Interview with Chris M. Arnone
What inspires you to write?
I find inspiration everywhere. Reading other books, watching TV, or just gazing out at nature can bring on inspiration. For my novel set in Charlottesville, my wife and I were commuting to work on the one-year anniversary of the riots there. The host was talking about scheduled protests in DC, but not in Charlottesville. I started thinking about the people who live there, who lived there before and after this horrible tragedy occurred, how they were a snapshot of our country’s woes. It became a story I had to write.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
I’ve recently starting plotting, like REALLY plotting. I’ve found it makes my writing go faster by doing the work ahead of time. But of course, I listen to my muse, so I’m willing to throw out all my plotting if I think of something better. My characters start as rough ideas, but really come into their own as I write them. This means I learn things about them that I have to go back and update in earlier chapters, but so be it.
What are your current/future projects?
In a complete departure from my Charlottesville book, I’ve been working on a new cyberpunk/transhumanism series. Think cyberpunk Catwoman in a story of Ursula K. LeGuin meets Jim Butcher. I’m also working on a book of poems about growing up intersex.
Do you have a routine you follow when writing?
Every. Single. Day. That’s the extent of my routine. Sometimes it’s in the morning, sometimes after dinner. I’m very deadline driven, so I will set myself deadlines, which turn into daily wordcounts or editing goals. It’s so important for every writer to find what routine works for them, and this is what works for me.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Leave her sooner. Don’t apply for those credit cards. Start writing sooner. Finish that degree.
And that one. But also, all those choices inevitably led me to where I am now, for which I am
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Write every day. Work on one large project at a time. Find the routines for writing and editing that work best for you, which means trying different methods like trying on pants. Finish your big projects. Seriously, just finish something before moving on to the next one.