My critique partner invited me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Hop so naturally, I jumped at the chance. It’s always interesting to see what process other authors follow because it’s never exactly the same way from author to author. While some are ‘pansters’, others plot out in great detail. And then there are those of us who fall somewhere in the middle.
If you’re a newbie writer looking to see how it’s done or a reader who’s curious as to how those long novels you love come to fruition, you can see several different approaches thanks to this blog hop. Meda White’s answers can be found here and the author who started the hop, Susan Kicklighter, has her answers here.
Below are my answers to the process questions:
1. What are you working on right now?
I’m a quarter of the way into my second Warm Springs novel set to come out sometime next year. What do you need to know about it you ask? Hot professional baseball player returns home to make amends to the woman he left behind. Problem is, she’s not in a forgiving mood.
The first book in the trilogy will be released at the beginning of 2015 and it’s my debut, so on top of being over-the-moon excited, I’m working on edits and marketing plans. (Who knew that stuff I learned in college would actually be something I needed?) In other words if you need to find me, I’ll be the crazy looking one, who may or may not have showered that day.
2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?
The obvious answer is that it’s mine. No two writers are exactly alike. That’s what makes reading and writing exciting. I chose the small town of Warm Springs, Georgia because I love it and I was going for the whole ‘write what you know’ thing when I started. Even if a hundred other authors write about the same city or town or choose a familiar trope, we all see things differently and every author has their own ideas when it comes to how the story unfolds. I just hope readers will find my books and enjoy the story. As a writer that’s all I can hope for.
3. Why do you write?
This might be the hardest question to answer because there have been different stages and different feelings while I’ve been chasing my dream. In the beginning, I wanted to see if I could write a novel. A crazy notion, but I tried nonetheless and eventually finished my first novel. (But man was it bad.) I was so green. I had no idea how the process of getting published worked *hangs head in shame*, and by the time I started learning the process, other characters and ideas were crowding together inside my head demanding their own story. It got to the point where if I didn’t write some each day, I felt like I hadn’t accomplished anything. And now, I’ve caught the bug. I want it all. I want to write until my muse keels over from exhaustion. So, the short answer is, I write because I have to.
4. How does your writing process work?
It’s true what they say. It is different for every author and for me; sometimes it’s a little different for each book. To start, I have a brilliant idea (and by brilliant, I mean a half-thought that maybe could be something). After the idea hits me, usually while I’m in the shower, I get organized (Side note: it’s the shower because I have small children and that’s the only time it’s quiet enough to hear myself think.)
I use a good old three-ring binder with three tabs: characters, story ideas, book itself. For the characters, I go to the writer toolkit website, print off the free character worksheets and fill them out. They are brilliant and if you’d like, they have some other worksheets for setting. Under the story ideas tab it’s a bunch of jotted down notes. Sometimes I jot down key dialogue or scenes or events that I want to refer back to because sometimes said muse has her own ideas about structure. Aside from those few ideas and maybe a scribbled down timeline, I start writing and let the characters lead the way.