James Dashner joins SciFiChick.com today on his latest stop along his blog tour. I gave him some topic ideas, but instead of just talking about one, he gave short answers to all of them. So we have a bit of a Q&A instead!
What’s your vision of the future – Roddenberry-esque or apocalyptic?
I hope, sincerely hope, that it’s Roddenberry’s way of things. I like to think that at some point, before we reach a place where humans are about to destroy one another, we’ll finally learn our lessons and spiral the other direction. Clean up the Earth, stop the wars, venture into space, explore the universe. I certainly don’t think we’ll ever get rid of all our problems, never come close to a Utopia, but I also think it’s really stupid to just keep killing each other. I do, however, think that if we want to avoid an eventual apocalyptic scenario, we’ll have to figure out how to leave this planet eventually. Star Trek, here we come!
On writing for YA/children rather than adults
I often get asked how different my books would be if I wrote them for adults instead of teenagers. I honestly think they’d hardly be different at all. I never, ever think about the age of my audience as I write. I just want it to be a cool story with cool characters. To scare and surprise and thrill. To pull out some emotions. I guess I naturally fit in with the young adult audience because that’s when I truly fell in love with reading, the closest it’s ever been to true “magic.” When I write, I go back to that.
Worldbuilding for a scifi series
This is a really tough one for me. I try so hard to be patient, and make outlines, and develop my characters beforehand, and build my world, and all of that, before starting a draft. But it’s all in my head, and I get so excited that I can’t take it anymore and jump in. Writing a first draft is by far my favorite part of being an author. I have so much fun. And a lot of the worldbuilding comes organically as I move through the story. And a lot of it is also instinctual, whatever seems to make sense and jives with my vision. I rely on my brain to fill in a lot of the blanks that perhaps I should have thought out and written down at some earlier point. I don’t know. I do my best. Thankfully, I have a spectacular editor at Random House who helps me where I fail.
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