I’ve been invited to participate in a Writing Process Blog Tour meme. My friend, Sabrina Garie tagged me last week, so here we are, answering four questions on the writing process. In the near future you’ll have the opportunity to visit another awesome writer: Tracie Roberts, and find out more about her process. I’ll be interested to see how it differs from mine as I’m always looking to improve. But for now, here are my answers:
- What am I working on at the moment?
Right now I have two projects in the works. One is the sequel to Descent – the working title is Sacrifice. It picks up where Descent left off, but with two characters who were secondary in that work. It is set in ancient Babylon and takes a look at how the strongest desires of the heart are often the most dangerous. I’m very excited about it. The other is a nearly finished collection of fantasy short stories. It’s called A Rule of Three, With Exceptions. Each story set details a different group of characters facing life altering situations with courage, conviction and more than a touch of kick-ass magic. It was really fun to write and I’m hoping it will be even more fun to read.
- How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s easier to answer for Sacrifice than for Rule of Three. In most fantasy dealing with angels, the angels are either perfectly good or perfectly evil. In the Rephaim series, which began with Descent and continues in Sacrifice, there is an element of ambivalence – an effort to look below the surface and create beings who, like humans, exercise freedom of choice in their actions. Then too, the underlying premise – that all the world’s mythologies have a common origin – makes for some exciting situations.
- Why do I write what I do?
The easy answer is, “because I have to.” And I laugh, even as I type the words, but it’s true. These are the stories in my head. This is the way my mind works. I don’t know how to create any other way. And the punishment my mind inflicts on my soul for not writing, (shudders delicately) doesn’t bear thinking about. A little melodramatic? Maybe, but in all honesty, I get really cranky when I don’t write and I hate to see my family suffer.
- How does my writing process work?
This is my favorite question, mostly because my process underwent a major sea-change recently. I have always been what is commonly referred to as a “pantser.” No, this does not entail running around jerking people’s pants down. That would be wrong.
Rather, it’s a play on the phrase “seat of her pants,” as in “she flies by the…” Anyway, awhile back a great friend, Susan Kiernan-Lewis, brought the synopsis for her latest work to our writers group for critique. It was AWESOME. She had the entire story mapped out, and got some refining done before she ever started writing. I thought hey, that looks like it works well, I think I’ll try it. And two weeks later Sacrifice, a novel that had been eluding me for a year, was born. I may never go back to pantsing again. (Hey – I see you back there, stop sniggering. You know what I mean.) At any rate, once the synopsis was done, I started aiming for 3000 words per week, but since I’m a full time teacher, those usually get done in one morning – Saturday. I send pages to my critique group twice a month, but I generally wait until a manuscript is finished to do any real revisions. Meanwhile, I go back over the previous paragraph or two at the beginning of each writing session to refresh my mind and get back into the story world. The rest is just sweat equity and dogged determination not to quit until it’s done.
Well, there are my answers. I hope you enjoyed them. Take a look at my friend’s blog
next Sunday and see what they are up to.