A.J. Witt is the author of acclaimed fantasy sci-fi series The Source, which includes the first two books, Origins and Galactic Steps, and a third book scheduled to be released early next year. The Source: Origins has been described as original, exciting, intelligent, masterful, well written, fast-paced, captivating, and on par with any NYT Best Seller.
Below are excerpts from a November 2020 interview with Witt.
Q: What is your writing process like?
A: My writing process involves creating detailed roadmaps that resemble law school outlines. I planned out the entire Source series before writing the first chapter of the first book. In my outlines, each of my characters is color-coded to ensure no plot gaps. I also like to jot down bullet points, thoughts, or bits of dialogue, and assign them to a chapter. While I do write by hand in my notebook now and then, I consider my laptop the ultimate timesaver, and it keeps me very organized.
Q: What is the editing process like?
A: Once I’ve completed my final draft, I send a copy to the Spring Cedars editing team, and over several months, we work together to refine the writing. On average, each of my books goes through 20 to 30 rounds of editing, and I always read all drafts from start to finish. I am very particular about avoiding repetition and adverbs, two of my biggest writer pet peeves. I have found that the word count inevitably goes down during the editing stage. Removing unnecessary words keeps the plot flowing and the reader engaged.
Q: What is the most challenging part of being a writer?
A: Learning how to accept negative feedback! After spending days on a specific passage, it can be easy to become very defensive when someone doesn’t like it. But it is important not to “write in a vacuum,” and growing thick skin was essential to my success.
A.J. Witt lives in Manhattan and writes under a pseudonym. He is a corporate attorney by day and by night. At dawn and dusk, he uses his wild imagination to create fantastical worlds.
Visit him at ajwitt.com for more.