David Quiles Guzman lives in New York City with his wife and three children. His articles and opinion pieces have appeared in New Youth Connections, West Side Spirit, Inner City Press, and El Dario/ La Prensa. He’s currently working on a novel.
1. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
I’m sure you’ve heard this before- keep reading writers that inspire you, keep writing, and never stop.
2. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
K.M Weiland wrote a fantastic book on plotting titled Outlining Your Novel. The book gives you the freedon to decide how detailed you want the outline to be.
3. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
I read just about every genre. I’ve simply love Eduardo Vega Yunque, Mark Twain, Rudolfo Anaya, and Toni Morrison. I love the way John Irving writes the same novel over and over and still makes it captivating. And yet you will also find serialized novels like Star Trek and other series.
4. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
Turn off the television, turn off the music on your commute to work, commit to putting your phone on airplane mode for hours at a time.
5. Are you an outliner or discovery writer? Or somewhere in between?
I was a fantastic discovery writer. It amazed me how I could keep all that info in my head. Then I graduated and started a family and I spent many years frustrated. Outlining gave me a second life. It’s not cheating. If anything, it’s liberating because you know where you’re going and can work on other elements of the story on the first draft.
6. How do you deal with rejections?
I have other journals lined up so if a story is rejected, I’m excited to send it right out again.
7. In your opinion, how important is a writing degree or MFA when it comes to achieving success in writing fiction?
There is a place for MFA programs but I think that they help create this environment where everything sounds the same. I wish publishers took risks.
8. Do you participate in any online or in-person critique or writing groups?
I was a member of a group that lasted 3-4 years and just finished a 6 week workshop. Many of the members of my group published recently. With the right people writing groups can be very helpful. However, unless you’re in the next incarnation of Inklings, I suggest you move on once there’s no more personal growth.
9. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I am outlining three novels and hope to be well into the first draft of one of them by year’s end.
10. What book(s) are you reading right now?
Right now I’m reading Soldier in the Mist by Gene Wolfe. It’s about a Roman solider with a brain injury that causes him short term memory failure. Every time he wakes, he needs to read a scroll that explains his plight.