Wayne Haroutunian is a U.S. novelist, poet and short story writer. His fiction has appeared in Black Petals Horror/Science Fiction Magazine, Sirens Call, Aphelion Science Fiction & Fantasy Magazine, Antipodean SF magazine (also narrated on a radio show), and he’s received an Honorable Mention for a sci-fi novelette in the acclaimed Writers of the Future Awards. Readers can find his ebooks and stories on Amazon, Smashwords and other major online retailers.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I started writing stories when I was six. I was in Grade One and found I loved it and it was a part of who I am. What got me started: I think it was just my love of stories. I loved reading, and this led to writing.
What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
Persist, don’t stop. Write every day. Read every day. And you learn how to do it by doing it.
How do you measure success when it comes to your writing?
By how much the readers enjoy the stories.
What tips do you have for finding time to write?
I don’t think there ever is time. You just have to make the time, whenever, however. Create it. I remember one time I was busy with my other job, busy with my family, and I was also taking a course at the same time. I told myself I’m gonna write every single day, even if it’s only a page or two. And I remember sitting in my truck on the course lunch break, eating the lunch I had brought with me, and I was getting out my two pages while I sat there in the truck eating my lunch.
Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?
Good question. I’ve done both. Short stories I don’t think I’ve outlined, I just wrote them. With a novel I wrote last year (to be published under a pseudonym), I did outline. And another novel I’m starting on soon, same thing, I’m outlining. With the longer stories (novels), the story comes to me in different pieces at different times, so I do need to capture those segments of the story when they come. A short story on the other hand can come all at once, so I don’t need to outline. I think do whatever works for that particular story.
How do you deal with rejections?
To be honest, when I get hit with a lot of them at once (like 5-10 all in the same week), it’s discouraging. But generally they don’t come all at once, and how I deal with them is I ignore it and keep submitting and keep writing. (Ignore the losses and make the wins firm.) I think the more you do anything, the better you get at it. Maybe to be happy and successful at anything, you have to be able to walk through fire and even get burned, and keep going.
Were you taught anything about creative writing in high school or college that just didn’t work for you?
I have to admit that everything I learned in high school and university, about writing, didn’t work for me. I’ve read very little about writing that has been of actual value. The information that I have found valuable has been from successful and prolific authors, such as Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Hugh Howey, L. Ron Hubbard. And even then I had to see what was true for me and what I could apply and use.
In your opinion, how important is a writing degree or MFA when it comes to achieving success in writing fiction?
Zero importance. I don’t ever hear about successful and prolific authors — the authors that the people love (as opposed to critics and professors) — having gotten a degree. Most of them probably didn’t even attend college or university. They just loved reading and writing, and the read and they wrote.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
“The Man Who Ended the World” by Jason Gurley, and “The Stand” by Stephen King (both amazing reads)
Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
I’m always open to being in touch with readers, and I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My blog is http://wayneharoutunian.blogspot.ca/p/stories-books.html, and I’m on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/wayneharoutunianauthor