The Official Website of Sherry Altman

Sherry Altman

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  • Why is Once We Were so short?
          Technically speaking, Once We Were is a novella. Those, by nature, are shorter than novels. It was slightly longer before it was edited (*ahem*pruned*ahem*) but not by much.


  • How long did it take you to write Once We Were?
          The novella Once We Were was written in less than a week during a particularly manic writing session. The idea came to me in an instant, fully fleshed out and needing little alteration (which is rare).


  • Is Once We Were part of a series?
          In a manner of speaking, yes. While it works as a stand-alone story, Once We Were features a character who will appear later in other novels within the same universe.


  • What is your writing/editing process?
          Everything I write is handwritten the old-fashioned way first. I know that sounds crazy, but I like to be able to "touch" what I write. Pencil in hand, I begin by developing my characters. Since I like to write character-driven pieces it's imperative that the characters are developed first. What do they look like? What are their likes and dislikes? Do they have any distinct mannerisms? What is their endgame? 
          Once I have outlines of all or most of the characters I construct an outline of the plot. Usually I begin with the scene most vivid in my mind. For example, let's say the most vivid scene in my mind is a young girl standing in shaft of moonlight in a glade within a dark forest. I would then begin to ask questions about the scene. Why is she there? When and how did she get there? What does she want? And so on and so forth.
           After I have a general outline of the story broken down into chapters I begin the process of filling in that outline. I usually start with dialogue because that's what I have the most trouble with. Then I add in the actions (he said, she asked, et cetera) followed by the scenery, purple prose, and "fluff."
          When all of that is done, I input it into Pages. From there I print out a copy, and, using an ultra fine 5mm pen, begin the editing process. I usually comb through a manuscript twice before I make the necessary changes in Pages. Following that I'll print off another copy and have someone else take a look at it for errors before sending it off. Invariably errors do slip through the cracks, but my goal is to eliminate as many of them as possible before the public reads what I've written. 
          That's my personal process in a nutshell ^_^