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My Writing Process Blog Hop

April 12, 2014

I was tagged by Lena Ray in this Writing Process Blog Hop! (It is a fun thing where I answer questions and then tag somebody else to answer the same questions)

1)    What am I working on?

The Christening of course! To any newbies, The Christening is the first book in my novel series, The Bound Chronicles. It follows three Irish monks as they travel to England in 891 A.D. and have to face Vikings, kings, and, most frightening of all, themselves and the consequences of their choices. My final beta reader/editor is reading/editing, and this weekend I’m going to be drafting up query letters and creating a list of agents to contact. It’s getting to that time where I can barely look my characters in the face, and I’m done tinkering with it.

2)    How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s ten bazillion times more homoerotic than is entirely necessary.

While I tinker in other genres, I consider my main genres fantasy and historical fiction. Either way, I do tend to have very self-reflective characters. A lot of the drama happens inside somebody’s head as opposed to an external conflict. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not all navel-gazing, and sometimes there is major external conflict (like a war). Yet my writing focuses on how the character internally processes and deals with an overt external force, if there is an external force. Nobody just ups and shoots somebody without at least two paragraphs of agonizing over it.

3)    Why do I write what I do?

I write stories because I want to write stories. It’s been like that since kindergarten. As far as why fantasy and history…I like reading that best. How other people live or lived is just fascinating to me.

4)    How does my writing process work?

I’m going to steal Lena’s step format for this one.

Step 1: I get a good idea. I either frantically write it down immediately or I frantically think about it a lot and then forget it and then remember it later. I talk about the idea or aspects of the idea with friends and/or family. Who I talk to depends on whoever has the misfortune of being in the room with me at the time or is the nearest trustworthy person. (Spoiler: it’s usually the Invisible Ninja Cat)

Step 2: Research. Yup. Even if it’s just a couple Wikipedia pages, I still count it as research, because no one wants to wait around seven pages for a character to die when realistically it would take one.

Step 3: Write the first draft. For The Christening, this was actually the fastest step, taking me around a month. I usually listen to music or other background noise while writing and can be very picky about what songs and their order. I’m listening to Florence & the Machine’s Lungs album while I write this blog post actually. I also find the 2009 Sherlock Holmes and The Hunger Games movies very soothing. Or the Master and Commander soundtrack. Basically, if there’s music on, I’m working. Sometimes I become very focused when writing, and I forget basic things like what a cell phone is and the fact I need to eat. It usually requires other human intervention or sudden exhaustion for me to stop, and talking to me is like connecting to dial up Internet. Sometimes I even make similar noises.

Step 4a: Self-editing. This is where I read through the manuscript myself and make changes.

Step 4b: Have other people read it and collect their feedback. How many times I and others go through the manuscript depends on how big a deal I want the work to be. My novels have received multiple, extensive overviews. Some of the poems I wrote for myself are not going to see any eyeballs but mine.

Step 5: The work begins its journey to wherever I want it to go. If it’s for the Internet, it’s posted. Or I try to find an agent for it! Eek! Wish me luck on that one.

So yes, those are the steps of my writing process. It sounds really smooth and streamlined, but please know there’s a lot of procrastination in there too, as well as some designated time away from the work.

And that’s all she wrote! I now tag Charlotte Blackwood and charge her to post her hop next Saturday, April 19th!

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3 Comments
  1. lenarays permalink

    Reading your process was really interesting! Glad I could be such an inspiration. I am super impressed that you got your first draft of The Christening (WordPress won’t let me do italics) written so quickly! Putting those initial words on paper is like pulling teeth for me. I had no idea music was so critical to your process…but please remember to eat. Food for the body can be as important as food for the soul!

    • Thank you! It didn’t take that long to write because the characters and story had been around for so long already! My head was about bursting. I also really pushed myself though, because I needed a draft done before the spring semester started. There’s nothing as spurring as a deadline with a professor at the end of it.

      • lenarays permalink

        Deadlines are wonderful and dreadful things. So motivational…so terrifying. Looking forward to getting to read The Christening!

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