Today, Mel Massey dropped by to talk about planning and crafting her current series. Enjoy!
Oh goodness, I think I’ve always enjoyed writing from an early age. I went through the phase, of course, where I didn’t. However, as soon as I started college, I was right back at it. I think writers aren’t necessarily born to be writers, but we’re born with a gift. It’s our choice whether we use it or not. My guess is many novelists out there spent their entire lives writing crap until one day, it just didn’t suck anymore.
2. Are you a pantser or a planner?
I am a planner. I’ve never been able to be a pantser. I actually tried once. ::laughs:: It was so sad! It took me over two years to outline the entire Earth’s Magick series fully. It’s hard enough to look at a blank page, but it’s just too much to do that with no plan.
3. Can you give us an idea of your writing process?
Before I start a book, I have a notebook where I outline each chapter with bulleted notes. Sometimes those things change but I know how I want things to end per chapter. I’m quite obsessive about it actually. When I sit down to write, Ican write a half to a full chapter in one day this way. The next day I reread it and make adjustments. Then the next day, I start the process over again. It works for me.
4. Which authors have influenced your work?
I say it a lot, but H. Rider Haggard has always been my biggest writing influence. His stories were superb and way ahead of their time. His stories, while being fantastic, were also simple. He was a storyteller. He told the reader his tale and we are instant friends because of the special voice he had. I could curl up and read She or King Solomon’s Mines nonstop. I want to be a storyteller too. I’m not going to “sell” the readers anything, I want to share this with them. There’s a big difference and readers are smart, they know when a writer is pandering.
5. What are you plans/future projects/new releases that we should be aware of?
At the moment, I’m writing the second book in the Earth’s Magick series. I’m also working on a companion short story about one of the ancient brothers in book one, Decker. He’s 2,300 years old. His story needed to be told because there’s so much rich history there! I couldn’t possibly find a place to put all of it in the series novels. Therefore, they (all four bothers) get their own short story. Decker seems to be everyone’s favorite, mostly, so I started with him.
6. Any tips for new writers?
There’s already so much advice out there. What could I possibly say to add to it? Write. Write YOUR story for YOU. If you love your characters, and their struggles are your struggles, that will come out in the book to readers. They, in turn, will love them as well. Love your story enough to plan, at least, some of it. I know some writers are gifted with the ability to sit down and just see what happens, but not everyone can do that. Until you know, make a plan. Later, if you’re comfortable, then play with being a pantser.
7. Any tips for old writers?
You know what I would love to see more of? Short stories. Like, Alfred Hitchcock did way back when. I used to read his shorts when I was a kid. Yeah…I know. But it was wonderful! These days, some people don’t have the time to invest in a full-length novel. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see more short, well thought out, tales of different genres? One can hope.
Connect with Mel:
Mela learns war is coming with The Darkness and the Hag is only one of the evil creatures in its service. As an Elementai, Mela learns it’s her duty to find four part-human sisters who can help defeat the evil that threatens to return to the world. With every new discovery, Mela uncovers ancient secrets that complicate her quest further.