E. H. James is the writer of novels, short stories, and poetry in the science-fiction, horror, thriller, and fantasy genres. This author has recently produced the haunting story of Laura published by Thalia in January, and the twisted tale that takes place in The Visitor’s Room from Urania in March, both imprints of Musa Publishing. Be sure to check out E.H James’s blog here, as well as Facebook and Twitter.
I’ve always been fascinated by creepy stories, or the unexplained. I remember at thirteen immersing myself into the first of many books that discussed unexplained phenomena. Evidence of technology that is thousands of years old, yet it cannot be replicated today, and yet there it is. Where did it come from? Who created it? Where did they go?
I guess that has something to do with my fascination with the paranormal, and my subsequent study and research in the field for a number of years. And that most likely led to my love of Stephen King’s books, as they delve into the paranormal.
Every time I write a short story it is always about ghosts, or monsters, or paranormal phenomena. That has now extended into sci-fi, horror, fantasy, and thriller novels. I have all these ideas that I can’t wait to write about, but now I want to focus on novel length stories. That doesn’t mean I will stop writing short stories. I still have lots of ideas I would like to write about that would be perfect for a short story.
As to where these ideas come from, that is something I can’t really explain. On rare occasions I have dreamt something I thought would work nicely for a novel, but that is extremely rare. The ideas literally form as if from nothing, out of thin air. Well, that is how it seems to me; obviously there is something more going on, but as to what that is I cannot say. I have often joked about there being an invisible, inspirational being whispering in my ear, because that is what is seems like, as the ideas start to literally flow forth out of nowhere.
But once an idea takes hold I love the process. It may be the simplest of ideas and from there it grows. I will sit down and draft a rough outline of what I want the story to be about, and where I want it to go, and what I want to happen with my characters. Once I’ve done that, I start in on my story. I formulate the chapters as I go along, deciding what I will have happen in any given chapter just before I write it. Again, it will be a very simple outline in my head and as I start writing it, it very quickly becomes as complex, or complicated, as I need it to be.
Sometimes, as I am in the middle of writing a novel, an idea will occur to me that will make it more interesting or more complicated, but in a good way. It adds to the story in a way that will only enrich the overall experience for the reader.
As to how I write it, I don’t always do it in chronological order. That would be logical and should really be the best way as the story starts to build on itself, the later developments coming out of the earlier ones. But there will be times when a specific scene, or chapter, will come to me and be so clear that I will immediately jump to that part of the story and write it first. I then fill in the story around it.
I guess what I am saying is that, for me, there is no one specific way to write a novel. Whatever works for me in the moment is what I will use to my advantage, and that it gets me to the end result -a finished novel- is all that matters. There is no one way to write a novel. Don’t confine or restrict yourself to someone else’s concept of how it should be done. If you need to approach it from a different perspective, something that works for you, then do it.
~ E.H. James