Who's The Qurite TALK OF THE TOWN?
Qurator and @goldendawne present~ The Qurite Talk Of The Town
Are you; or do you know of another Qurite that has accomplished and achieved a goal or dream that goes beyond all thoughts of every day life?
Maybe you know someone who was recently accepted into an special program? Maybe you achieved a great personal goal or milestone? Or perhaps you know someone who had a book published?
WAIT! What's that? Someone had a book published? WHO? Who was it?
Our very own...
@qurator is all about support and today we want to introduce one of the most talented and active writers here on Steemit with an interview and congratulations on his first published book!
In your Amazon description for this book, it states:
“Up until the final few lines, he doesn't know how or when the story ends, and neither does the reader. His stories, therefore, keep the reader on his or her tippy toes until the very last sentence.“
So when you start writing a story, do you have a synopsis? Or do your characters take the lead and TELL you how the story goes?
To address the first part of your question first: Usually when I sit down to write I have a general idea about how I want the story to start–what situation I want to throw my character(s) in–but other than that, no, I usually don’t. I’d be lying if I said I never have ideas of the endings as well but I’d also be lying if I told you I ever stick to any of those.
That said, I’ve sat down with the hopes of writing a story with a happy ending only to write it morbid from the very first sentence and vice versa more times than I can count. I think that’s part of the beauty of writing fiction. You start out with a single sentence (or even just a word) and get to shape, or should I say refine, your ideas on the go.
As for the second part of the question, I definitely like to identify myself with the characters as much as possible, then tell myself the story in-character. I’ve always been very interested in the art of acting and human psychology, and I believe that through writing I can very much touch both of them. I get to become the characters I write about and I also get to implement everything I know about the human psyche all in one go. It’s great!
In short, I’ll start with an initial idea, maybe even just a word or a sentence, then come up with a character and see what the character does with it, all the while sticking to a predetermined constraint I want to follow. The constraint, in a way, presents an obstacle (or a tool) to the character and makes the character think outside the box. The story “Radio show” I did recently comes to mind. I wrote it in all dialogue, because you don’t get anything but the voices over the radio.
Speaking of which, not long ago I was feeling inspired during my drive home from work and I thought of a scenario similar to what I’m describing right now. I got myself in-character, pulled out my phone (because, thankfully, it has a speaker) and recorded myself tell the story out loud–making it up on the go– then just wrote it down on my computer when I got home.
I wasn’t intending to publish it until next week, but I believe it captures my relationship with my characters well, so I’ll have it published before this interview goes live. @goldendawne, if you could please hyperlink the link here somewhere.
Having read the sample available on Amazon, I LOVED that the first story was called “Living Off The Grid”...so I have to ask. Do you live off grid? Hopes to ever live off grid? And if not...why did this story “speak to you”?
I don’t live off grid, no. I live in the suburbs of a major city but that doesn’t mean I don’t love the great outdoors. I’ve always loved spending time in the woods and I’ve never turned down a hike to the mountains.
I don’t think I ever see myself living completely off grid, no, but I do know for certain I never see myself living in a large city or very close to it–even the suburbs where I live now feel too crowded and asphalt-y at times.
There’s quite the story behind this one, actually. About two years ago my friend and I decided to go hiking into the unknown, spend the night in the open, and then hike back. Two townies venturing into the unknown, what could possibly go wrong?
We walked for five hours straight with god knows how heavy backpacks and finally arrived to a spring of water, both dead tired and thirsty. We decided that was the place to stay. We gathered some wood, started a fire, had a not-so-tasty meal, and then had to get ready for bed.
Stupid as we were–let’s blame it on the exhaustion–we threw down the plastic sheet–we didn’t have a tent, only a large plastic blanket to keep us dry from underneath–not even 15 feet (5 m) away from an ant nest and positioned our sleeping bags like so that our heads were facing it. Of course, we didn’t know that until morning.
It doesn’t stop there, though.
We slept on some kind of a natural ledge just above the stream of water and were slowly sliding down throughout the entire night–I remember waking up three times at the least just to climb back to my original position.
What’s also funny is that we both only realized that the area we were in was in fact bear territory that same day we departed. You can only imagine how frightened we were when we turned off our flashlights and quieted down enough to really hear everything around us. I swear I could hear a twig break a mile away–and it filled me up with terror.
Anyway, if I go back to the story itself, I believe it is very much evident that the characters in it have had a hard time as well–just like my friend and I. I may have tried recreating that feeling I felt myself that night with the hurricane coming in on the family in the story.
Looking at some of the story titles in the table of contents, I have to ask... do you have a “dark” side? Titles like “Slaughterhouse”, “Military Testing Grounds”, “Abducted”, “Betrayal” and even “Bigfoot” lead me to believe you do.
I do very much think so, yes. I believe there’s many sides to me, actually, and I think that’s one of my strengths. If I may quote Bruce Lee here, I would very much want to be shapeless, like water. I want to feel comfortable in every setting and be able to write in every genre–and yes, there’s even some romance and erotica that’s made its way onto my keyboard.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying having a distinct writing style is bad or anything similar. It sets you apart from other writers and your readers know exactly what they’re getting. Such consistency is great for novels but with the short stories I just like having some fun–they present a great learning opportunity for me and some serious insight into my brain for the readers. And, let’s be honest: Do you really want all the stories to be written down the exact same way?
