At the end of this post, you’ll see that I tag two other authors who will post about their writing process next Monday on their own blogs, thus continuing the Writing Process Blog Tour! Please follow them as they tell their tales.
What am I working on?
Right now I’ve got four projects underway. My Regency romance writing alter ego, Vivian Roycroft, is working on book three of the Scoundrel of Mayfair series for Astraea Press, this one called Shenanigans in Berkeley Square, plus a short story or short novella for Dingbat Publishing called Love, Unmasked. I’m also nibbling at an idea for a romantic suspense adventure for Astraea; they’re such a great group of people.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
A good friend once compared my writing to taffy: it stretches and stretches, but never seems to break. That’s because I keep each sentence in a story linked to the next, each thought, emotion, and action carrying into the next in an unbroken stream. This technique helps to turn a story from a collection of words into an experience for the reader, but be warned — it can also be really tough finding a place to put the book down!
Why do I write what I do?
You know, someone once asked Stephen King that question, and he responded, “What makes you think I have any choice?” (Or so the urban legend goes.)
Well, I’ve always found that to be pretty accurate. The stories I write are the stories I want to write, about characters who won’t leave me alone and themes that grab a chunk of my soul and won’t let go. Putting those words into pixels is a matter of sanity survival; if I don’t get them out of my system, something could explode. Or something.
I’m never comfortable with a new project until I’ve got an outline down. Ja, I know, so many authors love to brag about their pantstering skills, and I used to write that way, too. But as a reader, I realized I can tell when an author bluffed her way through writing a book, as opposed to a planned, organized project, and the books written by pantsters don’t appeal to me as much because they never quite seem to come together, know what I mean?
The first outline is usually a series of brief sentences in present tense that sketch in the plot of the book. Then I’ll go back through and add more layers, inserting the characterization and sensory details and emotional eddies. During this stage, the verb tense changes, the setting begins to appear, and the characters grab the outline, transform it, and make it their own story. In a final pass, I self-edit and smooth the story, ensuring readers can always follow the references, understanding who’s talking and what’s happening.
Three passes usually does it, and the outline magically morphs into the finished story.
Thanks to Meg Mims for inviting me aboard the Writing Process Blog Tour. Meg is the very talented author of two Western mysteries, Double Crossing (winner of the 2011 SPUR Award) and Double or Nothing, as well as a contemporary romantic novella, Key to Love, and two Christmas novellas, Santa Paws and Santa Claws. As well, Meg is half of the writing team known as D.E. Ireland, whose cozy mysteries starring Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins from Pygmalion will be published by St. Martin’s Minotaur starting this September.
Thanks for stopping by today to read about my writing process. Now it’s my turn to tag two other authors to talk about their process and why they write what they do. Follow these authors’ posts in the next few weeks. Learn about them and discover a whole host of new books to read!
1) Kelly Martin, YA inspirational author of Crossing the Deep, Saint Sloan, and her newest release, Saving Sloan.
2) Ariella Moon, teen/YA author of The Teen Wytche Saga — Spell Check, Spell Struck, and Spell Fire.
Thanks for stopping by! Cheers,