Today I am taking yet another opportunity to talk about myself by participating in The Writing Process Blog Tour, where I answer a handful of questions about my writerly ways and then force three other authors to do the same. Splendid.
The torch has been passed to be courtesy of Steve McHugh, author of ALL THESE BOOKS.
So. Onto it.
1. What am I working on?
Not being lazy.
But seriously. I’m working on working harder. Putting more effort into what’s on my plate. The current entrée is THE MATERIALS MAGICIAN, the third book in my unnamed series that I can’t call The Magicians because that’s super taken already. My deadline for this book is a ways away, which may contribute to said laziness, but I would like to get the first draft out before I birth my spawn.
On the side, I’m planning stories. Not sure what will suit my fancy once TMM is off the RADAR.
Hmm… good question. It sits in that still semi-awkward New Adult/YA-crossover genre. I like to think TMM, along with its predecessors, are a tad on the quirky side, sort of Howl’s Moving Castle-esque, albeit with a historical flare. That, and one of my side characters is a paper dog. That counts as different, right?
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’ve dabbled in many different forms of fantasy—epic, romantic, YA—but I always write fantasy because for me, writing is about going outside the walls of our world. While I like to read a contemporary or historical every now and then, I want to delve into stories that can’t happen on our earth. Stories that don’t appear on the news. My brain likes to linger among the incredible, and when I can’t find exactly what I want in a book, I must create it myself!
4. How does your writing process work?
Well, it starts with an idea.
I get an idea, usually involving a magic system or a specific character (for TMM, it was the magic system; I liked the idea of working spells via origami). I let the idea sprout in my brain and write down notes of how such and such would work, or what the bigger plot line would be. Frequently I store these ideas away, but if an idea is gripping enough, it gets pushed to the front of the line.
Then I outline. I’m a big outliner, and I keep notebooks on hand so I can jot down any plot idea or character or whatever that comes to my mind, because I hate the idea of forgetting it. Lately I start my outlines by storyboarding them Save the Cat style, AKA on my wall with post-it notes.
Then I write. Nothing too secretive or fancy going on here. I take a chunk of my outline and paste it into a Word doc, then reference it as I create each chapter. I’m usually pretty boss at drafting if I’m excited about the idea.
When I’m done, I fork the raw meat over to my alpha readers, other writers who will read it and tell me all the BIG problems. I take a break while this happens, and once I get all the feedback, I make another draft, which goes to my beta readers, or non-writers who will read the book and help me with smaller things, including grammar.
Then I proofread the thing myself and throw it at my agent. Or something. Very business-like, I’ll have you know.
Oh look, I'm done talking about myself.