Friday, February 17, 2012

Indie Insider - Marc Nash

What is the best way to create tension?

I like unreliable narrators, so that the reader is never quite sure whether they can trust the person guiding them through the story, which sets up an inherent tension between reader and character, but also establishes a relationship between the two so that the reader has a genuine stake in the character's fate. For me the authorial duty is why the lead character is unreliable, there has to be a good fictional reason, not just used as a device. In "Not In My Name" there is a very good reason for the lead character deliberately misleading both the other main character and the reader, as he is operating online and deliberately concealing his true identity as he looks to steal that of others

Do people judge a book by it’s cover? Who makes yours?

I think they certainly used to, but with thumbnails on AmazonKindle now I'm not so sure. I have a couple of designers I've never met in person who do mine, such is the wonderful interconnectivity of the modern world! Esther Harding and Craig Slade

What are the best ways to ‘show’ and not ‘tell’?

Through the use of metaphor, the suggestion of something in terms of something else. It provides a layer of distance. Having said that, often in my novels the main character addresses the reader directly, so that it's like a conversation, which inevitably makes it appear that I'm 'telling', but their language is quite poetic, so that it's also 'showing' at the same time

How many books do you produce a year? Are you meeting your goal?

It varies. I'm a momentum writer. I published 3 this year, and wrote another for NaNoWriMo. As to goals, I let my books take as long as they need to be written, so I'm not hard and fast about goals.

How many words do you produce a day? Do you have a daily quota to fill?

No. When I get an idea I let it seethe away in my unconscious for 6 months, maybe make some notes. When I'm ready to write, I go flat out, all day and much of the night until that first draft is written. So I can write several thousand words a day during that spell. When I do retire to bed for some sleep, my mind is usually still whirring with the book and I actually get loads more words as I'm lying there with my eyes shut!

What is your greatest challenge as an author?

There are so many. Developing a readership. Finding sufficient time to realise all the ideas and voices in my head demanding their liberation. Putting into practise my ideas on the form of the novel, for instance I want to write a non-linear novel and involve designers and typographers. In "Not In My Name" there is some non-linearity as the second section is written as online scrolling forum chats, so that you get the last post up on the page first and the narrative order is subverted

Do you use a professional editor, critique partners, or beta readers? Briefly describe your process.

I don't, simply because I haven't found the beta readers. My process is as stated above, once I have the main voice and the central metaphor, then I sit on the idea for 6 months or so letting it stew in my subconscious. When I'm ready to write it, I do it all at once. That first draft for me is totally about fun, it's like playing with clay. Then the hard work really happens with all the subsequent editing to knock it into readable shape. I don't have a set number of re-edits. I just know when it's ready

What is you favorite part of the whole process? (Besides receiving a check or 5 star review!)

I love the plasticity and play element of the whole first draft. The other thing I love is when you chat with readers on Twitter and they take you through their process of buying your book, while they're reading it and then having read it what they thought. That is just mind-blowing to me, to follow every part of their process as it happens

What are three web sites or blogs that you can recommend? is a great site for reading flash fiction from all round the world and of all genres and since the stories are tagged by genre you can sift through for your preferences. is a good peer review site for writers to display 7000 words of their work and get fellow writers to crit it. The forums are very good for advice on marketing, though they can also have heated debates on all things literary. is a site that displays exceptional writing, though has less social interaction than most writer sites. it reminds me of a library in its seriousness!

Is there anything else you would like to share?

The beauty of independent publishing is that you have no constraints, you can really experiment or offer up things that would never see the light of day in the commercial publishing world. I love that freedom to create

Amazon US
Amazon US
Website on "Not In My Name"

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