Hey all! So in typical fashion, I am late in posting this. But a huge thank you to Janna Kaixer for nominating me! This is a great opportunity to share a little more about my writing, and nominate two awesome writers. 🙂
What am I working on?
My main project right now is my YA fantasy novel titled Nightfire. I am about two-thirds of the way finished, but I have plans to make it into a four book series. You can track my progress in the word count sidebar or under posts tagged To Build A Story. I am also in the querying process for my original manuscript, Ember. You can read more details and blurbs about my books here.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Genre-bending. I don’t set out to break the rules, it just happens. 🙂 For instance, Ember had both magic and advanced, almost futuristic technology. Nightfire is similar, in that is has magical elements such as monsters, spirit guides, and powers, but is also set in a post-apocalyptic world with machines and guns. I love the unexpected, and fantasy gives me the freedom to put these unusual elements together in a way that works.
Why do I write what I do?
I think my favorite is fantasy–both to read and write. I just love being immersed in a completely different world with no boundaries or rules. The possibilities are quite literally endless. I love the freedom and escapism fantasy offers, and I think it challenges me creatively. Somehow, though, fantasy feels like home. I have the hardest time writing contemporary, which is slightly ironic, but when I’m writing fantasy, the words come easy.
How does my writing process work?
This is a hard question to answer. I don’t have a set routine or process, really. Each story, and each day is a little bit different. Like I said, I let the story tell itself. Sometimes that involves a lot of planning, sometimes none at all. Usually I start with a concept or inspiration, and then write as much as I possibly can–major characters, main ideas, etc. 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, see where it goes. Usually this freedom leads to the best results.
I also tend to 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 out what works for you.
And now I’d like to introduce you to two amazing writers, Pema Donyo and Kathryn St. John-Shin.
Pema Donyo is the eighteen-year-old author of The Innocent Assassins and One Last Letter. She is also a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where any temperature less than 70 degrees is freezing and flip-flops never go out of season. As a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she’s still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and… college.
She’s a firm believer in the healing power of endless cups of coffee and espresso shots, staying up until 3AM, cheesy British period dramas, and the Beyonce Voters Tumblr page. Find her rambles/rants about writing, reading, and life in general on her website’s blog.
Kathryn St. John-Shin is a mother, writer, and all-around crazy person. She spends her days writing, taking care of her 5-year-old, exercising, and filling in the gaps with whatever fad has momentarily caught her attention. Her favorite genres are horror and fantasy. If the two are combined, even better!