Do you consider your writing style prolific?
By allowing myself to become a completely different character each and every day, how could I not consider it prolific? More so than having a lot of made-up worlds in which I seek cover from everyday problems, it’s the characters that get me. I enjoy taking on new identities, tailoring them to my needs, and switching between them. I believe we all do that to an extent through our everyday lives.
The person you are at work is not the exact same person you are at home, and even that person is not the exact same person you are when you are with alone your friends. I believe it’s important to find and understand yourself first, then go and experiment what it would be like if you were somebody else. If nothing else, it’s fun. Just make sure it stays within limits.
As said, I’ve always taken interest in human psychology, and it never fails to amaze me how much our brain can do and what all it can envision. I’m happy to explore all these (dark) corners of my brain and, of course, have my keyboard with me to write all my experiences down!
What is your literary, journalism or freelance writing background?
I’ve very much loved art since forever, but have always been somewhat artificially pulled away from it. I was always the science kid–both at home and at school. I was good at math, physics, and chemistry and I never got along with literary teachers. Every time I had my essays graded I got an E just because we didn’t get along and grading literary work is always subjective. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t rob me of my love for writing for a long while. On the contrary, however, all my essays for philosophy and sociology came back as straight A’s, so there’s that.
I believe all the science-y background that I have is actually very helpful, though. It’s given me a different approach to both reading and writing–in science you generally want to tell as much as possible in as little words as possible. I very much believe having a degree in science has helped me greatly in that department–I tell what is necessary to tell and omit all else.
As for my experience with writing, I did some translations (English is not my native language–which I believe is actually my strength and not a weakness) from or to English, wrote some articles, essays, and stories, but up until joining the Steem platform none of the latter saw the light of day. I wrote for myself and myself only–I enjoyed being the many characters in my imagination. It wasn’t until I joined the Steem blockchain that I decided I really wanted to pursue writing and have invested more of my time in it.
So to answer your question with some raw data (because, you know, I’m a scientist): I’ve been actively writing for a little over a year now (which means writing at least 500 words every day) and have since published over 60 stories on the steem blockchain (some longer, some shorter) with plenty more ready to be published, and also plenty of them flushed down the drain.
As many of you who have known me for a while know, I also have a novel in the works that’s about 45-50k words in length at the moment and a non-fiction book that only needs the cover and its inside graphics done before publishing. It’s going to be psychology based and will read like a manual. If @goldendawne allows me to throw some candy your way, I can tell you it’s titled “Do I really need another diet?” and will talk about an individual’s relationship with food, just as much as it will talk about life itself. It’s basically a manual to teach about life by using food and your relationship with it as an example.
Oh, and, I’m a chemist by profession, in case you were wondering.
And finally... just tell your fellow Qurites are little more about yourself.
These questions are always the worst! I get the same stage fright as I would on a date!
What do I say? What do you want to know? Will I tell too little? Too much? Does this really interest you? Am I boring? You know where I’m going with this.
Regardless! I’ll start with my job and continue from there, see where it gets me.
I currently work as a chemist at an Institute for the protection of national heritage where I work with various works of art–we’re mostly interested in the materials the artists used and how to best clean the art of dust (and possible retouches) without harming the original. I’ve worked with paintings, Samurai armor, statues, gilded frames, … you name it. I believe this also has an impact on my writing.
My hobbies besides writing (which takes care of my mind) include taking care of my body by going to the gym or out in nature, reading scientific articles about health and fitness and cooking–baking, to be exact. All that combined leaves little time for anything else. Even sleep, to be quite honest. In the past half a year I believe I’ve averaged about 3 to 4 hours of sleep a day–there’s just so much to do!
Oh, and, I mentioned before that English isn’t my native language and that I see it as a strength, not a weakness. I’ll elaborate.
I believe too many writers use far too many words that the general public doesn’t understand–not even the native speakers.
I want to get one thing clear. Every word the reader doesn’t understand and has to check in the dictionary breaks the flow of his reading. It breaks the enchantment you have put on them.
Some might disagree but I believe that the reader should be able to read your work in one go without being interrupted (too often) with your very writing.
For me, it’s easy. I don’t know that many words, and so the risk of using a word most readers won’t know is greatly diminished. As they say: less is more.
If you can write a story using the simplest of words that everyone can understand and at the same time be able to convey it the exact way you envisioned it, I believe you’ve won the writing game.
Before we say goodbye, I would very much like to thank you, @goldendawne, and everyone else at the @qurator, especially @scrooger and @ewkaw (who also helped inspire some of my stories). Thank you very much for being there for me and giving me the much needed support when I needed it most! You guys are the best!
We are all here to support each other and if you like and appreciate the hard work @davidkain put into his book go show him some support. Upvote and resteem or even buy his book, it is only a few SBD and well worth the read! If you know someone who is a Qurite and deserves to be the Talk Of The Town, send me a message on Discord (@goldendawne#7044 ) and let me know! ALL recommendations will be look into
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