Right, well… I’ve been absent and I apologise. Life on the other side of the world is difficult to say the least. It is taking some time to get adjusted and when I have energy it goes into working instead of blogging. Hopefully I’ll be back soon.
In the meantime I have been tagged in the Writing Process Blog Chain by my lovely editor, Amanda J Spedding. She asked if I wanted to do this and in my usual enthusiastic style I agreed before considering how crappy I’ve been feeling. But BLAH… here it is – my writing process…
1. What am I working on?
I am working on the final drafting stages of The Grave at Storm’s End, the third book of my Vengeance Trilogy. It is in the painful stage – that bit in the middle where you know exactly what you need to do and write and change, but you still have to get the words down. I love early drafts and I love the finicky final editing passes where every word comes under scrutiny, but these middle bits… not so much.
Because of that I’m also in the brainstorming stage for a new trilogy that is a bit different. And I really really can’t wait to be able to work on something new.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a really tough question, because every writer is unique in some way. For me I concentrate on characters. I make them real and then put them into difficult situations and sit back to see what they do. I once heard the theory that every author is writing to solve a problem, to answer a big question that consumes them. I haven’t figured out exactly what question I am still hunting for an answer to, but broadly I write to find out what people will do when put into situations beyond the average world we know. Plot is characters in action, so without great characters, you have no great plot. It is a theory I will continue to live and write by.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’m not sure that any author sets out to choose a genre. I think they just fall into it because we write what is natural to us. The day I discovered fantasy I was hooked for life, and it immediately altered my writing habits. To be able to put it into words, I write a genre that allows me to put characters into situations that are unable to be found in a ‘real world’ setting. It is a way of exploring the human psyche, of pushing the envelope to see what we are capable of as a society and as individuals. And I write character based stories because characters are everything to me. People are fascinating and they create their own stories.
4. How does my writing process work?
I write every moment I can. I have two little kids and so I write whenever they are temporarily being quiet. As for HOW I do it – I’m a pantser. I have no idea what’s going to happen when I start writing, I have characters, I get to know them, and then they tell me a story. I write it down. Then I rewrite it. Then, when I’m happy with how it’s going, I get it beta read. Then I make changes. And I re-write it. Then I re-write it some more and get some more people to read it. Eventually, when it’s finally ready, it goes through editing passes (which are awesome fun) and out the other end of this pops a book.
Sometimes I write notes. Sometimes I write A LOT of notes. Sometimes I listen to music. Sometimes I talk at people while I figure it out in my head. Sometimes I daydream in the shower or write scenes in my head while I’m trying to go to sleep. The more into it I get the more obsessed I am and the faster and better the work is that emerges. It is draining, but I love it and can’t imagine doing anything else.
So that’s me done. I’m supposed to tag three other writers in this, but what with being not really in the game at the moment, and the fact that so many writers have already done this, I am just going to tag one special author. Poet and author, Ashley Capes, whose thought-provoking blog always has something interesting to read. I’m going to tag him as a poet today, because poets get so little credit in the modern literary world, when once they ruled the world.
Get to it, Ashley! Can’t wait to read your answers.
I also like the term ‘discovery writer’ tag too 🙂
Can’t wait for ‘Storm’s End’ – any hints on how long?
Pantsers unite! 🙂