Q: Do you generally start with mood, title, character, concept, …?

A: I start my writing process with concept; a myth that fascinates me, a song or phrase that gets stuck in my head, or the discovery of a new mythological monster. However, once I introduce the characters, they take control of the concept. Sometimes they let me write the story I set out to write, and sometimes they take the story to unexpected conclusions. I usually don’t know what lesson I’m going to learn, if the story will be funny or scary, or whether the ending will be happy or sad, until my characters make those decisions for themselves. For example, I started “Emeralds or Amethysts” sure that my princess would not open her eyes, but Lucy ended up being much braver than me.


Alexandra Grunberg’s story “Emeralds or Amethysts” was published on Friday, 29 December 2017.
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