Monday, December 9, 2013

The Writing Process Holiday 2013 Blog Hop!

Holiday 2013 Blog Ho
(J. Carson Black made me do this!)

What I’m working on…
The current WIP is titled VEGAS KNIGHTS. A mystery/thriller set in 1959 Las Vegas, it has two heroes (which is a little different for me) investigating the suicide of a reclusive millionaire. Along the way, some very unusual things are discovered.

How does my work differ from others in the genre?
That is a good question! I try to create unusual characters, different in the genre. In SPIDER’S DANCE, as an example, the hero is a computer expert instead of the usual private investigator, ex-cop, former Special Forces hero that thrillers are known for.

Why do I write the things I do?
I write the kind of books I myself like to read. I grew up reading Ian Fleming, Leslie Charteris, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Mysteries, adventures, thrillers; I always had my nose in a book! 

How my writing process works.
Like most writers, I start by playing the old game of ‘What if?’ What if an oilrig explosion was a deliberate act with global implications? What if a benevolent doctor was not what he appeared to be? What if a former cop turned mystery writer was forced to confront the serial killer he thought he killed years ago?

Then comes character development. I always ‘cast’ my characters – using photos of movie or television stars (not necessarily the ones I would wish to see in an adaptation of one of my books, but someone who fits the characters as I see them) -  and that can take some time. One character in particular took a very long time before I saw a photo of the ‘right’ look I wanted for her.

Being a fanatical Scrivener for Mac user, I can build character profiles into the story file itself. Sometimes a bit of music is attached, something the character would listen to. Having a photo of the character and a sound byte can help energize the writing sometimes.

I don’t outline in the traditional way. I make a list of at least ten things I want to happen in the story, and it goes from there. Part of the fun of all this is finding out what happens and how along the way. I know other writers work from detailed outlines, others sit down and start typing, but the Ten Action Point System (as I call it) seems to work best for me. I have recently started using a program called Scapple for storyboarding, and it seems to be working for me.

Once all that is done, then it is just a matter of getting the words down.


  1. A great interview, JCarson Black.. It is fun learning about your writing process, Will. Looking forward to reading Vegas Knights.

    1. Thank you, Marie! Yes, this one is Jake's fault...:)