Friday, May 27, 2016


TWO OF THE REASONS I'VE BEEN POSTING about writing schedules and hiatuses, is I wanted to see how my fellow writers are the same and different from me (do you need to take breaks after each book or do you keep on going?) and because I'll be sharing a panel with Gerald and Chadwick on Writing Trilogies - The Benefits and Challenges, at the When Words Collide convention, this August 12 - 14, in Calgary. I was hoping Karen Dudley, who I featured here, could also join us (unfortunately, she can't. Fingers crossed for next year, Karen). Ryan McFadden, nominated for an Aurora for his debut novel, Cursed: Black Swan will also be one of our panelists, and I'll be featuring him in a future post.


Chadwick's Thunder Road Trilogy (Thunder Road, Tombstone Blues, and Too Far Gone), is a great read - gritty, vivid, and real. Norse blood and thunder (with a little romance tossed in, for fun. :-) I've also had the pleasure of editing some of Chad's short stories for On Spec Magazine. After reading what he wrote below, the energy he puts into his writing makes me want to forget the whole writing thing and go for coffee. Chad, you're a writing machine. Kudos, my friend! We all want to be like you when we grow up. Here's what Chad has to say:

"I don’t mind celebrating the completion of a project: a glass of my victory bourbon after finishing a draft or turning in a final manuscript. But I don’t like to take very long, maybe a weekend away at the most until I’m back at the keyboard. I am very much a creature of momentum, and so I don’t stop writing when I’ve finished a project. If I stop for too long, it is really hard to find my stride again. I already have more books I want to write than I’m likely to have time to finish, so taking too much of a pause? No thanks. By the time I’ve reached “the end” I’m usually sick of the current project and ready to dive into drafting the next book. Sometimes I’ll do a quick NaNoWriMo “discovery draft” in between rounds of edits to be able to give the old book a breather and come at it fresh for revisions. If I’m not ready to start a whole new novel, I work on a short story.

To encourage that momentum, I always have multiple projects on the go. I’m usually brainstorming another novel alongside drafting the current one; whatever creative fancies don’t fit in with the plan have to go somewhere. When I’m not thinking of two books concurrently, I’ve got short stories, comic scripts, book reviews, blog posts or articles I want (or need) to write. I keep a list of everything I’ve started working on, everything I’m noodling with, and everything that needs doing on both the creative side and the business side of writing by my desk. If I feel I’m floundering on the main project (usually a novel, but whatever has the nearest deadline) this allows me to keep writing something to keep my momentum topped up.

When I started my writing career, I didn’t have much spare money to devote to it, and so book reviews were a necessity, I scrambled for enough of them to pay my way to one out of town conference a year or replace/repair an ailing computer. I felt it was necessary, but it was a disruption to my fiction momentum. A good disruption, I feel in the end, and a good lesson for the value of paid work and obligations versus passion projects. I’ve gotten used to switching gears, because I realized I had to. While I was waiting for edits to come in on my first novel, I didn’t want to start anything big, worried if I’d put it aside, I wouldn’t be able to pick it up again, but in the end, I spent most of the year surrounding the release of my first book doing nothing, when I could’ve been polishing up the draft on my second book, or drafting the third and final book in the trilogy.

The longest I take away from writing is when the book actually comes out, when I have to be more present: writing blogs, doing interviews, going on tour for readings and events. I’m training myself to work on the road. That skill isn’t where I’d like it to be (yet), but I do write on the plane and on the bus. I try to do a bit of work in the mornings before conventions get rolling. I don’t want to duck away to HAVE to do work, but I need for the work to be done, and so I do some every day.
There’s always the next book waiting to be written."

Thanks, Chad. Both your work and your work ethic are amazing.

Chadwick Ginther is the Prix Aurora Award nominated author of the Thunder Road Trilogy (Ravenstone Books). His short fiction has appeared recently in Tesseracts, The Exile Book of New Canadian Noir, and Grimdark Magazine. He lives and writes in Winnipeg, Canada, spinning sagas set in the wild spaces of Canada's western wilderness where surely monsters must exist.

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