What do writers like about writing? Raine Thomas and Stephen Woodfin share some surprises

Today, Written Words presents two very different writers who answer the same questions about what they like and dislike about being an author.

Raine Thomas writes young adult and new adult romance and science fiction. Stephen Woodfin writes action thrillers and political thrillers. While they have some understandable differences in perspective, the similarities may surprise you.

Which element of fiction is most important to you as a writer?

Raine Thomas Headshot (small)Raine Thomas: There’s no denying the importance of all of these elements, but I think I’d fall under the “other” category. To me, dialogue is the most important element of fiction. It’s something readers may not notice if it’s done well, but if it’s done poorly, it will ruin the story. Think about what writers convey through dialogue and dialogue tags: tone, emotion, body language, dialect, education level, geography/region, time period, actions. Nearly every other element of fiction writing can be captured with properly written dialogue.

Stephen Woodfin: I would have to say that plot comes first for me, but action is neck and neck with it. I hope to keep things moving while I tell the story.

What part of writing do you spend the most time on: research, writing, editing, making coffee or cleaning your work space?

Raine Thomas: Definitely research. I’m a plotter, so I create detailed character sketches for all of the main characters and then complete a chapter-by-chapter outline in addition to the intense world building I do for projects like my fantasy, Sci-Fi, and futuristic novels. Once I finish that, the writing is quick and smooth and my wonderful alpha and beta readers make editing a breeze!

Stephen Woodfin: Definitely writing. My approach is to race all the way to the end of book before I look back. The editing process for me consists of filling in holes in the plot. I can usually do that with an extra sentence or two here and there.

Which of these do you enjoy most?

Raine Thomas: I’d say the actual writing. That’s when I can really get into my characters’ heads and infuse my voice into the story.

Stephen Woodfin: Writing. Hands down.Stephen Woodfin author pic beach

What do you wish you had to do less?

Raine Thomas: I have a full-time job, so I wish I had to work less on that so I could write more. I enjoy all of the elements of publishing books.

Stephen Woodfin: The proof reading part of editing is just torture, plain and simple.

Which of your books or other works are you personally happiest with? Why?

Raine Thomas: Up until now, I’d say my New Adult Contemporary Romance For Everly has pleased me the most. It was something new for me at the time and turned out to be my most well-read book. The story concept is personal to me, so it means so much that readers enjoy it!

Stephen Woodfin: My personal favorite is The Warrior with Alzheimer’s: The Battle for Justice. I call it “the Woody book” because the main character is a WWII vet named Woody Wilson. My father was a Battle of the Bulge vet, and my mother died of Alzheimer’s. So that book has many connections to my soul. I was also honored to have Kirkus Reviews name it one of the Best Books of 2013.

What part of writing or publishing do you think you could help other writers with?

Raine Thomas: If I had time, I’d best be able to help other writers with their editing. I do this on occasion now (I used to do it for a living) but my time is so limited between my full-time job, my writing, and my family that I hardly have any time to spare for beta reading and editing.

Stephen Woodfin: If I met them at an early enough stage, I might be able to talk them out of the whole enterprise.

Thank you, Stephen and Raine.

Stephen Woodfin is an attorney and author of eight novels. He also blogs for the popular Internet site Venture Galleries.

Stephen’s novel Last One Chosen, the first book in his Revelation Trilogy, received the prestigious Top Five Finalist Award for best independent book of 2012 in the thriller genre.   The second and third books of the trilogy explore the bizarre intersection of faith and politics in American life.

Because he has long been an advocate for persons with Alzheimer’s disease, he has also written about that dread scourge. His book The Warrior with Alzheimer’s: The Battle for Justice was named one of the Best Books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews. 

Visit Stephen’s Amazon author page for more information about his books.

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen. She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream.

When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Visit her website and Amazon Author page, or follow her on:

About the Author


  1. I love this interview series. I think I have the most in common with Stephen.

  2. I always enjoy reading about the process other authors use to create. I marvel at how organized some of them are and breathe a sigh of relief that others have the same kind of problems that I do. Thanks for introducing us to two more interesting authors.

  3. Great interview – loved it. Fascinating to get the perspective of different authors. Thanks!

  4. Thanks for having me as a guest on the blog, Scott! I love learning how other authors approach their craft.