My talented and fabulous friend, Samantha Stroh Bailey, author of the fantastic novel, Finding Lucas, has challenged me to answer this blog roll on writing – Read about her fascinating writing process HERE.
And keep reading to see who I nominate to participate…
1. WHAT AM I WORKING ON?
My current manuscript is about a woman who has an unusual way of dealing with conflict that one day falters and simultaneously exposes all of her deepest darkest thoughts, anger and angst to the very people she’d been hiding it from.
In addition to revising this manuscript (Draft #1.5) I’ve also just begun pondering a plot for another novel which I expect I’ll write after this one. It gets complicated in my head sometimes.
2. HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?
It’s been said that every story has already been told, so, with that in mind, I think it all comes down to voice. While my novels are often serious, I tend to add levity and humor to situations and scenes, and I really enjoy the psychology of a first person novel, exploring why people do the things they do and say, and their motivations and experiences and inner dialogue.
One day I would like to be brave and try something new like a dual genre story hopping from past to present or even a few of the historical fiction ideas that have been bouncing around in my brain for the last two decades. One day, one day.
3. WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?
I love a strong female protagonist. I love putting them through hell. And then I love writing their happy endings.
4. HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?
I wing it. All of it. AKA: I’m a pantser, flying by the seat of my pajama pants. I have a vague idea and then I let it percolate. I write bits and pieces down, writing more and more as the details of the story reveal themselves. I admit, it isn’t pretty much of the time. It’s clunky and awkward, but I don’t really know any other way and it seems to be working. Mostly. Oh, and staring into space occurs frequently – daydreaming is a large part of my process. There are random AH-HA moments as I figure out something important complete with fist pumps in the air and a lot of thinking about the best way to drag my heroine to hell and back and what’s going on in her mind.
This draft is going to be a little different than my previous pass it to beta readers, edit, then hand over to my editor. This time I’m passing it over to none other than Samantha Stroh Bailey before my beta readers. We are miraculously at the same point in our manuscripts and have set a strict deadline of August 1st to swap. Then, a week later, we’re having dinner and drinks and a heavy discussion about our respective manuscripts. Have I mentioned that I’m a perfectionist? And that Sam’s an über-editor? I’m a basket case! But nothing like a tight deadline to instigate momentum.
5. AND THE OTHER PART OF THIS QUESTION, HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS NOT WORK?
What doesn’t work is editing a bunch of loosely strung together ideas although I have been improving on this front. I end up slashing and cutting and rewriting and moving chunks of the story around to make it cohesive. I also have to go back and add information or delete it as the story changes as I go along. One of the perks of plotting (or so I hear) is that this doesn’t happen as often, although I’ve heard a plotter or two say their stories end up changing half way through regardless of how much planning they do. Unfortunately I have to do a few rounds of edits before passing it over to beta readers for feedback.
For this novel I’ve been playing around with writing and editing on the subway for my work commute which is working very well for me – I suspect the lack of internet connection and other distractions is what works here. I do, however, tend to act out what my characters are doing to ensure I’m getting it right. I mimic their sneers, their grimaces, when they wrinkle their noses, how they move their arms, etc. I also mutter aloud when I’m working. Often. And I talk to myself and sigh a lot. This is not conducive to subway writing. I’m certain one day I’ll be hauled off a train and be committed.
And…*Rubs hands together.* Who do I want to nominate?
I’ve selected three women who not only do I admire and whose books I love, but I’m in absolute awe of how quickly they manage to rustle up a new novel! And a wee bit jealous! I’m hoping that by nominating them they’ll share some of their secrets!