- Who are you?
Mark Taylor, author of the macabre.
- What type of stuff do you write?
Um…the macabre. I jest. I started my writing career in short stories, having many published over the years. Eventually the work got longer, and now I boast novels out with a couple of different publishing houses and some more self-published work. Mostly it’s horror, a little fantasy, and some science fiction for good measure.
- What do you want to pimp right now?
Small Cuts to the Psyche. It’s a collection of some of my previously published materials as well as a few unpublished surprises. It’s chock full of the dark brooding horror that anyone that knows me expects to find.
The special edition is available on Lulu in paperback: http://tiny.cc/1wfgsx
- What is your favorite book?
Nope. I can’t answer that. But I’ll name an author. Richard Laymon. The man was a genius. His twisted work inspired me when I started writing, and still does today. I’ll admit though, Nicholas Grabowski reminds me of him.
- What other hats do you wear besides the writer hat?
I’ve proofed many novels and novellas and formatted more books than I can count. I’ve also done a good number of covers for other authors.
- What link can we find you at? (One or two please; don’t go overboard here!)
My website: www.authormarktaylor.com
And of course Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Mark.Taylor.Author
The hardest lesson I’ve learned as a writer? Well, the mistakes keep coming, so all the while the lessons do too, I guess all is going right.
At the moment? It keeps rearing its ugly head with me, and many others too, I expect. It’s the old plotting vs pantsing. I’m a pantser. Have been since the day I sat at the keyboard. Working with tales of less than say, ten thousand words, it’s fine. I have no qualms about being a pantser with novella’s or shorts.
But I took my pantsing with me when I started writing novels. I thought I had learned my lesson after two novels, where my own blood was shed banging away at the keyboard in the wee hours trying to make head or tail of what I had written.
I decided on the vague outline of my third novel, and then started to plot. It was hard. Harder than I had imagined. But I did what I thought was going to work. I mean, who researches how to plot a story, right?
I have never been so wrong.
I plotted vaguely. Too vaguely, I know now. It sprawled, out of control. I had plot points bouncing around all over the place. I expected a pulp novel, sixty to seventy thousand words, maybe, and following my “plot” I hit nearly fifty thousand still in the first act. And there were new plots being raised.
So I did some research. I’m still working on the third, so I don’t know if what my research told me is right or not, but I learned that a plot should be detailed. Pretty much every plot point covered. And stick to it. One piece I read suggested the plot outline be roughly ten percent of the length of the finished work. So my plot should have been six thousand words.
I think it was about six hundred.