Monday, June 30, 2014

My Writing Style

Donna Lagone is a fellow member of SinC's Upstate chapter, the Mavens of Mayhem. She's a Displaced Brooklynite like myself who lives with her husband and daughter in the Stockade District of Schenectady. She was for years a nurse at the Schenectady County Jail, as she was in Iraq during the War. REFLECTIONS, her first novel, got great reviews, so she's taken it on a world-wide Book Tour.

Tomorrow, by the way, is her birthday.

Robert Knightly

Every writer approaches his or her computer, tablet, typewriter, or yellow legal pad in a uniquely different manner. I have always been interested in how a writer writes.

The idea for the novel Reflection to be truthful came from a writing prompt placed on a table at the creative writing workshop I was attending by our instructor. There stood an assortment of photos, theatre tickets, shoes, a silver hand mirror, along with a large ornate hair comb. Seeing the hand mirror, I was captivated, the seeds were planted. Then again having an idea for a story is only the beginning of the journey.

Time, place, and characters, get to know them the easiest way for me is by creating a storyboard advice given by a dear colleague, I make lists;

Characters: I do a complete personality study not only for my main characters but also secondary as well. Appropriate names that fit into the time and place of the story, you do not want to name your protagonist Tippy if she was born in Mexico in the year 1881. What are their likes, dislikes, hair color, eye color, types of clothing, foods, careers, important times in your characters’ lives. I also do a physiological study (state of mind, reactions in certain situations, introverted, short tempered, or weak willed etc.)

Time: A timeline is very important, dates of birth, marriages, deaths and in addition what historic events were occurring during that era. Day to day occurrences especially in a murder mystery are extremely important, even hour to hour as the murder stalks his victim. Reflection, takes place from the year 1915 through to 1999 almost a century so the timeline line had to be spot on.

Place: Where is the story-taking place, real time in your neighborhood, or Mexico in the year 1915. It matters not where you place story, what matters is you the writer becomes at home with, the country, neighborhood or planet for that matter your story is set in. I was fortunate to live in Mexico but not during the time of my story. I had to re-familiarize myself with the culture, travel, religion, and Mexican family life a century ago.

Research: Research, research, research if your information is flawed you will lose credibility with your reader and do not think you may creak by unseen. Some reader will know if your facts are correct no matter how obscure the topic. Research is fun still it must not become your focus, it is the means to an end, hopefully. This information is tacked on the storyboard and not all material is used in the story. It is there for my thought process only.

Now is the time to put pen to parchment and write.

I puke write, now I know that is not a lady like term yet that is what I do. I write whatever I have planned for the day if it is two or four chapters I write them. Ideas and creativity, conversation with characters and yes we chat, mostly they are telling me how to write their story, I find let lost in the mechanics of editing. I am disciplined and write up to six hours a day with Wednesday and Sunday off for good behavior. After puking for six hours the next day I go back with a fresh eye and edit, still trying to keep at bay the opinions of my characters. Editing and revisions are ongoing and good example of that is; I thought I knew the ending of my novel until it came time to write it. I woke up in the middle of the night and said no it cannot end that way, I tend to get my ideas at odd times and places more than I like to confess. I knew the ending now and went down to my office at three o’clock in the morning to write it. The next day I realized the new ending had been alluded to throughout the whole story without my knowledge on the other hand my protagonist obviously knew cheeky devil.

I am comfortable with my style of writing, it fits my chaotic life yet I am always open to change and finding new ways of putting pen to parchment and weaving an intriguing tale.

Donna Lagone

“Fast Talking Woman”

I’m a fast talking woman,
Tough, Strong,
Hey Mom, Hey Hon,
Cut to the chase.
A healer to the wounded and broken,
Fighter, counselor to the forgotten,
It’s OK, need a place to stay?
I am a fast talking woman.
 Perfect, flawed, young, old,
“Woman with Yellow Hair”
 Spirit from long past, a Crone,
A traveler who loves a cheerful hearth,
Come on let’s go, time is on loan,
I’m a fast talking woman,
With a heart that flies
And tears in her eyes.


  1. Do I get the impression this lady would not bull shit moi???? T.Straw in Fasttalking Manhattan

  2. Dazzling, bubbly, no nonsense woman with a puke oriented writing habit, sounds like an interesting writer.