Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour. I was tagged by my awesomesauce crit partner, Steve McHugh, author of the Hellequin series. What’s the tour all about? Authors talk about their writing process, as well as briefly touch on what they’re currently working on. Then, they pass the torch to three other authors.
1. What I’m working on…
Revisions to a dark fantasy novel due to my publisher as part of my current contract. Kicking around an idea to pitch to my agent, and thinking about possible sequels to The Book of Lost Souls and/or Don’t Fear the Reaper. But first and foremost is finishing up the dark fantasy novel. I say dark fantasy, but it also has some horror/thriller elements to it as well.
2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?
Every writer has a unique voice. I like to put new twists on old ideas, or simply buck the trend and do something unique. For example, take Don’t Fear the Reaper. I killed the MC off on page one. Yep. And by suicide, a sometimes touchy subject. The rest of the story takes place in the afterlife. In The Book of Lost Souls, I didn’t go with the usual dark and dystopian YA. While it does have some darker moments, the story is overall a fun and uplifting story of friendship, trust, and love. I’m always looking to stretch my writer legs.
3. Why do I write the things I do?
I enjoy it. I think it is as simple as that.
4. How my writing process works.
Stories always begin with, What if? I have no idea, nor any control on how, when, or where the muse hits. Just about anything can inspire a story.
Once I have an idea, I flesh it out a little. I need characters, and a main plot. From there, if I’m still intersted, I start the plotting process. This usually entails several steps: Create a three-act structure using index cards inside my favorite writing app, Scrivener. This is usually from what I call the 100,000 ft level. At this point, I need to know more about the characters and setting, so I create a setting sketch, followed by a character sketch.
From there, I go back to the index cards and add a few more for each act, bringing it down to a 25,000 ft level. I decide who’s POV to start with, along with first person vs third person point of view. I decide on the tone for the overall story.
At this point, I can’t procrastinate any longer and just place butt in chair and write.
I’m still figuring out what works best for me: write a few chapters and then tweak, write an entire act then tweak, or blaze through the entire manuscript and THEN tweak. I’m leaning toward writing until I’m through with an act, and then at least making sure the big pieces of the story are in place before moving on. I don’t worry about grammar or dialog. I don’t worry about introspection, narrative, action and reaction, etc. At least, not until I’m done with the entire manuscript.
Then, when I’m done with the first draft, I start revising. I’ll revise until I’m either sick of revising, or I feel the story is ready for my beta reader and crit partners. From there, it’s all just a matter of more revisions and line edits until I feel it’s ready to pass along to my editor.
In place of a writer’s journal, I use an application called Evernote to jot down scenes or ideas that come to me.
This is where I pass the torch. Next week, check out these authors:
J. Carson Black
J. Carson Black is the critically-acclaimed author of the Laura Cardinal series: Darkness on the Edge of Town, Dark Side of the Moon, The Devil’s Hour and the novella, Cry Wolf.
Her phenomenally successful Kindle Edition of her thriller, The Shop, first published by Breakaway Media and later published in a new edition by Thomas & Mercer has sold more than 140,000 copies since its first publication date in March 2011. The Thomas & Mercer edition of The Shop rose to #1 among all books on Amazon’s Kindle bestseller list in February 2012.
Shéa (Shay-uh) MacLeod has dreamed of writing novels since before she could hold a crayon. She totally blames her mother.
The first three books in her SUNWALKER SAGA (Kissed by Darkness, Kissed by Fire, andKissed by Smoke), a fast paced urban fantasy series with a kick-ass heroine, are available from Montlake Romance. The fourth installment, Kissed by Moonlight, is available now along with the first installment of the new spin-off series, Fearless (Soulshifter Book 1).
M.R. Merrick is a Canadian writer and author of The Protector Series, a Young Adult mash-up between Urban and Epic Fantasy. Having never traveled, he adventures to far off lands through his imagination and in between cups of coffee. As a music lover and proud breakfast enthusiast, he’s usually found at the computer between a pair of headphones and in front of a large bowl of cereal.