Question time: Ask me anything

A couple of times a year I open the blog to readers’ questions. I recently did a Q&A with students in the Creative Studies class at my high school, Dos Pueblos High in Goleta, California. The kids asked wanted to know how to fill plot holes, how to create interesting characters, and how to get past writers’ block. It was great fun talking to such engaged students.

So it’s your turn now. What do you want to know?

7 responses to “Question time: Ask me anything

  1. My question is somewhat unrelated to the craft of creative writing, but you have used music and musical artists to add to your characters’ depth and definition. What was the best live musical show/concert you ever attended and what made it so special?

  2. Kind of silly but…what’s the one question you wish writers would ask that they haven’t yet?

  3. Could be a difficult one – what’s the line between self-indulgence and ‘experimental’ when writing? How do you encourage avant-garde/weird stuff in a creative writing course or do you?

  4. Do you ever worry you might give criminals ideas?

  5. Do you commence a book wlth a complete outllne before wrltlng, or begln and then work toward the arcs and denouement?

  6. From Christa via Goodreads:

    Hi Meg, thanks for the Q&A blog. My question is this: Do you engage in a complete rewrite process, and if so, how much changes between your first and second drafts, or do you edit as you go along?

  7. These are all great questions.

    I have a friend (yes, this is true, this is not me) and he has a really interesting non-fiction story to tell about life in a certain field of work. I have encouraged him to write about it, but he is so reluctant as he is embarrassed about his grammar, punctuation, spelling — he won’t do it.

    How does someone with no contact at all with anything or anyone in the publishing field, how would he find a ghostwriter, or a really good, reliable editor? Could he approach an agent with the idea, and just honestly lay out his weaknesses and see if an agent would be interested and then set him up with someone?

    The publishing world seems so snooty. So many really good stories out there in people (especially the elderly) who grew up in a time when some had to work a farm instead of getting an education, and we are missing out on history by insisting every comma be in the right place, and spacing be just so, and and and….

    Any ideas I could pass onto him?

    Thank you

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