Writing Process Blog Tour
I’m taking part in a blog tour about writing processes. It’s a series of blogs where a writer (that would be me) gives a description of what they’re working on at how their process goes and then they pass the torch to three more writers.
Last week I was invited to take part by awesome writer, and all-round good-guy, Richard E Preston, the Author of the wonderful Romulus Buckle Steampunk novels. You can find the first of which, The City of Founders, here.
So here are the four questions and answers.
1. What am I working on
Currently I’m working on a few things. I’m finishing up the edits for a Hellequin novella, Infamous Reign, which should be out very soon. I’m also writing Hellequin Chronicles book 4: Prison of Hope, which is the first time we see a lot of characters from mythology all in the same book.
When the draft of book 4 is finished, I’ll be writing both book 5, which I’m currently plotting out alongside the first book in the Chimera series. After that I may have some time to sleep. Probably not.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well it’s certainly quite dark in places and the main character, Nate Garrett, isn’t adverse to going to a place that morally most people wouldn’t, if it means getting the job done. He’s a good guy who’s more than willing to do bad things to protect people.
I don’t know of too many other books that have such a varied group of mythology; Greek, Norse, Avalon and others are all real, although none of them are actually god or goddesses.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Because I love doing it. That’s the basic answer. I wanted to write stories that I would like to read, so I did and will continue to do so until I run out of them. Hopefully that’s no time soon.
4. How does your writing process work?
In terms of how I start writing, I usually just sit down and start. There’s no big process to it, I plant my butt in my chair and get started. Getting onto my chair is sometimes a process of procrastination and trying not to find something shiny to do, but I usually make it there eventually.
The process for coming up with the story is a little different.
Usually, I have a spark, something that ignites creativity in my brain. It can be anything from an idea for a fight scene or a use of magic, up to a full character or scene. Whatever it is, it’ll usually ferment in my brain for a few days, bugging me until I write something down to try and get it out.
Then I mull over the idea for a while, usually as I write something separate. When I’m finished with whatever I’m working on, I start on the new idea. It doesn’t usually take long for the story to flesh out, although the minor details sometimes do. I make notes, try to figure out what needs to be done where and do research as needed.
Once all of that is done, I write the story down on cards, each plot point or scene being a different card. I stick these onto a whiteboard I have in my office and that’s the basis for the story. Things change as I start writing, they always do, but by that point I’m pretty much aware of how the story will go and what’ll happen to which character.
I know most people will say not to go back and change things as you write, but it would annoy me to leave it, so I tend to do corrections and changes as I go. It takes longer to do the first draft, but it usually means not having to do another 2 or 3 straight after to get everything as you want it.
By this point, I’m usually left with a functioning first draft, although certainly not a readable one. I go through the story, making changes I need to and editing bits here and there that I think don’t work or need expanding.
This appears to be the point when the deadline looms and I need to get things finished, so I make sure everything is done and send it off to my editor, who sends it back with lots of red bits. I make corrections that I agree with (a very important point) and then send it back to her. If there’s anything she still doesn’t like we talk about it and I make any final changes before she sends it off to her boss.
After that comes copy edits, line edits and a bunch of very exciting things, but they’re much less about creativity.
When the book isn’t with me, I work on the next one, going through the opening process to get the story together. That way I’m always working on something and never have the, “what do I do next?” mindset.
That’s it for me. I hope you enjoyed the read. And now, I get to tell you about the three fantastic writers that I pass on the preverbal baton to. You should go check them out.
First up is my crit partner and friend, Michelle Muto.
Michelle has always loved storytelling. When she was a child, her favorite stories were of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.
As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she’s doing what she loves best – writing and storytelling.
Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.
Second is fellow 47North writer, the incredibly talented Charlie Holmberg.
Fantasy author, freelance editor, and Trekkie. Someday I will own a dog. My YA-crossover series, beginning with THE PAPER MAGICIAN, is coming soon from 47North.
Finally we have the amazing writer, Natalie Westgate.
Natalie Westgate was born and raised in England. Her love of writing is matched only by her love of shoes.
At age 6, Natalie wrote her first “book”: a children’s story titled The Dog That Went Meow. She got bitten by the literary bug and has been writing stories and poems ever since.
She has an enjoyment and intrigue of all things unusual – as a child, when others would run away from haunted houses, Natalie would ask her Mom if they could go and stay in one. Luckily, her Mom was just as keen and Natalie’s love of the paranormal grew.
Currently, Natalie is writing book one of an Urban Fantasy series. With the hope to get it polished and ready to send out to agents by the end of 2013. Watch this space!
She enjoys reading dark and urban fantasy, supernatural romance, horror, sci-fi and paranormal young adult genres. As well as getting immersed in the worlds of fictional supernatural TV series and movies – to Natalie, good writing isn’t limited to books.
Natalie is married to Brian, the love of her life who, being American, just loves to point out her English spelling “mistakes”. They have two cats – Spike (of the Buffy variety) and Indiana (after the famous Jones) – and a goofball dog.