What goes on inside the writerly mind?
Let’s sit down with one of our Word Weaver Writing Contest 4th place winners, Dabney Farmer, and find out.
DAN: Did you write your story for the contest or was it part of a larger piece or something you had written before?
DABNEY FARMER: I wrote this way back in college, and it was published in our school magazine.
It had that feel Good job.
Why did you write your own Quote?
“Sometimes the ones we love are the ones who hurt us the most, both in life and in death.”
I wanted to start the story with a scary foreshadowing line that hopefully wouldn’t give too much away. But I couldn’t find any that were just right for this story – so I wrote my own. I hope I don’t come off full of myself for doing that?
Meh. I’d do it. What was the journey from idea to published piece in writing this story?
I had to rewrite it over 12 times. I kept misspelling ‘damn’ a lot in the first couple drafts.
Who doesn’t? But twelve times?
Where do you do your writing?
At home on my laptop.
Do you have a writing goal you want to achieve?
Oh yes. I strive to get a certain amount of pages done each day, depending on what story or chapter I’m working on.
What helps you the most when it comes to writing?
I find just being in a nice quiet room helps, which isn’t always easy in my house.
What does writing success look like?
I would say, just getting something written out your proud of. That’s a great feeling.
What are you working on now?
Currently I’m working on self publishing “My Life With Lee” a memoir book about growing up with my autistic brother. Which could be out as soon as October.
There are a lot of writing contests out there. What drew you to this one?
Well, I have been kicking around this scary story for a while, so it just felt like it might have a place here.
Obviously, it did!
How did you hear about our contest?
I saw a link online, as I look for new writing contest all the time.
Will we see you again in the next Word Weaver Writing Contest, if there is one?
Oh, yes. I can’t wait.
Did you know the piece you submitted was special?
Well, it sure felt special to me.
Were there plot holes in the story you had to work on?
Oh yes. Someone pointed out it’s not easy to get explosives, but I didn’t want to go into a lot of detail on finding dynamite, as it took away too much from the main story. Plus, I felt not knowing for sure where the dynamite comes from makes the narrator look even crazier.
A lot of people wanted me to cut the ‘One faithful day’ line I used as it got annoying. But I liked it as it misleads the reader into thinking it’s a lost love story only to turn into something else.
What were you going for here?
The idea I was going for was for it to have a slow build up to his growing madness. As the main character starts off normal, but gradually starts to lose his mind.
I think you nailed it.
Some people complained that this way it was too slow of a build up until the plot twist kicked in. But good things ( or bad things in this case) come to those who wait.
Would you say the main character is sympathetic or unsympathetic?
For me he is just a little sympathetic in the end. In a weird way I think he did love his wife, even if he did kill her. Just like I think she loved him, even though she may be haunting him spiritually or just psychologically now.
They were not in a healthy relationship. It was clearly very dysfunctional; they feed on each other’s anger, but at the same time they couldn’t stay apart from each other – even in death. He loves his wife as much as he hates her, which is a crazy lot (emphasis on the crazy.)
About Dabney Farmer: