Take a short break from Oxfurred Comma by having a read about what NightEyes has to say about furry writing – and don’t forget to come back tomorrow to hear his panels!
Tell us a little bit about your most recent project (written or published). Was there a particular inspiration for it?
I run where things take me sometimes, especially with short fiction. The last story I wrote for Patreon is called “The Forgotten God” and is based on an encounter a character I play in D&D had. I wanted to explore the concept of a god left alone for a long time, so I wrote my own version of the event. It didn’t turn out how I thought it would, but it was fun to explore the concept and the Dungeon Master enjoyed it.
My next short story is based on an offhand comment I made about space junk and an idea that came to me. I’ve been fitting that in while working on novel edits.
What is your favourite thing about the furry fandom? Why write furry fiction?
I enjoy the uniqueness of the fandom and the fact it lets you do your own thing in a way you define. Plus, it’s a welcoming queer space. I write furry fiction because animals fascinating me, and I love telling stories.
What is your writing process like? Do you outline and plot, or are you a “pantser”?
For short fiction, I’m a panster, but I realize there’s a limit of how far I can go with that. I can take a rough idea and knock out a quick story, but if it goes over 10,000 words, I need to use an outline. I have pantsed an entire novel, and it took me almost a decade to pull that into a coherent story.
I’m not saying there aren’t people out there who can pants a novel, but I can’t. With long work, I need to find some cohesion, and I’m planning to write a novella soon in Scrivener using an already written outline.
What do you consider your biggest strength as a writer?
That’s hard to say. I used to think I was a good plotter, but that might be me being overconfident. Persistence is what I’m aiming for, and that’s what I hoping I’m developing. You can always fix plotting or character issues in editing, but you can’t do that if you’re not getting yourself working.
What is your favourite kind of story to write? Does it align well with what you like to read?
I enjoy exploring, so I’m not sure I stick well to a specific genre with my writing. I will say my work is gayer than what I usually read, but I also try and read in the genre.
Which character of yours do you most identify with, and why?
I’ve created a lot of characters at this point, but I think Zayn from the novel I plan to release next year is my favorite. He goes through a lot in the book I haven’t gone through, but I also have always identified with the internal struggles he experiences. There was a period of my life where I went through some intense isolation similar to what Zayn has experienced, and that’s always given me a connection to the character. Zayn also has to work to overcome that, just like I did in my own life.
Which authors or specific books have most influenced your work?
Reading White Fang and a Call of the Wild by Jack London greatly influenced me as a kid. One of the first things I tried to write as a kid was a story similar to those. Reading Watts Martin’s Why Coyotes Howl as an adult was a seminal moment for me as a writer. I had read short stories before in school, but this book helped fix the idea of what short fiction I would like to write could be like.
What is the last book you read that you really love?
I thoroughly enjoyed A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by Ursula Vernon which I read earlier this year. There’s a lot to love about this book, and Ursula’s work is sheer joy to read.
Besides writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m a fan of board games and D&D. I do some video gaming, but not as much as I used to. I also read, which is important for any writer to do.
Do you have any advice to give other writers?
I’m not sure there’s a single piece of advice I can give that’s useful to all writers. I’d suggest listening to the advice others give, but it’s important to realize that how you work may be different. Be cautious of anyone who tells you there is a set way of doing something because there seldom is. That’s the beauty of fiction. You can make it what you want it to be.
Is there anything you would like to see more of within furry fiction?
The publishing market has gotten tighter due to the pandemic, and I’d like to see that stabilize and grow. How to approach that issue though, I don’t know.
Where can readers find your work?
I have a website, nighteyes-dayspring.com that I try and I keep up to date with information. I’m also on Twitter as @wolfwithcoffee where you can find the latest about what I’m up to. I’m also on Patreon, Fur Affinity, and SoFurry.
Tomorrow may be the last day of Oxfurred Comma, but we’re only halfway through our Q&As! Tomorrow we speak to another furry writer – who will also have a couple of panels this weekend!