Campaigner Spotlight – Michael Haynes


First off, sorry, no Six Sentence Sunday from me, if anybody cares. Maybe it has to do with the linky list going on hiatus last week, even though I went ahead and shared six sentences anyway – I remember thinking that I should schedule my six sentences yesterday, but I guess I never got around to it, and then remembered at 6:30 this morning, but the linky list had closed at midnight. So I’m doing my last spotlight of Campaign season instead!

And that means it’s time for Michael Haynes!

Do you have a WIP that you’re blocked on or conflicted about? If so, tell us a bit about it.
Yes, I rashly started on a novel about six weeks ago. This was motivated by a combination of thinking I had a cool idea and having written a bunch of short stories in a short span of time and feeling like they were tumbling all over themselves trying to get out to various markets for consideration. So, I said “Well, if I start on something long, I won’t be adding to the short story queue.” Which wasn’t necessarily a bad idea in and of itself. Right now the novel is stalled out somewhere around 18,000-20,000 words. This is not a catastrophe as it’s taught me some things which I think will be very useful in November when I’m working on my NaNoWriMo project. The main thing is that no matter how much I may “pants” or mostly-“pants” my short stories, I don’t feel comfortable trying to do that with a novel. I got to the point where I felt like I’d swum out too far to either turn back or reach the opposite shore. So, for my NaNo project, I’m going to have a solid outline by 10/31.

Do you believe in true love?
“True love” as in love at first sight? Not really. You can be infatuated with someone at first sight and could end up growing to love that person, and it could feel like love at first sight, I suppose. You could also win the lottery.

“True love” as in a perfect love where every moment with the other person is absolute bliss? Not really. Everyone has their own individual flaws, foibles, and quirks. Those are almost never going to perfectly mesh in a couple.

“True love” as in a relationship where the people involved are willing to stick with each other through thick and thin, and work to avoid being (too) annoyed by each others’ flaws, foibles, and quirks? Absolutely.

What’s the most unusual part of your writing process?
Process-wise, I’m not sure I do anything unusual. I sit at a computer and type. I try to avoid doing a whole lot of editing in my first pass through a story. Going back and tinkering with earlier parts of a story is a really good way for me to get frustrated with it and want to set it aside.

Probably the most “unusual” thing (and I doubt this is very rare) is that I’ve gone through enormous writing “Dead Zones” in my life where I’ll go years without writing anything at all and then go into a short burst of productivity. If I get anything out of blogging and tweeting and such I hope it’s a support network that helps me steer clear of those zones.

Thanks for reading my thoughts in this spotlight. If you’d like to read more of my thoughts, you can follow my blog, cleverly titled “Michael Haynes – A Writing Blog.”  I write a lot about the psychology of writing. I also have a biweekly series (“Dissecting the Short Story”) where I look at a published story and see what makes it tick. I’m also starting an interactive series where readers can propose prompts to me for a flashfiction. I’ll pick one, write the story, publish it on the blog, and give the person suggesting the prompt a $5 Amazon giftcard.

Good luck with Nanowrimo, Michael!

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3 Responses to Campaigner Spotlight – Michael Haynes

  1. Catherine Johnson says:

    Great interview Chris and Michael. I have the same thing trying to write an MG length novel after writing poetry and picture books. It is so hard. I stalled at 10,000 which luckily is perfect short story length but I would one day long to write an MG. Good luck with NaNo!

    Like

  2. This was an interesting post. I especially liked how Michael handled the question about true love.

    Like

  3. Thanks, Chris, for inviting me to be one of your Spotlight bloggers and thanks to you and Catherine for the NaNo good wishes. I wrote about 2400 words on my NaNo project today. A nice start.

    Thanks, Barbara for your comment, as well. It was an interesting question to answer! 🙂

    Like

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