Monday, March 17, 2014

My Writing Process

Today is Blog Tour Day!

This tour is where writers and authors (What's the difference? Can someone tell me?) answer questions about their writing process.

My friend Julie Reece, author of Crux, posted hers last week. Her agent is currently shopping her gothic paranormal retelling of Beauty and the Beast while she's busy penning her next book. Got my fingers crossed her super-duper agent finds a good home for the goth.

You can check out her writing process here:

Now on with my process, answering the questions posed by my predecessor, and her predecessor, etc.:

What am I working on?

Ooh, tough question, not because I'm idle and ashamed but because I'm working on a lot of projects for a wide variety of readers. However, for my YA and NA readers, I've been concentrating lately on a college romp called Kissing As An Organized Sport aka KAOS. Haha! Can't wait to unleash that one. I have about 9k works so far. Here's another hint:  the hero is a British graduate student, yum!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Gosh, this is a toughie. I guess the one thing most of my works have, sometimes even when I don't try, is a sort of wry humor. I can't help it and don't think I want to. When the topic is lighter to begin with, as KAOS is, I'm free to be a little silly. Writing in first person isn't unique at all, but for my YA and NA characters, it's easier to throw in those random thoughts every now and then or have the characters go off into Walter Mitty-land. I like those moments, but I have to be careful not to taint the mood of the external to the character scene.

Why do I write what I do?

At my age, I know so much more and have so much more confidence than I did when a teen. I guess I enjoy writing stories about teens because it allows me to live out those retrospective "what-ifs." What if my home life had been like this? What if my friends had been like that? What would I have done if? They are challenges that aren't always answered with wise mature answers. I hope the heroes and heroines get there eventually but the journey of trial and error is an interesting one.

How does your writing process work?

Ha ha...what process? I can't say I exactly have a process. I have a few tricks to get me through tough times and I usually start with an overall theme and premise, but I am not a meticulous plotter. Where the story meanders from the initial concept varies widely and I'm often shocked at the turns the stories sometimes take while creating in the moment. That said, it's not the most efficient way to tell a story.

With my novel Louder Than Words, I wrote 25% more words than ended up in the draft I submitted to agents and publishers. I have an adult paranormal that went through a similar blowup then shrink down. I don't consider them wasted words but as sidebars that allowed me to flesh out back story details and in doing so solidify the characters more.

I will also admit to a fondness for using Write or Die, especially when I need to get a lot of words out fast. Surprisingly, I keep a lot, but not all, of what I spew in those 500 words in 20 minute sessions. Louder Than Words is the product of many sessions of Write or Die.

So a question I began by answering with "what process?" turned out to be my longest-winded answer.

Thanks for reading. I'd like to send you to a few blogs of three other YA and NA authors I know and think the world of one week from today, on March 24th. They'll tackle the same questions I just did.

Check out Joyce Mangola -- YA author of Ghost in the Mirror from Lycaon Press.

Then head over to YA author Sheryl Winters' blog and see (maybe) how her "dragon changer romance" characters came about or maybe something about something else she has cooking.

If sexy NA is more your thing, then head over to Sandra Bunino's blog to learn more about her writing process for her angsty new adult title.

And always...keep reading! Young Adult, New Adult...whatever!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!

According to a text analyzer of Don't Ask, Don't Tell...

I write like
J. D. Salinger

I Write Like by Mémoires, journal software. Analyze your writing!