Thoughts on Writing by R.P. Channing


Why book covers are so important

I think the importance of book covers depends on the author / genre. A great cover is fine, and does tend to push up sales if it’s designed correctly for the correct market, but ultimately what gets a book well known is its inner content. A more established author probably has less to worry about, especially if the book is part of a series and the series has a good following.

A lesser-known author has to pay particular care to the cover. He / she is known by nobody, and often the cover is the only thing that might get a potential reader interested.

Photos in the book

I used photos in this book because I was having fun. I got wrapped into the world of the story and I thought photos might make everything a little more real. Some of the characters have photos in there, some of these scenes have photos.  I’m not the first person to do this.

How to Make Your Characters Believable

Well, a character might be believable to one person, and unbelievable to another. I guess it comes down to personal experiences. If I were to write my own experiences as a teenager in a book, probably very few people would believe it. I think the trick is making the character believable to “as many people as possible.”

Finding Your Voice: Writing in First Person (or Third) etc.

I think this is determined more by the genre than the author’s style. I think an author should be able to write in any person and in any tense. Young Adult stories mostly follow first person these days (thanks, "The Hunger Games" and "Twilight".)

People expect certain things in a genre when they crack open the book. Trying to break those expectations right on the first page is not a good idea, especially when you’re new to the scene.

How to Write by the Seat of Your Pants: Outline or No?

I’ve done both. Although, no matter how much I outline, it all usually changes by the time my fingers hit the keyboard. I guess the first draft is technically “the outline” for me. I just can’t sit down and plot events and characters and everything before I’ve written the scene. It gives me a headache, and it takes the fun out of writing.

Usually I “get to know” the characters as I write about them.  Once the first draft is done, I then usually have a fair amount of fixing up to do.

How to Research Your Story Before Writing Your Book

It’s kind of like outlining for me. I start, and then I see where I end up. I will research halfway, toward the end, at the beginning, whenever I need to. The only I time I research before even starting the book is when I’m out of ideas completely. 

About the Author

R P Channing started writing three years ago, but never published anything even after churning out over a million words of fiction. "Thirst: Blood of my Blood" is the first book he dared to publish. When asked why, he said, “Because it’s the first thing I wrote that my wife actually enjoyed reading.” When not hammering away (most literally) at his keyboard, he can be found buried in a book, reading anything from romance to horror to young adult to non-fiction to comedy. If it has words in it, I’ll take it.