Writer’s Desk with Bryan Mitchell
Bryan Mitchell lives in Archdale, North Carolina with his wife and children. He is an Army Veteran and has a master’s degree in computer science and a bachelor’s degree in English. His debut novel, Infernal Fall, won the Realm Award for Best Horror. He is a member of Realm Makers and Word Weavers which are Christian writer communities. Beyond higher education, he enhanced his storytelling abilities by attending Realm Maker’s Conferences and the Novel Writing Intensive headed by Stephen James and Robert Dugoni, and by reading books that focus on the craft of writing.
More about Infernal Fall
Embark on a harrowing journey through Hell in “Infernal Fall” and discover if there truly is only one way out. Join Daniel Strong, a troubled young man, whose proposal plans are shattered when he stumbles upon a mysterious artifact in a dark cavern. Plunged into the depths of Hell, Daniel must navigate its treacherous levels to reunite with his girlfriend, Kristine.
As Daniel faces soul-harvesting demons and contends with a shadowy figure tempting him with an alternative path, he must decide between bargaining with Satan for his freedom or seeking another means of escape. Fueled by hurt, anger, and fear, Daniel’s relentless pursuit is driven by his love for Kristine. Can he resist the lies that threaten to consume him at every turn?
Infernal Fall is a gripping modern twist on Dante’s Inferno, perfect for fans of Ted Dekker and Frank Peretti. Immerse yourself in this gripping tale of light versus darkness as Daniel confronts his deepest fears. Will he choose life, as Kristine urges him to, or succumb to the darkness that entices him?
Don’t miss out on this captivating novel! Grab your copy of Infernal Fall today and experience a thrilling journey through the depths of Hell.
Enter to win one of five copies of Infernal Fall and Almost Paradise.
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Don’t Miss the Live Chat with Bryan Mitchell on Avid Readers of Christian Fiction!
Q&A with Bryan Mitchell
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
BM: When I was younger, I spent a summer having all ten of the original Monopoly pieces race around the board. I’d determine each piece’s pole position by rolling dice and of course, would do tie-breakers by rolling a second time. Next came the actual race.
I had two different kinds of races. One was simply a lap. The last one to finish was eliminated. In the championship, the two final pieces would go a whopping three laps or, sometimes, they didn’t win until they lapped the opposing piece. The other type of race was similar to that format. Pieces went around the board but if they were lapped and couldn’t pass the lead car on their next move, they were eliminated.
That’s not all, folks. I also came up with a point system and kept a record. The winners of these races received 10 points. The last place received the loneliest number. Who took home the Monopoly Cup most often? The Dog. The Hat, Cannon, and Car did well too, but here’s the thing: I was partial to the dog. Did I simply roll better for the dog, change the rules to help my little canine win, and/or perform re-rolls based on some type of interference call I made as master of the Monopoly Racing Championship Committee? The truth is—I don’t remember but I’m sure I rigged it for the dog. Guess what the answer will be for a later question. 😊
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Infernal Fall?
BM: I had already written a story with several of the characters (Daniel, Kristine, and Beau). I wrote two novel-length stories before deciding to place my characters in Dante’s Inferno with a new and interesting character named Heartless Charles. Why Dante’s Inferno? I already wanted the setting to be in a dark place and thought it would be more interesting for readers. Those who were more familiar with Dante’s Divine Comedy would be satisfied with the references and allusions that pointed respectfully to the classic. Those who weren’t familiar would still get a good story and be more likely to give the classic a chance.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
BM: I tend to write at night. Before I start, I may read, watch, or listen to something to help me grasp the tone, mood, setting, and/or character’s disposition more firmly. When I’m finished with a session, I usually save it on my laptop, USB drive, and email because I have lost hours of work before. I have tracked my word count to feel encouraged about my progress.
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
BM: Make time every day to get a little farther in your story. If you go a few days without writing at least consider what you will do next. Also, make sure you are enjoying the story and the process. If you can’t find the joy in what you’re doing, then you may want to take a break from it, because you are a part of your target audience.
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
BM: I’m usually too zoned in to snack or drink. I know that I’ve found myself with cold cups of coffee while writing in the mornings. When I take small breaks from writing, I usually pace and consider what I’ve written and what will be next.
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
BM: I edit and revise what I’ve written thus far. That usually propels me forward. If I’m starting a completely new piece of work, I stimulate my imagination by going on a walk or a jog, listening to music, and thinking about what stories are missing from this world. What story do I want to tell? Who’s in it? What is happening, and why would anyone want to read it? I may take out a notebook and jot down short descriptions of scenes. I do allow myself to override these early ideas through the process, but this gives me something to work with.
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
BM: I don’t do much editing during the rough draft, but once I’m about a fourth or a fifth of the way through it, I’ll go back over everything so that I can see it more clearly. I may do some editing around that time but I’m not focusing on grammar so much. I may have a few things in there that may not make the story, but I won’t cut them until I know for certain, which isn’t until much later revision rounds. I may clean up prose, remove unnecessary words, and fix dialogue that doesn’t sound like dialogue. It all depends on how I feel about what I’m reading. From there, I get back to plowing through the rough draft. Any time I hit a snag, I’ll read through previous chapters, and that always gives me a good idea of what I need to do next in the story.
When the rough draft is done, I’ll start editing but the creative process isn’t over. I often get new ideas while revising. If I include something new, I do consider how much it affects the manuscript. One simple change may change the entire story, but some things are small and may only affect the scene. It’s a good idea to keep notes on big ideas because it’s easy to lose sight of them, especially in earlier drafts. When I feel less inclined to add details, I know it’s nearly finished. That’s when I start focusing on grammar and prose, but I keep an eye out for logical issues too. Even after seven or eight passes, I find problems that need to be addressed.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
BM: I am a new writer, but I’ll say make sure you’re satisfied with your story before publishing it. It’s easy to get excited and sprint to the end, but it’s way better to pump the brakes and consider the art of polishing the work. It may be a good idea to read your favorite book or a book you’ve been excited to read and then go back to yours. That practice has helped me to improve my stories.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
BM: Write the story that is itching to come out and consider your audience. What will they expect in your story? What will make them fans? What will surprise them? What will they love? What will they hate? What would make them want to read your book? What do you need to do to win your target audience? Keep in mind that you are a part of your target audience, so you shouldn’t only write the story, but you should love the story too, even after twenty-five hundred edits.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
BM: The sequel to Infernal Fall, Almost Paradise, will be out on October 24th. After that, I plan to finish up a free short story for my newsletter subscribers.
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