The Story of the Writer Series
Featuring writer Faye Kirwin
Stories are inevitably part of our lives. They have been for centuries. We live, breath, roam about in our own story world. We face the same obstacles, hurdles and disappointments as the heroes we read about. But they inspire us in ways hard to put into words.
What is our life? You. Me. We are the composition of a great story. Every day is page in the life of a hero in the making. Of overcoming obstacles and insurmountable odds. We are the story; and I love reading them.
Let’s say hi to Faye Kirwin.
Where are you from?
You wish to know the secret location of my Write Cave? That would be Yorkshire, England. (Oh, maybe it’s not so secret anymore…)
Next time I come to England we should have a nice tea time.
Tell us about your blog.
Writerology is my little corner of the internet, where I blog about my two greatest loves: stories and psychology. When you get down to it, writing is about understanding people—whether that’s the people you’re writing about, the people you’re writing for, or you yourself, the person behind the words. My mission at Writerology is to blend psychological knowledge with storytelling technique to help you craft a truly unforgettable tale.
I love your mission and how you blend the psychological aspects with storytelling techniques. Fascinating indeed. If you haven’t seen Faye’s blog yet, please do! I highly recommend it.
To write a good story, you need to understand people, get inside their heads, know what makes them tick. And that’s where Writerology comes in.- Faye Kirwin
Favorite tea and snacks during writing?
English breakfast tea, black, served in my TARDIS teapot (naturally), plus a bowl of fruit on the side. Yum!
Sounds good. My favorite teas are peppermint and my good friend Earl Grey. We get along just fine.
Tell us about your fiction, genre or current work in progress.
Fantasy is my genre of choice, and most of the stories I’ve written fall under this category, from high fantasy to urban fantasy and all things in between. With my most recent work-in-progress, Her Clockwork Heart, however, I’ve ventured into new territory by adding a steampunk twist. Clockwork follows the life of Pippa Adeney as she crafts an automaton like none before, but when her mechanical masterpiece turns into a stalking nightmare, she is forced to confront both reality and the dark secrets plaguing her dreams.
Cool, steampunk! I would love to read it someday. Very interesting premise. Yes, steampunk is definitely a genre I’d like to read more about.
Recommended reading for writers.
The Writer’s Guide to Psychology by Carolyn Kaufman and The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Angela Ackerman and Becca Puglisi have got to be my all-time favourite writing resources. They’re the two books I always have by my side whenever I’m writing!
I absolutely adore the Emotion Thesaurus by Angela and Becca. Carolyn Kaufman’s book is on my wishlist!
Include any pertinent links and your weekly hashtags!
My website, Writerology: http://www.writerology.net
My Twitter account: http://www.twitter.com/writerology
I also host the weekly #storycrafter Twitter chat, which takes place every Sunday at 3 p.m. ET (that’s 12 noon PT), and love seeing new faces there! Pop over to this page for more information.
Viewing the website is a must. If you haven’t already, participate in the weekly chat #storycrafter. It’s a fun group.
Ready? Get set….
You’re a writer so what’s your story, or what inspired you?
I don’t know exactly when it was that I first started telling stories; I remember making up fairy tales for my sister each night before bed and coming up with the most complex of backstories for my toys when I was a child. Being able to capture the imaginations of others was simply magical. I loved to read and wanted to be an author when I grew up, but it wasn’t until I was 15 that I started putting all the stories in my head onto the page. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. The words just poured out and carried me away, as they’re still doing all these years later.
I love it. That’s awesome, Faye. Making backstories for toys just sounds exciting, and I bet you had loads of fun with it. Stories are great aren’t they?
What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?
Simply: to share my words. I’m a soft-spoken INFJ who wants to make a difference in the lives of others, and since I often get tongue-tied, words are the way I do it best. It’s my greatest wish that my stories resonate with others, inspire them, change their worlds in some small way. Even if it’s just one person, I’ll have achieved my goal.
I love the epic simplicity of your response! Sweet. I don’t think I could’ve put it any better than that.
The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.-J.P. Morgan
What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)
Hinderance 1: Self-doubt
It’s that niggling voice at the back of my head: What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not meant to do it? What if someone else can do it better?
There are times when I just want to throw down my metaphorical pen and give up. Recognising that it’s self-doubt talking and not something I truly want is difficult, and several projects have died out because I didn’t realise that quick enough. I’m better at it now, but it’s definitely something I need to work on.
I think we hear the same voice speaking in our heads! Just the thought that someone can do it better is just bogus. In fact, no one can do it better than you. It’s our story. Our words. Let’s let em’ fly.
Hinderance 2: Distraction
With books and Twitter and Netflix and friends all vying for my attention, it can be hard making time to sit down and make headway on a project. That’s why I’m a proponent of writing a little every day. If I can fit 10 minutes of writing into my day, that’s 10 more minutes than I might otherwise have done. It may not sound like a lot, but it really does add up over the months and years.
I’m a big fan of writing in small amounts, especially if you don’t write full time and have other responsibilities. 100 words a day is my ultimate baseline. It’s not much but it’s been extremely helpful.
Hinderance 3: Plot bunnies
I’ll get halfway through a first draft, then an adorable little plot idea hops into my head and demands that I write it. If I can fend off that idea and stick with my current project, I’m assailed by more plot bunnies once I’ve finished that first draft, then once I’ve completed the edits, and then again when I’m supposed to be revising. Saying no to those shiny new ideas and sticking to one project at once is something I always struggle with, and many a time I’ll find myself pulled away from my first project and tumbling down the rabbit hole.
Oh no, Zombie plot bunnies! Run for it! I know this all too well. Makes it hard to concentrate and complete your initial project. Way too familiar with this one.
What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)
I remember that I have a story to tell and that there are people who want to hear it. Knowing that I have the full support of my friends and family inspires me to no end and gives me that extra boost when I’m struck by the Three Hindrances of Self-Doubt, Distraction and Plot Bunnies. (And if all else fails, said friends and family will badger me to write until I do. They’re nice/evil like that.)
That’s great! You have a wonderful support system. Love it.
I remember that I have a story to tell and that there are people who want to hear it.-Faye Kirwin
What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?
My own mind is my greatest foe. I have the time and space to write, I have the stories I want to tell, but getting over my own mental hurdles is the real challenge. Determination, motivation, inspiration, self-doubt and self-discipline all stem from my mindset, so when my head isn’t in the game, I’m not making any progress. It’s infuriating, but it also means the power to change is in my hands.
Ah, the foe of mind. He’s a worthy adversary, but it only makes the story better.
If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. -Unknown
Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?
It’s so much easier to give in than to struggle on in the face of fear or uncertainty or criticism. That’s what makes the temptation to quit so strong. If we don’t finish that project, no one can judge us, our words can’t be criticised, and we don’t have to agonise over whether readers like our stories or not. It’s safer to give up—but it’s braver to carry on.
This is spot on. You hit the nail on the head with this statement.
It’s safer to give up—but it’s braver to carry on.-Faye Kirwin
What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?
It’s not too late. It’s never too late. Be brave. Remember why you started writing in the first place: What drew you to the words? Why that story? What do you love about writing? Which characters are your favourites? What would you love to write about more than anything else? Write your answers down, let them fill your whole being and remember that feeling. Whenever you feel the temptation to give up, bring out those reasons to write and reach for that feeling again. Forget why you want to quit and remember why you started in the first place.
This is so encouraging. I should print this out and frame it.
THANKS FAYE! THIS WAS REALLY FUN.
Thanks for ridin’ the train folks!
And, don’t be a stranger.