AMA: What aspects of writing do you find most exciting, especially going from one genre to another?
MCM: An exciting aspect of the writing life, to me, is the option of skating into a new genre. I used to think my twelve years as a newspaper columnist, my twelve nonfiction books, would create a smooth transition to fiction. Was I ever wrong.
AMA: How did you transition from nonfiction to fiction?
MCM: I started writing short stories 10 years ago. Not so distant in form from a compact and focused newspaper column, the short story also has a beginning, middle, and end. But that's where the similarities stop. Not knowing this, I outlined a couple of story ideas, turned on the creative imagination, and waited for miracles. But my characters were flat as if they'd emerged from badly written sitcoms. They moved, they faced conflict, but essentially the story had no meaning. There was more to learning this new genre than I expected.
For more information, visit Mary Carroll Moore and her insightful blog, How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book.
For one the most well-known writing challenges, also visit National Novel Writing Month One, voted one of Writer's Digest's 101 best writing websites.