Q: What tools do you write with?
A: My favorite tools are questions. What if? How might that happen? What could possibly go wrong? I usually answer these questions while drinking a good cup of coffee and scratching on a piece of paper with a pencil. Sometimes this produces elaborate doodles instead of writing, but it’s a fun way to start.
Once I have an outline or at least a sketch of what I want to write about, I move on to a keyboard. The keyboard is a very important tool for me because a) I can type faster than I can write, and b) my pencil doesn’t have spellcheck. But the most important tool I have in my writer’s arsenal is a long walk. When my plot is twisting in the wrong way and my dialogue is growing sleepy, there is nothing like a long walk to give me perspective and wake up those inner voices. Plus, the dog loves it. Like Douglas Adams’ character, Dirk Gently, who claims he rarely ends up where he was intending to go, but often ends up somewhere that he needed to be, I think sometimes you can set out intending to write the next best thing in short fiction but end up making the dog happy and that is okay.
Kato Thompson’s story “How to Survive a Fish Attack” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 19 February 2016. Subscribe to our e-mail updates so you’ll know when new stories go live.