From author Jeff Abbott's interview by Paige Crutcher:
AUTHORLINK: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?Visit Jeff Abbott's website and blog.
ABBOTT: I wanted to be a marine biologist or an astronomer, which is weird, because I was never that good at science. I was more just curious about the world. When I was about ten I decided I wanted to be a writer and I never really wavered from that ambition, even if it was a secret one.
AUTHORLINK: What do you believe makes a great story? Is there an element that you believe must be present?
ABBOTT: Conflict. And it seems so obvious but I meet a fair number of aspiring writers who think conflict is unnecessary, or worse, somehow beneath them. There has to be powerful internal and external conflict facing your protagonist for readers to care about reading your story.
AUTHORLINK: JT Ellison has called you “a writer’s writer.” Will you share a little about your writing process?
ABBOTT: It is not really a glamorous process. I think first of either an interesting situation or a character; either can come first. And then I start to wonder, what happens next? I'll scribble some notes, maybe write down some ideas for scenes. If I let the idea brew long enough, one of two things happen: I decide I don't want to write it, or I do. Then I will sketch out the major scenes of the book — the critical turning points, the biggest moments of choice for both the protagonist and the antagonist. With those as a framework I can start to write. Often towards the final part of the book I'll craft a careful outline to make sure I'm resolving everything in a way I like, giving the reader the emotional payoffs for the rest of the story.
AUTHORLINK: Characters are often the heart of a story, and in your novels suspense acts as its own character. How do you create such authentic anticipation?
ABBOTT: Well, I think you have to...[read on]
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