I love collecting weird hobbies and experiences, and often joke that I’m a “method writer.”
It’s only partially a joke: I’ve been known to seek out adventures in the same flavor of what I’m writing. (See: this deep cut from my archives where I shot guns and learned about them six years ago for a novel I was writing. Baby Amy was — and still is — a die hard method writer.)
When I was writing a story about my hometown, I made the trek back to Middle of Nowhere, Arizona, and made a point of meeting up with as many old acquaintances as possible. I visited gun ranges to learn about what my characters would know about owning and firing a gun, I hung out with tumbleweeds in the desert and watched the sunset. (The sun setting in the desert is probably the only beauty I’ll admit exists in the wasteland that can be endless stretches of brush and plants that want to fight you. Jumping cacti, anyone?)
The stories I’m working on now are being continually reshaped by the experience I’m seeking out — and vice-versa. I make an effort to be a method writer, and it pays off.
I truly believe the more wildly we wander, the better our words become.
So here’s how I approach “method” writing. [Read more…]