May 28, 2010

Friendly Friday - Nisa Swineford

Nisa Swineford

There are so many things to love about writing. The flow of creation, the intimacy with characters, the adventure of the plot, the heart-pounding romance, the mystery, the deep emotional current, the comfort of knowing that you'll never have to go through as much as you put your main characters though... (And for me, adverbs and adjectives. Haha!) It's all very exhilarating. There's something so appealing, satisfying even, about being able to jump into someone else's skin, walk in their shoes, see through their eyes.

The question of why you write has been asked a hundred times over I would guess, but I can't help but wonder what each writer's favorite part might be. Perhaps I wonder because of my favorite aspect. The characters. I love being able to feel another person's emotion and understand what they're going through, but if I didn't do that with those people around me who are real, I wouldn't be able to translate those traits and emotions into a fictional character.

Without a basic knowledge of the nature of humanity, our stories would be flat and lifeless. So here is a list of some of my favorite activates that tend to reveal a little of our secret souls.

1. People watching - Head to a restaurant or a park, an airport or museum, find a comfortable seat and start watching. It's so much fun! Just don't stare. ;)

2. Playing games - My mom always used to tell me to play a few board games with the men I dated before I chose to get serious with anyone. "How a person plays a game can be very telling," she would say. She was right. Developing characters who don't play well with others is definitely part of the adventure.

3. Deep discussions with all kinds of people - This one comes with a warning of course. You have to be prepared to not take offense at anyone whose views differ from yours, but getting to know people on the opposite side of the opinion spectrum is not only fascinating, but it also increases our own understanding and empathy for all people.

As the old adage goes, "It takes all kinds". When we vary people's personalities in our novels, the book will feel more authentic and round, which in turn will make it more pleasing to more readers.

What is your favorite part of writing?

Thanks, Christine, for having me!

Nisa Swineford is an aspiring author in the fantasy genre and mother of two. Although currently on a summer break from blogging, she maintains a blog at

Thanks for being my guest today Nisa. I've really enjoyed getting to know you better.

My guest next week will be Joshua Perkey, Senior Editor of Ensign Magazine. You won't want to miss this one.


  1. Thank you for the opportunity, Christine. It was a fun post to write up. You're wonderful!

  2. fabulous post Nisa! here i was thinking i was just crazy all this time.... LOL

  3. Great Post Nisa. I love to write for a lot of reasons - but mostly I love exploring aspects of humanity I may not otherwise really get to experience at that depth - if that makes sense...

  4. Playing games with people - I haven't looked at the experience from that angle. Great advice from Nisa's mom.
    I love #3 and wish we'd connect with others more often like that.
    Happy Friday!

  5. Great advice :) I also love people watching, and it's so interesting to try and come up with stories for complete strangers.

  6. Hi C.K and Nisa! Great post!
    And nice to meet you,

  7. Nice post, Nisa! Thanks for hosting her Christine. I think creating characters is one of my favorite things about writing. I love people watching too. And eavesdropping--unintentionally, of course.

  8. I love Nisa! And these are great strategies to get characters I'll have to try. So thanks!

  9. Aw! Thanks for the sweet comments everyone. And thanks again Christine for having me!

  10. Nice post! I enjoy writing becuase it allows me to spend hours fantasizing, LOL! I love getting into my own world and creating it just how I want it. On the flip side, sharing it with others and meeting other great writerly peeps enriches the experience even more.