The Writing Process Blog Tour
This is my contribution to the “blog tour” game going around the Internet (#Mywritingprocess). Authors blog about their writing process and then tag someone else to do the same. I was tagged by RJ Samuel, an author who I’ve gotten to know via Facebook. She wrote A Place Somewhere, and I am looking forward to reading this book! She always posts positive stuff, and I highly recommend checking out her work. See her blog post here.
1. What am I working on?
I just released my eighth novel in April, so I am now on my one month writing hiatus. I do this to refresh my creativity, clear my previous story and characters from my mind, and begin exploring new ideas. During this time, I do a lot of walking and meditating. The story that is starting to brew is a dramatic fictional novel that I am currently calling Sandcastles.
It’s still early in the planning process, so I don’t have anything concrete to provide in terms of plot and snippet. I do want it to be centered around the theme of how materialism isn’t a pathway to happiness. This character I create will be learning some tough lessons, ones that will pull her in all different directions, and ultimately to a place far better than she is now. I anticipate exploring some metaphysical elements in this novel, as well as a touch of romance.
2. How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
I believe all of us have a unique style of writing, so I hesitate to box myself or any of my fellow writers into a cookie-cutter model. So, I believe we differ in the many ways that make a piece of fiction stand out on its own, with unique characters, story lines, writing style, build up, and resolution. I tend to write characters who are flawed, and tend to rise above the chaos after she endures lots of emotional ups and downs on her way to resolving her life’s challenges. My story lines tend to deal with real life issues that affect us all on a universal level. I enjoy crafting a story that includes lots of twists and turns. I like to keep readers guessing until the end and wondering how in the world a character will get what she needs in the end.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I love to learn lessons. The reason I write is to explore things I want to know more about. I research and talk to people. I like to bring awareness to social issues affecting us, and I like to offer ways people can help support causes in real life.
I also enjoy bringing to light the beautiful imperfections of people. We are all flawed, and writing about the day in the life of a flawed character helps me to grasp the reality that life is littered with problems, and that’s okay. Those challenges don’t have to stop us from enjoying ourselves and rising to our purpose.
4. How does my writing process work?
Music affects me in a raw way. I typically gravitate towards a song, feel the emotions of it, start to conjure up a person affected by the song, and then the fun begins. I start sketching her out by writing in a journal as her. I just free write and let her take me on a journey. From there, a relationship forms between us, and the plot planning begins.
At this point, I know her intimately. I understand what her motivation, ambition, and drive is. I know her fears. So, I start to toss in ‘what-if’ situations, and I write out random scenes tossing her into these moments. Once it feels right, I plan out the major plot points of my story. Typically these are 10 of the most pivotal scenes or turning points. Then, it’s a matter of loosely connecting those scenes together with several scenes in between. With this loose plan in place, I start writing.
I set my writing goal to 2000 words and day, and for 8 weeks that follow, I crank them out. Once draft one is complete, I rework the manuscript about twenty more times! By month four, it goes to beta reading, then to editing, then to proofreading, and then I read it out loud to myself. And then, and only then, do I feel comfortable releasing it.
I’m tagging Diane Marina, author of Imperial Hotel, Landslide, and When the Clock Strikes Thirteen. Her newest release, How Still my Love, will be available in a week or two. You can find out more about her work at www.dianemarina.com
I’m tagging Stacey Darlington, author of Long Snows Moon, The Widow of Sandcastle Cove, Winter on Spring Street, and Athena’s Curse. You can find out more about her work at: www.staceydarlington.com/