AL: Why do you write?
IF: Throughout the years, many ideas have cluttered my mind. I need to make some room up there; the space is limited. The only way to do it, is by getting some out, on paper, or computer, so more can develop.
AL: Do you write full-time or part-time?
IF: I write full-time. In the last few years, I’ve averaged about two full0-length novels per year.
AL: Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?
IF: In a perfect world, I would like to write something every single day. In reality, I write when the inspiration hits. Sometimes, a week or two may pass with barely one thousand forced words on the page, then the next week, my fingers type out fifteen thousand. That process has worked for me thus far. But it doesn’t mean that when I’m not writing, I don’t think about it. My mind is always at work. So, I spend some weeks plotting in my head—other weeks, I release the information on paper.
AL: Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
IF: I write on my computer. When I travel, I always take my laptop with me. Never know when that next chapter will scream in my mind to be let out. But, in my early twenties, I wrote by hand. I have to admit, I loved it, writing, regardless of the method or platform used. There is always something magical when you see the words come alive on paper.
AL: Do you work to an outline or plot (plotter-planner), or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you (pantser)?
IF: I’m a combination of the two. My outline is always in my head. With a firm beginning, end, and a main plot, I have a direction. I tried to write an outline before, and I had to toss it. I wasted time and energy, only to find myself constricted by the words. I tend to feel obligated to follow something written, and it drove me nuts. In my mind, I can change course, plots, add twists and turns without the stress of deviating from an initial plan.
AL: How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
IF: Sometimes I go back and read the stories I wrote before learning about a novel’s structure, conflict, character development and world building. Every time I take a peek, I want to start editing, fix them. But I stop myself. I have come a long way, learned a great deal, and I need those ‘beginner mistakes’ to remind me of the progress I made along the way. There is always room to improve, and I’ll probably never be completely satisfied with my own work. At least I like it better now.
99cent Special Pre-halloween Deal
April A. Luna (also writes as Michelle L. De La Garza) is an American freelance writer and poet, who lives with her husband and children in Texas.