I’m excited to participate in a blog hop about the writing process. This is my first blog hop too, so there’s that. When I was asked to participate, I thought there would be actual hopping involved, and I got really excited, but this is cool too.
You were quite possibly sent here from writer/designer/nerd (according to her!!) Felicia Anderson’s blog, Fifi the Ninja. If you’ve come from someplace else, go check out her writing process blog and explore her site! She’s pretty awesome.
The rules: Answer the following four questions regarding your writing process and WIP, and then tag four more writers to carry it on after you.
Here we go!
1) What are you working on?
Starting with a hard one. Why is it hard? Because “working on” is such a subjective term. Does it mean actual fingers to the keyboard? Or does it include everything percolating in my brain? For the sake of space, we’ll stick with projects I’m actually actively doing something for. My main focus currently is my adult dark contemporary novel on human trafficking, REMEMBERING DIANA. This project is in the final stages of editing and almost ready to push out of the nest. I also have an untitled NA contemporary WIP about a girl who falls for her roommate’s twin over the summer, and a collaborative project I am working on which is being written in epistolary style. The other one I’m excited about (and others will be too!) is my plan to work on the sequel to ABOVE EDEN, tentatively titled BEYOND HEAVEN. I have written the beginning pages, and it is the next project in my queue. Also coming up is a YA horror, a couple middle grade projects, and just this weekend a character from my current WIP demanded her own story. I will be busy for quite a while, it seems 🙂
2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?
Because I write in multiple genres, this is another toughie. BECOMING DIANA is very different both in topic (though human trafficking is becoming more widely written about) and in structure. It tells the story of Clara, who actually helps train girls to be sold. The book is broken into alternating “Now” and “Then” sections, highlighting the main story, where Clara has been taken into custody, and snippets of her life before.
One thing that I think sets apart all of my books is the focus on relationships outside of a romantic relationship. My very first book, EVERYDAY DAYDREAMS, has some romance, yes, but the main relationship is between sisters. In ABOVE EDEN, Eden sets off not to save the world, but to save her brother. Again, the romance involved is secondary to her self-discovery and the relationship with her brother that drives her actions. I even wrote a romance, ACCIDENTALLY EVER AFTER, where the best friend relationship trumps the romantic relationships of both friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love the stories of all-consuming romantic love, but I always find myself wondering about the other relationships, and how they survive that dramatic change. That is something I hope my stories are able to highlight.
I also try to make my characters quirky, so they stand out. I give them unique hobbies and habits, things that keep them from blending in with all the others in their genre.
3) Why do you write what you write?
This is going to sound weird, but I write the stories that need to be told. Whether it’s a happy fluffy romance or a traumatic story of self-discovery, I have these words and characters and worlds knocking around in my head, begging to be released. Anyone who has spoken to me at any length about how I write either comes away thinking I’m completely deranged or a magical genius. (Those are the only options. There are no other options.) Stories come to me in a simple gesture by a stranger, by something a kiddo says at work, in a snippet of conversation I overhear, from a movie or TV scene, or even from dreams. They expand and grow until I HAVE to get them out. There is no other option.
4) How does your writing process work?
So here is my writing process:
– Sit down at computer
– Stand up and get glass of water
– Sit back down, open up document
– Check Twitter
– Read through what I wrote last, make edits
– Check Facebook
– Get cookie
– Talk to friends online
– Check Twitter
– Write a paragraph
– Reward self with another cookie
– Play Mah-jong
– Write 11K
I’m only partially joking. Sometimes I feel like I’m not a *real* writer because I don’t have a “process” I follow. I don’t force myself to write every day. I don’t set word count goals. Sometimes all the writing I do is playing Mah-jong for four hours until a plot is completely solidified in my head. That is the closest I come to outlining. But through that, I am able to really work through issues in my head before trying to type out the story. I am a “panster,” meaning I just write as it comes, but in my head I always know where the story is going, even if I don’t know about all the pit stops we may make along the way. So really it’s like my pants are half on, half off. Or something. I think. Writing sprints with Twitter friends or Write Club really help out, because others hold me accountable, but once I have the flow going, I can write 10K+ in one sitting (over 4-5 hours usually.) My longest stretch was 8 hours of writing, about 16K. No it’s not organized, but it works for me. I think if I forced myself to write every day, I wouldn’t love it as much. Now, if I only wrote when I felt like it, I might not get things done either. But there is a balance between forcing it and letting it come naturally. (All I can think of are bathroom analogies right now, so I’m just gonna leave it there.)
So that’s it! Now for the fun part. Tagging people!
Marjorie Brimer at The Write Niche – CP extraordinaire, I am obsessed with this lady’s words. I can’t wait to see her work on the shelves so everyone can fangirl with me.
Jenny Moyer – Real life friend and the person I credit with getting me motivated to get serious about writing again. She’s the perfect booster when I get discouraged.
Ellen Mandeville at Ellen Exploring – One of the sweetest people you will find on Twitter. She makes me smile daily.
Heidi Norrod – One of my favorite Twits. Heidi is great for making me laugh and is just an all around fabulous person to know, even if she won’t let me pretend we are the same person.
Now go! I have given you plenty of procrastination tools. Oh…I should add “follow the blog hop bunny trail” to my writing process list…