What goes on inside the writerly mind?
Let’s sit down with our Word Weaver Writing Contest 1st place winner, Adele Marie Park, and find out.
(Like all our winner’s profiles, when they answered these questions, they did not yet know what place they had taken in the contest.)
DAN: Did you write your story for the contest or was it part of a larger piece or something you had written before?
ADELE MARIE PARK: I wrote this story a while back, then looked at it again, edited it and sent it off to you.
Tell us about your writing process. What is the journey from idea to published piece/completed story?
The idea springs first. It can come from a myriad of places. A voice inside my head, a dream, a news story, even just washing dishes the idea implants itself. Then I write it down, I have a notebook and pen ready just for these occasions. Then I write some more and start typing it up on the lap top. After that, edit, edit, edit, rip apart story, sew it together again and edit, edit, edit. Send out to my wonderful beta readers, my editor and only when it comes back officially polished do I even think about publishing.
Did your spouse help you? How?
My wife, Becca, read the tale and felt horrified and a bit nauseous, so I knew it was a good one. Lol, she does go above and beyond duty when it comes to my writing. I love her to bits.
Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
I would love my stories to mean as much to the readers as they do to me. For them to take away a story that will stay in their mind. Also, to make enough from writing to be comfortable and to be able to build the eco friendly house by the sea.
Where do you do your writing?
I write in the kitchen, the hub of the home with coffee and lots of inspiration from Dante the dog and my wife. And sometimes the neighbours if the back door is open which it usually is. The writing studio will come later with the eco friendly house by the sea.
What helps you the most when it comes to writing?
I write with a music playlist. All kinds of music e.g. for a battle scene I might pick a track from The Dropkick Murphys band. For a love scene London After Midnight “I Love you to Death” is a sure fire winner. I am a visual person, I see my work in my head as if it were a movie, so a good score is imperative to creating a masterpiece.
What does writing success look like?
Writing success for me would mean a phone call from Peter Jackson wanting to make one of my novels into a movie, or a trilogy even. It’s true, that is what it would mean for me to be a success, to watch my words and characters on the big screen directed by the genius who gave us Lord Of The Rings. On a simple note, lol, to walk into a book store and see my book covers at the front door in a display, not waiting to go in the trash.
What are you working on now?
I am in the middle of editing a novel called “Wolfe Manor”. I am very excited about this project. It’s set in a private mixed school, called Wolfe Manor. The Manor house itself has stood for hundreds of years, withstanding Saxon, Viking and Norman raids. It holds many secrets but is home to Fianna who was found abandoned on Wolfe Manor’s steps as a baby. The head mistress Daisy and English teacher Cassandra raised her and she calls them her aunts. However, there is the mysterious and frightening dreams of a blackness that plague Fianna. The book starts with the beginning of a new term. Introducing new friends, old ones and a voice from the past which threatens to unravel Fianna’s perfect world.
There are a lot of writing contests out there. What drew you to this one?
I have been in your competitions since the beginning and am a great believer in them. They just keep getting better and better. Plus your critique is fabulous.
It paid off, too; your writing has improved and keeps getting better – enough to take first place this time!
How did you hear about our contest?
From your website, Dan.
Have you ever entered a writing contest before?
Yes, I have entered all your contests and a few others. I find that competitions are a great way to flex your writing muscle in a way that you might not have thought about before.
Will we see you again in the next Word Weaver Writing Contest, if there is one?
Did you know the piece you submitted was special?
When I see the reaction it got from those who read it, that and their complexion turning green, I knew it was a good one.
What’s next for you?
Finish editing Wolfe Manor send it out to beta readers. I think it’s good, it could be a lot of old turnips. Send Wisp 2 to beta readers and when it comes back my editor. And there’s always Suleskerry. The novel I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I finished re-writing book one now, for the sixth time. I think, the time is right now to throw it out there. Eeeek.
What was Dan’s critique process like?
Dan your critique is invaluable, you know how I write and you also know I’m dyspraxic and you explain everything clearly to me. It’s fair and if I need to be told to stop doing something odd or just wrong, you tell me. Thank you Dan.
You are very welcome!
Gang, connect with Adele to find out more about her work!