Writing Process with Casey Torres
Updated: May 1, 2019
Welcome writers and readers to this week's writing process interview. I have the ever-caffeinated Casey Torres in the interview chair today. Casey shares my love of horror movies and all things lurking in the shadows!
Who Are You?
I'm a lover of stories, film, art, and all things caffeinated. I don't always think the book is better than the film. Different mediums, different experiences. I'm a mother of four amazing girls, two of which I'm certain are doomed to become writers. I currently live in Las Vegas, Nevada. When I'm not writing in a random coffeehouse, you might find me downtown dabbling in street photography.
What are three things that you absolutely need in order to write?
Firstly, my mind needs to be in the right space in order for me to write productively. I need my space to be high energy, borderline chaotic. This is probably why I like to write in public spaces. If I'm at home, I'll put on a film with the volume turned up for background noise. It's usually something I've seen a million times, like Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Fellowship of the Ring, or one of the Harry Potter films.
Secondly, coffee. I'm not one of those people who can't wake up without coffee. Actually, I'm extremely high-energy in the morning, to the point where I actually annoy myself. I just like coffee…a lot.
Lastly, I usually pre-determine what I'm working on for the day and what my goals are, otherwise I'll jump around and get half as much done. I have shiny-object syndrome. I constantly get easily distracted by new ideas. Although, even if I have set goals and a set path, if the new idea is strong enough I'll go rogue anyhow. Sometimes you have to chase the shiny object to see what it's made out of—poke it with a stick to see if it moves.
Most writers have many ideas swimming around their heads competing for attention. How do you decide which idea is worth working on?
Usually, the ideas that come through more vividly than the others grab my attention. If there's an idea that I can't get out of my mind, even after jotting it down, then it gets attention. Sometimes it's just a word or a one-liner that repeats until I explore it. Oftentimes, it's a piece of dialogue and I have to sit there and say to myself (or out loud because I'm a bit of a crazy person) who said that? Who are they talking to? Does said person want to watch the world burn? That's usually how my characters are born.
When you decide on a writing project, how much do you plan upfront?
I usually see the ending before I know anything else about the story. I'll write the entire ending without any sort of outline and then I'll go back and create a loose outline for the rest of the story. When I'm actively writing, the story always goes in unexpected directions—new characters emerge and the plot changes from the outline considerably.
All writers experience writer’s block from time to time. What you do to get unstuck?
I don't try to force myself to sit down and write every day. I find that if I do this, it sucks the joy out of the process. Killing the joy is the quickest way to get stuck. I've found that when I don't force myself, I end up enjoying the process more, which leads to more productive writing sessions.
Tell me something about your writing process that is quirky and unique to you.
I do a lot of writing in my head. Sometimes I'll create a character or a situation in my head and chew on it for weeks, months, even years before I write one word. If I look distracted or my brow is furrowed, I'm probably writing. I have Resting Writer Face.
When are you most productive? When are you least productive?
I'm most productive when I have my life in balance. If I'm feeling good, physically and emotionally, the bills are paid, and the house is clean, then I'm good to go. If anything is out of balance, my productivity suffers.
It’s my birthday and you want to give me a book. Which book do you get me and why?
I'd give you a copy of Ocean at the End of the Laneby Neil Gaiman. It's my favorite book of all time and it's beautifully written, to say the least.
Bonus Question from Novyl: Do you like pineapple on your pizza? I dig the pineapple, but not with ham...and only if I can dip it in an obscene amount of ranch!
Now, the fun part: What is one question that you want me to ask the next interviewee, not knowing who it is?
If you could have any superpower, what would it be and why?
What are you working on and where can readers find you?
I'm currently working on a stand-alone dark fantasy/horror novel called Whispers of Winterbrook. You can read all about it and even take a look at some sample chapters on Inkshares where you can also comment and leave a review. If you're not familiar with Inkshares, it's a platform where the reader chooses which books make it to print by showing their support through follows, reads, interaction, and pre-orders.