“Writing is trying to silence our inner critic and follow the story where it leads—and then revising the heck out of it.” –Kristen Bird
Kristen Bird is a novelist, teacher, and certified book coach. She has two suspense novels out with HarperCollins, and her third will be published in March 2024. She teaches high school English and writes in local coffee shops near her home outside of Houston. In her free time, she likes to visit parks with her three children, watch quirky films with her husband, and attempt to keep pace with her rescue lab-mix.
On Saturday, February 3, Kristen Bird is teaching a class for the WLT called “Writing from Multiple Points of View.” In this class, students will learn the unique challenges of writing from multiple points of view by deepening characters, stylizing internal monologues, using dialectic and punctuation choices to distinguish characters, and more.
Here’s what Kristen had to share with us:
Scribe: Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you write? How did you come to writing?
Kristen Bird: I wrote two novels—one in my twenties and one in my thirties—before my first book debuted when I was forty. My third suspense novel, WATCH IT BURN, comes out this March, and I’m finding my groove in the mystery/thriller genre.
Scribe: In your own work, how do you approach overcoming the challenges that come with writing, be it writer’s block or craft or business-related challenges?
KB: I’ve slowly built up a community of writers that I can trust to chat about either craft or business, and this is especially important when I’m stuck in either the direction of the book or in a marketing or publicity conundrum. I found most of these connections through Instagram and writing conferences/organizations, and their feedback has become invaluable.
Scribe: Has there been a moment of epiphany in terms of your work, when you thought, “This is it! Now I know what I’m doing?” How long did that feeling last?
KB: Ha! Sure, I have that feeling after I write chapter one, and then I reread it the next day and I’m appalled at how bad it suddenly seems. Or, my agent gives me polite feedback that details all the reasons the voice isn’t working. Writing is trying to silence our inner critic and follow the story where it leads—and then revising the heck out of it.
Scribe: What piece of advice do you find yourself giving to writers again and again?
KB: Give your writing time to ruminate and breathe. If at all possible, I try to avoid even opening the manuscript for weeks, if not a solid month or two, before finishing a draft and starting to revise. Letting the story rest inevitably helps me see problems more clearly, and starting on a new project—whether it’s writing newsletters, planning a teaching lesson, or working on some kind of fun side-project—gives my mind time to think about other things.
Scribe: What is one thing that people will take away from this class?
KB: They will take away a plan for how to more deeply develop multiple voices in a story. I’m providing practical handouts, tips, and tricks on how to make a chorus of characters come alive on the page.