I am happy to share a guest post by author P.D. Alleva, who shares...
ELF: What is your writing process?
PDA: Writing is a process the same and yet different for every writer. We write, that’s what’s the same but we’ve all got our own little quirks with how we develop ideas and characters and ultimately get into the mood to write. Some take our time, others belt out the story in a rush of creative prowess. Naturally, the story always begins with an idea, the thought that begins the process to complete a story that satisfies our creative itch with the hope that we can drive into the reader’s mind the entertainment we writers wish to project onto the reader. The idea can come from anywhere really. An observation or something we overhear, an emotion or personal experience, or a book or movie that had a profound impact. Personally, once the idea is brought to light I like for the story to manifest, this takes time, and more than likely I’m engaged in writing another novel, but I’ll open up a blank word document, type in a potential title, usually something to do with a song or the concept that relates to the story and write a few notes on the plot, character names and history and what the issue or concern will be.
During this time of manifesting the story, long walks help, adding any ideas and little nuances to the word document as they arrive. These notes serve as a kind of outline for the story, although not a true outline like one that’s used for a high school English assignment. When the book or project I’ve been working on is complete I always wait about a week to begin a new one. Being a multi-genre author I need to switch up the mojo to transition between the different genres. The book that I just published, Presenting the Marriage of Kelli Anne & Gerri Denemer is a dark love story with an inspirational message, compared to book three in the series, The Rose, a scifi dystopian novel. As I’m sure you can understand transitioning between the two takes a different mindset to drive the story. Sometimes I’ll write poems or a short story in between novels to help facilitate the transition, but once I’ve gotten into the right frame of mind I delve into the novel.
The process has now begun, and music drives the mood. I always write in the morning, usually waking up between four thirty and five am. Drink a few cups of coffee with headphones on to create what I call a capsule of creativity. Less distraction the better. During this time I’ll open the word doc, read over what was written yesterday, then let it sit while returning to the music, developing the next step in the story. It’s important to note here that the story takes on a life of its own, quite often the plot and character development along with any plot twists change dramatically when the actual writing is happening. If necessary I’ll Google certain details the story requires to lend plausibility, like the correct horsepower for a particular car or what parts are called to a stealth fighter. Also, if I’m looking to give a character the appropriate name I’ll look up names online until I find the perfect name that reflects the character. Usually this process is used for supporting characters; I’ve always found the main characters names come naturally.
I write for a few hours each day, sometimes more but always at least two to three hours. Oddly, I can spend a few hours just on a few pages, especially if it’s a driving force behind the plot, rewriting if necessary or adding little tid bits that’ll make sense to the larger plot later on in the story.
The book is completed within a few months, after which, I’ve always experienced a bit of satisfaction, take a few days off sometimes more, close to a week and then delve back in from the beginning strengthening by identifying and changing up any discrepancies or “holes” the story may have. Sometimes what we write in the beginning was changed mid way through or towards the end, so tidying these inconsistencies is the purpose behind the first read through, afterwards the word doc is sent for editing. Now that’s a whole process in and of itself, talk about having to switch hats and disconnect from the story, quite a difficult task but considered the most important. When your writing with such strong emotion, cutting it to the bone is painful although highly necessary. Editing is where the architecture behind the story comes from. The first process is poetry; the second is architecturally designed prose.
My experience is that I’m crossing t’s and dotting i’s up until the moment just before publication, because once its out there, that baby is on its own in the world.
GENRE: Dark Fiction
Twisted Tales of Deceit is the first installment in the Beyond the Chamber Door series. Featuring three tales (The Calculated Desolation of Hope, Somnium, & Knickerbocker) chronicling an evil influence on the human psyche, tipping our hands into the engagement of what is most horrifying; our dastardly, human deeds steeped in self-destruction, desperation and the loss of dreams. Metaphorical warnings have been constructed inside these pages to reflect the everyday signs the universe provides under the guise of reflective light that return to mirror how evil tempts our hand so to not fulfill the dreams of the soul. Our doubts, our sadness, our indecisions rooted in fear, are toiled with by the presence of imps bent on hatred and in need of our nightmares to survive. Here, the human spirit is dripped like honey, tasteful to the dark corridors of human malevolence and taken advantage by the corrupt and seamlessly endless parade other worldly dimensions have on what should be our earthly utopia, creating rage in the cosmic hedonism of jealousy.
He remembered the wolf, roaming in the room. Saw the gamer and the boy he had saved with their throats cut out as the wolf fed on them. Their black eyeballs staring at William.
Remembered how the bodies were taken from the room. Remembered how he screamed but had no strength to do anything about it.
And how Katarina appeared again, another needle in hand. Remembered how he wanted it now, to help him forget. She shot him up and his world became smaller, the walls closing in to squeeze all that he knew in between the four walls of that tiny room, now no bigger than the bed he lay on.
He remembered how the world disappeared, melted away like ice.
Remembered how the darkness invited itself into his space, and how the world had gone mad.
“What the fu…” he grumbled, collapsing to the floor. His heart fluttered, and his skin flushed pale white and red. He leaned against the wall, watching the final dissipation of daylight outside the window. And the room grew dark with a sliver of moonlight that broke through the window as his memories faded and an unnerving hunger cried out from his veins. A tiny voice in his head.
“More,” it called. “Please, more.”
His body felt pain, pain like he’d never felt before. His mind felt confusion, he couldn’t put a thought together. His eyes turned wet with tears and he started to wail. He wailed until his voice gave out.
And then the footsteps. Loud, clunking footsteps against the wood floor. The massive image half hidden in the darkness, half illuminated by the moonlight, seemed to drift toward him with a mindful caution only to disappear just before reaching him. His vision wavered as the hunger grew.
In front of him, nose to nose, Mephisto shined his yellow eyes on him. And Mephisto grinned, scooping him in his arms like a baby and delivering him to the bed.
“Rest,” Mephisto said, pausing as he looked on William who saw the death of stars gleaming in Mephisto’s eyes.
“And welcome…to oblivion.”
His grin was sinister, daring and satisfied.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
P.D. Alleva is an author, psychotherapist and hypnotherapist specializing in trauma, addiction and mental health. He is the author of several books, including fiction novels, Indifference and A Billion Tiny Moments In Time…, Seriously Twisted; These Gods of Darkness (Poetry), Let Your Soul Evolve (1st and 2nd ed), and Spiritual Growth Therapy: Philosophy, Practices and Mindfulness Workbook (non-fiction). He has developed behavioral protocols for addiction and mental health and teaches mindfulness, Buddhist meditations and manifestation techniques to his patients as a means and alternative to using pharmaceuticals. Go to spiritualgrowththerapy.com to learn more. Mr. Alleva offers a special discount on his video tutorials for his readers, so please use Promo Code 7474 for a special 90% discount. He is currently in private practice with his wife, Lisa. He lives with his wife and children in Boca Raton, Florida.
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