Just Listen with Philip Hauser
Philip is a really great dude. I've had a chance to get to know him over the last few months from the amazing #RedditWriters phenomenon. You'll be able to see some of his work in the upcoming anthology, TL;DR along with a lot of other talented writers from the Reddit community.
I'm a 29-year-old writer from Austin, Texas. I've been writing and telling stories for most of my life, but it has only been within the last two years that I've decided to take this "hobby" of mine seriously. Besides writing within the "punk" sub-genres of fiction, I've also dabbled in screenwriting, youtube vlogging, and flash fiction. Currently, I'm writing a novel that can best be described as an urban fantasy espionage thriller, while also working on a chapter-by-chapter crime serial that I release through my website on a monthly basis.
What inspires you and/or why do you write?
I've always been drawn to the odd or the obscure. My early life was a juxtaposition of a tightly controlled, disciplined, but often constrained lifestyle with periods of chaotic upheaval. This way of living led me to become interested in ways of thinking and living that were outside of my own experiences. I also like to think of my writing as a form of therapy that helps me grapple with emotional or existential issues that I might be having at the time.
Describe your process as best you can:
Usually, the idea starts as either a dream, a question, or an emotion. From there a character is created and as I go along I become more informed of that character and their world. I almost never use an outline, but instead, try to write the whole story or novel out regardless of how coherent it is. Sometimes the prose will be broken up with bullet points or short stories involving the characters that are separate from the main narrative (things that I may never use, but help cure writer's block and flash out the world more). Once I hit a certain word count, I'll print it, edit it by hand, and do a rewrite. Typically, somewhere between the second or third draft, I have something way more presentable.
What is your favorite tool or resource? (Like Scrivener, Grammarly, a blog, etc?)
I use an offline version of Apache Open Office. In fact, when I'm writing, I prefer to use a laptop that has no apps and no online access while I write because my work tends to move at a much quicker pace.
Biggest challenge for you, and how have you overcome it? (Or how are you working to overcome it!)
As cliche as this may sound, it has always been about following my dreams and reaching my goals while still being an independent person. I always found myself in dependent positions with people that I never really liked or didn't have my best wishes in mind. Over the years, however, I've learned how to manage my money and living arrangements in a way that has allowed me to pursue what I want while not getting too stressed and not putting too much of a burden on other people's lives.
What do you consider your biggest strength? (Don’t be shy!)
I find that I'm really good at using dialogue as a tool for immersion. Often times I see writers trying to describe their world in prose and it's usually several pages of exposition. I've found that by just having one character ask another character a question I can solve that problem very quickly. You're still explaining to the reader how the world works, but you're also not taking them out of the narrative and turning it into a textbook entry.
Any other advice for authors, based on your unique experience?
Besides just reading and writing, get involved with talking to people and learning about the lives of others. We can't all have perfect insight into what it's like to live as the opposite sex, a person of the LGBTQ community, another race, or on the continent of Antarctica, but we can talk to people who have. It always pays to listen to their experiences as well. Less talking, more listening! I've created whole characters just by listening to the lives of total strangers.
Where can other authors or readers connect with you?
Definitely check out Phil's work at his website and YouTube. The man is a hustler, in just over a year of life for his Nocturnal Muse Sessions, he's created over 50 posts and 50 videos for his YouTube. Awesome. Go read his flash fiction, serials, and check out his poetry vids. You won't regret it!