writing a paranormal horror thriller.  We’ll just have to see where it takes me in the future.

How do I write? Do I plot my way or just wing it by the seat of my pajama pants?

I’m one of those annoying outliners.  You know the type… that has to get everything in a row before typing out Chapter 1.  My background in the corporate world and academic studies has molded me into an outliner.  I’ve made my peace with it, sometimes I even giggle about it, but in the end it works for me.  And, while I’m outlining a story, I definitely love to wear pajamas and sport the barefoot mode.

When do I write? Do I write in the mornings or late at night?

I fight the urge to be a night owl when it comes to writing.  I love being up late in the wee hours, quiet, no interruptions, and some of my best scary ideas have come to light during this time.  As with life, my day is busy no matter what and when I work at night I don’t get enough sleep.  You don’t want to know me when I don’t get enough sleep – yikes!  I’ve forced myself to treat writing as a really awesome day job.  I usually write in the afternoons just after lunchtime.  I keep my consulting, appointments, promotions, chores and general errands to the mornings.  When I sit down to write, I feel relaxed and my mind doesn’t wander into things that I’ve already taken care of earlier in the day.

Where do I find the most structure, solace and inspiration when I write?

This question is two parts for me.  I find my inspiration and ideas when I’m on a hike or sitting in my favorite outdoor location.  Relaxation is in my arsenal to help me to put all the pieces together in a story.  When I’m sitting down and ready to write (getting serious), I love my home office.  It’s structured and I can accomplish the most amount of work in two to four hours.

And finally, Why? What drives me to write?

Writing is a form of inspiration and expression that I couldn’t imagine my life without.  If there’s any such thing as a “writing” gene, then I must have it.  I love the challenge and enjoyment of creating something from a simple idea and then completing an entire book.  Every project is a challenge and there are times that I’m not sure if I can complete it.  With each book, I’ve learned something about the craft and something about myself.

Do you think writing is a form of therapy or just allows writers to look deep within themselves?

  * * *

Author Blog: http://authorjenniferchase.com/
Crime Watch Blog: http://emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com/
Book & Crime Talk:  http://blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase
Books: Compulsion  Dead Game  Dark Mind  Silent Partner  Screenwriting

About jchasenovelist

Published thriller author, criminologist, and blogger.
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