So, Hayley from Books Are Delicious tagged me in the writing process blog hop forever ago, but somehow I just never got around to it. Then, Sabrina from Books and Bark tagged me this week, and it was kind of a kick in the butt (I may also be restless while waiting for CampNano to start). So thanks so much to both of these ladies for nominating me, they are both awesome blogs that everyone needs to go check out, now 🙂
What Am I Working On?
My current YA fantasy work in progress, called Nightfire, is about 16 year old Kera who survives in the wilds, in a world ravaged by shape-shifting monsters called Shadows. When she and her mother are attacked by the Shadows, leaving her mother half-dead, and Kera with fragmented visions, she must turn to the humans she has been taught to fear her entire life, to help her find her missing sister. You can check out a better summary here, or follow my progress under the tag To Build A Story.
How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?
Something I have a habit of doing, unintentionally, is genre-bending. For a long time, my first manuscript was strictly sci-fi, but it wasn’t working. When I added magic and the fantasy element, something clicked–but I still loved the technology and the world I had created. So why not have both? Nightfire is similar in that it has magic and monsters, but also strong post-apocalyptic elements, such as machines, some tech, and a collapsed society.
Why Do I Write What I Write?
I really don’t limit myself to genres. While my two main manuscripts happen to be fantasy, I’ve also written contemporary, sci-fi, even paranormal. I don’t really choose what I write, the stories come to me.
How Does Your Writing Process Work?
First, I start with an abstract concept. This can be a setting, a premise, or a voice, that strike me one day. I have a lot of these ideas floating around, so usually when I’m first inspired I’ll write as much as I possibly can about this idea. This is mostly major concepts and characters, kind of a rough outline, or particular ideas. Then I sit down to write, and just let the words flow. I take this abstract idea, kind of a mound of clay, and let it form and shape itself into something more concrete. If I fall in love, I keep writing. Usually I can tell by about the 15k mark, if an idea is novel-ready. If it’s not, I store it for later (I have dozens of these, waiting to be written). If it is, I keep letting the story tell itself. I don’t plan very much, just main story ideas and arcs, because often the story takes itself places I never imagined. I also have a heavy editing phase, but I actually enjoy this part almost as much. This is where I get to take that half-formed stone and chip away, bit by bit, to reveal the masterpiece inside. 🙂 Don’t underestimate the importance and power of editing!
I wish I had some great advice, but I really don’t. Everyone is different. I’ve been writing my entire life, and the stories tell themselves for me. I’ve kind of learned through years of trial-and-error what works for me and what doesn’t. While I think it is important to learn the craft, I think you will improve most through just plain writing, and figuring it out for yourself.