Monday, June 30, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

I've been talking a lot about marketing lately, but James Wymore has given me a great excuse to veer off topic and talk about something else: My writing process. He's invited me to take part in the #MyWritingProcess blog hop, where writers from all walks are joining the conversation and passing it along. So what's the deal? Here's the overview:

"We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…"

So let's get to the questions!
Question 1) What am I working on?
I could write a whole blog post about what I'm working on right now. Short answer: Probably too much. I've been editing Heirs of War, Crown of Flames (Heirs of War series #2), Altar of Reality (Shifted Realities series #1), and my short story "The Austenation" for The Borderlands anthology. I've also been working on some deleted scenes for the Heirs of War series, and writing the second book in the Shifted Realities series. Oh, and I started working on a superhero serial that will be available on Wattpad. Eventually.

Question 2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Hmm...I don't really know how to answer that. Generally speaking, I don't figure out what the genre is until after I'm done writing it. I'd say Heirs of War differs from other books in the fantasy genre because I write a lot of characters in a younger voice. It's not all that uncommon to find a fantasy book loaded with characters and character POVs (Terry Goodkind, Robert Jordan, George RR Martin, etc) but even if those books have young characters, the book is still typically very adult and a much more detailed and heavier narrative voice (in my opinion). Heirs of War has five main characters and lots LOTS of minor characters that are still pretty big players, but I don't think my narrative style is like the fantasy bigwigs I mentioned. It's much lighter and probably more young adult/new adult than adult. If that even makes sense. I swear that it does in my head. =) 

As for Altar of Reality, I can only say that I haven't stumbled upon any sci-fi dystopians that deal with two worlds at the same time. If you have, then let me know. I'd love to be able to answer the question "What books are similar to yours?" that authors are asked All. The. Time.

Question 3) Why do I write what I do?
Characters. It all starts with characters and an overall situation that they are in, or the relationships around them. Heirs of War started off with the idea of five girls who are related to each other and almost like sisters discovering they have magical powers and are meant to save worlds they know nothing about. Since then, I've discovered that the prophecy part really doesn't even matter, which is kinda cool. It's not as much of a driving force. Altar of Reality started off with the idea of what happens to this teenage girl when she has seizures. Where does she go? What does she feel, even if she remembers nothing of it? The question of where she goes brought on the idea of flipping between realities. So I guess I start off discovering characters who have a story to tell, and that's why I write it: to tell their story.

Question 4) How does my writing process work?
Image from Zazzle.com

Pretty much this ^. I get up, I sit at my desk, check Facebook the news with my coffee, and then when I am sufficiently caffeinated, I shut the door, turn some music on, and get to work. I'm a pantser, but I do work off an outline that I tend to stray a lot from as the story goes on. I write linearly, so that can mean spending a lot of time on a scene if it isn't flowing right. And I just keep going until it is done. =) My characters tend to surprise me a lot, so sometimes that means going back and adjusting scenes to work within the new developments my characters tell me about, but I don't really edit until the first draft is done. If I'm stuck, I'll sit back and think about what is going on while listening to the playlist I have for that book or series, or I'll discuss it with my friends or husband. But the basics is just what the sticker says. Plus caffeine. ;)

I passed this along to Leigh Statham, whose Wattpad sensation Daughter4254 has been matched and then some by its sequel. Look for her upcoming Young Adult Steampunk novel The Perilous Journey of the Not-So-Innocuous Girl from Month9. You can find her on Twitter and find out what her writing process is next week on her blog

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