Tag Archives: Passion

Guest Post: Sophie Barnes

Hi friends! I hope you consider me your friend. I think of you all as friends. For the obvious reasons, but also because it’s so plain you’re all so much nicer than I am. And who doesn’t want to be friends with nice people? Someone who is stupid, that’s who. And I’m not stupid. Or at least not that stupid. 

All stupidity (or lack thereof!) aside … we’ve got a guest with us today! A guest that showed up! Gold star to her! Who is this wonderful gold star achiever, you might ask, if you didn’t see the title of the post? Sophie Barnes, that’s who!  

A quick look at how I write:

Stories come to me little by little – they’re a gradual process that takes shape as my characters develop and start interacting with one another. When I first started writing, I did take a look at how other writers developed their plots and characters, hoping that I might stumble upon some words of wisdom, or better yet, a well kept secret to success =) As it turned out, they differed as much as their genres, leaving me more confused than ever. Some would make a very structured outline and then proceed to follow this outline step by step, leaving nothing to chance, while others would have a less concrete idea of what to expect, making up the story as they went along instead.

Because of how much easier and orderly it seems, I have tried making a detailed outline – repeatedly. This however, just doesn’t work for me. Sooner or later my characters will move off in an unexpected direction, they’ll have a conversation I wasn’t planning on, and just like that, the whole plot will veer off at a 90 degree angle. I love writing like this – it’s like reading a new book (I have some idea of where it’s heading, but I’m not entirely sure of what will happen along the way). Naturally, writing like this means that there are moments when I get stuck or write myself into a corner that I simply can’t get out of. In these instances, I either have to go back and take the plot in a different direction, or simply put the manuscript aside for a day and hope that a solution will come to me (it often does, right before I go to sleep in the evening, allowing me to get up the next day and write with renewed enthusiasm).

Other than this, my work schedule is a bit sporadic. My days are busy taking care of my two small children (three if I count my husband =)), I don’t have a quiet office that I can retreat to – my desk is at the kitchen counter, so I write on the go. Many people have stared at me in wonder, asking me how I managed to write a book, much less two or three (I’m now working on my fourth) when there are constant distractions all around me. The answer is simple really – lots of hard work, determination and sheer stubbornness =) I love writing, so it’s never been a chore, but rather something that I’m able to savor, whenever a spare momentallows it. Most of How Miss Rutherford Got Her Groove Back was written during my children’s
naptime or after they would go to bed in the evening (thus the reason why this book took me two years to complete), but that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t working on the book the rest of the time – I was always thinking about the plot. This saved me a tremendous amount of time, since I always had an idea or two ready to go when I finally sat down in front of the computer. The acknowledgement of having it published, with other books following in its wake, is an unbelievably wonderful feeling of accomplishment. A great man by the name of Walt Disney once said, “If you can dream it, you can do it,” so I did =)

Sophie wants to know what are you passionate about? And I want to know what is a “task” (or something generally considered one) that you love to do? Is there one? Why should you answer our questions? Well Ms. Barnes is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky commenter!