Monday, April 14, 2014

My Writing Process

Last week I was tagged by friend, blogger, and soon-to-be author, Stephanie Neighbour, to participate in a blog hop where writers share their process for creating the projects they write. Stephanie and I have known each other, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, for a couple of years now, at least, and together have pulled our hair out over the injustices of Twitter Jail and the crazy writing programs we attempt to learn in order to make our lives easier. Eventually, they do, but not until after watching hours of YouTube videos and lengthy messages sent back and forth. If you haven’t visited Stephanie’s blog, you are truly missing out and need to rectify that today, after you finish reading this one, of course.

So settle back as I attempt to answer some of the questions posed in the blog hop and maybe together we’ll figure out how I do this thing called writing.

What am I working on now? – I am always working on several things at once. A Confused Life is out and available on Amazon. It’s a collection of blog-like essays about the things in life that tend to confuse me. Don’t worry, I limited it to only a few.

I am also beginning the first draft of Fields of Harvest, the second in the Warrior of the Way series. This one will go deeper into the lives of each of the characters as we meet new villains from the Unseelie who are still bent on creating a Gateway to the Nether. We will also meet more of Rhychard’s family along the way.
However, the most urgent project is the spit and polish of Losing Faith, an erotic romance about a couple who have opened their sex lives up and, without knowing it, their hearts, as well. After three drafts and the rounds with my editors-in-residence, I am at the final set of revisions before sending it to the beta readers for their opinions. This project has been three years in the making and we are excited to see the project finally coming to an end.

How does my work differ from others in its genre? – Here I will agree with Stephanie and her stance on each author having a different voice. Every author, every writer, has their own, unique voice that will come through the words on the page, regardless of the story being told. My stories follow unique characters and their stories, which in turn follows different paths creating varying stories. They follow some of my “What Ifs” in life and how they might pan out under different circumstances.

Why do I write what I do? – The Mess That Is Me started out because my friends had all heard my silly rants and I needed a wider audience. The other stories began because when I was in high school many decades ago, I needed a way to survive the lectures and bullies. Fantasy was a natural draw, although I write other things, such as mystery and erotica. Basically, I develop an idea and it follows its course. I can only write it down, because otherwise, it will pester my mind constantly. They are stories that fascinate me and I have to see how they turn out.

How does your writing process work? – To be honest, it’s a process I am still developing as I find myself growing as a writer and discovering what works for me. Before I would write the stories in a notebook, taking it with me wherever I went and writing whenever I had a free moment. Notice, I did not say quiet. My life rarely has quietness.

Now, however, I have made the switch to doing almost everything electronically. I use Scrivener and enjoy its ability to keep all of my research and my drafts together, even in split screen so that I do not have to flip back and forth between notebooks or screens.

I get an idea about a story, something that makes me wonder what would happen if this happens and I try to put an odd character in the story to see how they would react. I recently wrote a story entitled the People Watchers Association, where instead of collecting butterflies, this group collects people. The thought process is to take something normal and flip it. Then I flesh out the characters, put it in a setting that works with that story and see what happens. While I may have a general idea of where I want the story to go and scenes I want to see in it, I write without outline and allow the story to flow. It is fun to be surprised along the way.

Next week, we will hear how Gary Alan Henson goes about his writing process. It is always fun to hear how other authors create. Gary is the author of the humorous Sci-Fi series, Arlo and Jake, which I have thoroughly enjoyed, as well as the ghost story, Genome. Like me, Gary enjoys reading and writing on his patio and a good glass of wine. He is also a fan of B movies as well as haiku and you can learn more about his writing at his self-title blog, Gary Alan Henson. You can also follow him on Twitter at @garyalanhenson and make a friend you will be glad to have met. I hope you give him a visit.

And a quick thank you to Stephanie for asking me to join in the hop. I always appreciate learning from others as well as sharing. Call on me anytime.

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