Showing posts from April, 2011

Outline this, Moliere!

 When I went up to Paris to study, I immediately joined an acting class. As a teen, I was reading lots of theater. Sartre, Anouilh, Ionesco… I had a thing for Moliere too. We studied him extensively in high school. They showed us this great movie about him. Writing, acting, boozing, loving and never ending parties. That was his life. And I thought… Goddamn!
Though, I soon realized theater was not for me. I was so shy, the first time our teacher put me on stage in front of a large group of students and asked me to embody the letter “O”, I rather turned into the letter “Aaaaaah!” Once, I remember, I had to play a romantic scene with a girl who was a professional actress. She was to tell me that she loved me and kiss me. It took me weeks to recover. And when I did, I quit the acting class.
I’m a book person. An apartment with a view, a laptop, plenty of snacks, lots of coffee and a cat called Claude, that’s all I ever need.
But my work with theater is not over. I still have to write outli…

Love, Dating, Romance and other things I should research more

There are two important things I’ve learned during my creative writing classes at university:
1. You should always write about what you know 2. Any story worth writing needs to be researched
There’s a problem there for me. I write romance and humorous science fiction. My daily job includes Alien invasions, spacegirls, and distant planets you access by walking through walls down here on earth.
See. Nothing I know anything about! Nothing I can research if I don’t want to end up browsing through tones of documents proving that Georges Bush Senior is some sort of lizard.
Which leave me with the other aspect of my writing: romance!
There’s something I like to research. Extensively!
There are a few essential conditions to researching romance.
1. You need to be single.
If you’re in a serious relationship or married, or committed to anyone in anyway, you will not make a good romance researcher. Romance doesn’t start after the first kiss, after the wedding, after you moved in together, or after you m…

9 rules I use to write YA fiction

1. I never choose my next story; instead I let the story choose me.

Why: because if it doesn’t choose me, I just walk around my apartment, eating snacks and thinking I should rather be a plumber!

2. I don’t start working on a story until I can summarize it in a single simple sentence

Why: to have a clear compass I can use anytime I get lost during writing and resume walking around, eating snacks and thinking plumbing would have been a very decent career indeed

3. I outline the story very precisely, and then I completely forget about the outline while writing

4. I let my characters act and speak freely; I never impose a line of dialogue or an action on them.

Why: because it’s incredible the stuff they come-up with when you let them improvise!

5. I stick to themes that were important to me when I was a teenager (romance, the on-going war against adults/parents, girls, rebellion against the machine, sex, the supernatural etc.)

6. I don’t write for a given audience or market. I write to im…