During Comic-Con, sci-fi authors like Kevin Anderson spend a lot of time running around meeting fellow folks in the industry and their fans.

Then again, he spends a lot of time running around period. In fact, that’s how he does most of his writing.

Anderson – who has written many novels for series like Star Wars, X-Files, Dune – says he gets his main inspiration while hiking around the Rockies near his home town, Colorado Springs, Colorado, and actually dictates his stories into a tape recorder during his hikes.

“I already have an outline but I’ll take two scraps of paper that represent two chapters and go hiking for a few hours and just flesh out the scenes.”

Anderson says hiking out in nature provides him with an awareness of the world around him that is important when painting in the background details. Plus, he adds, “When you’re out in the wilderness, you have lengthy periods of uninterrupted creative imagination – and you don’t have to answer the phone.”

“The end result,” he says, “usually needs some editing but if I were to play the tape recorder for you, it would pretty much sound like a cohesive story.”

Anderson used this technique earlier this week to write 70 pages of a new book but he won’t be doing much writing at Comic-Con.

“I’m so busy there that I don’t have much a chance to go hiking while I’m in San Diego, although I would love to go to Joshua Tree.

“The funny thing is, I love Comic-Con but I also like hiking in the Rockies and the Con happens right during the only two months of the year when you can explore the higher parts of the mountains.”

Anderson will be speaking later today on two panels, including one titled “Authors and Audio Books: From the Page to the Microphone” that starts at 3 p.m. in Room 1B.

He figures his writing-while-hiking technique is a good tool for that particular format and gets support from fellow panelist Scott Brick, who has narrated many of his books.

“Scott is a friend and he tells me my books are very easy for an audio performer and I think it’s because every line has been spoken out. Sometimes, an author who types his stories may not realize he’s just written a sentence with seven ‘s’ sounds in a row. Plus, words that look good on the page sometimes don’t sound as good when you say them.

Anderson’s other panel will be at 4 p.m. in Room 1B and titled “Through a Glass Darkly: Looking at the Future,” and will discuss whether the sci-fi/ fantasy genre is getting too depressing.


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.