Words on the Page with Josh Stoll

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Josh is another talented #RedditWriter and an overall great dude! I love his approach: just get words on the page. He has a piece in the awesome TL;DR anthology, and he's working on a really cool sounding novel called Overgrowth.


My name is Josh. I live on the east coast of Australia in New South Wales and I've enjoyed writing stories in some form since I was six years old. I drew dozens of simple stick figure comic books which were mostly blatant retellings of existing stories, with my own additions until I started to make my own original ideas. I've kept every one I've made since then. I've always been a creative person, and after writing my first (terrible) book when I was twelve, I've enjoyed writing short stories. In November of 2015, I self-published a small book of short horror stories titled Random Number Hotline on Amazon's Createspace platform to see how the whole process worked. Recently, I've been working on my first serious attempt at a full-length novel, Overgrowth.

 

What inspires you and/or why do you write?

Video games were, and still are, a massive influence on my writing, among other things., Playing far too many of them has made me come to appreciate good storytelling and world-building, which I have been interested in for as long as I can remember.

Describe your process as best you can:

I tear myself away from distractions, sit down and write whatever ideas or single sentence stories come to mind. Sometimes it's even usable, and after that, I work on the story from there, making further notes and ideas to expand upon the story.

Biggest challenge for you, and how have you overcome it? (Or how are you working to overcome it!)

I have a terrible problem when it comes to editing as I go, wanting a story to be perfect as I write it, which I have come to realize is typically not possible unless you are a madman/madwoman. This also winds up with many stories never really being finished. To prevent this, I turn my mind off, write until the story is done, set it aside for a while and come back later when I know I can edit the entire thing. This way, the story is actually complete, and I have something I can continue to work off of rather than continuously running around in circles with a single story.

What do you consider your biggest strength? (Don’t be shy!)

A friend once told me that even though they find some of my subject matter disturbing, to say the least, they have always felt compelled to keep reading to find out what happens next, which is all I can possibly hope for with my writing.

Any other advice for authors, based on your unique experience?

Do not stress over changing sections of your first draft while you are still writing it. You'll have plenty of time to make changes and additions once it's done. Get words down on the page first. Have something to work off of.

Where can other authors or readers connect with you?

I look at my Twitter, @stollrofl, whenever I should be doing other things, which is often, so odds are you can find me there if you feel so inclined.

Many of my short stories, including the ones from my horror anthology Random Number Hotline which I have since made free to read, are on my Wordpress site, https://joshuastoll.wordpress.com. Some contain violent or mature content, so be aware of that if you decide to visit. If you do visit, I hope you enjoy my work!