This week it’s my turn to host the popular Writing Process Blog Tour that many of my scribe friends have been taking part in. I was nominated by the lovely Julie Stock whose writing is both engaging and reassuring. We’ve become friends through our mutual struggles with editing our first draft novels. Although, I must say, she is tackling it much better than I am currently!
Part of the reason I accept nominations like these is because of the challenge it poses to me as a writer. I’ve never really thought about my own writing process, and certainly not why I write what I do – which means that I really had to ruminate on my answers to the questions on this tour. It’s been a fun and interesting week trying to discern my reasons and explain myself, and I’d recommend any writer consider their own responses to these four questions. It might reveal some interesting things you’ve never thought of before!
What am I working on at the moment?
Right now I am in the midst of Camp NaNoWriMo in an attempt to complete the first draft of my previous November NaNoWriMo novel (which is a prequel/sequel to That which is Left is Lost) called That which is Found. During this book, Rachel, an adopted child who met birth-mother Madeline on her death bed – explores the diaries of her birth mother whilst also trying to fit into her birth-father’s family. The diaries reveal lots of twists that put Rachel in an awkward position, particularly when her birth-father is counting on her being able to save his youngest daughter, who is dying of leukaemia.
As soon as Camp NaNo is done, it’s back to the draft of That which is Left is Lost to try and re-write the story as I now know it is meant to be told.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Good question – and still one I’m trying to figure out for myself. Part of the reason I’m not sure is because I have had difficulty in defining my novel as ‘genre’ fiction. I think it should be classified as ‘commercial fiction’, based on this definition by Annie Neugebauer.
My approach could be considered somewhat different to most, as in That which is Left is Lost, the reader is dependent on other people’s impression of the main antagonist – Madeline – and I would like to think this mirrors Du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel in some respects. That which is Found explores Madeline and the effect she has had across two different time lines – past and present – so although she is officially dead in the present time, her decisions still have an affect on those who knew her. Hence why above I described it as the prequel/sequel.
Why do I write what I do?
I recently discovered that a theme I tend to write a lot about is loss and how people cope differently with losing certain things. I enjoy exploring how my characters react to losing that which is dearest to them; this has multiple benefits for my work, I think. Firstly, it creates some great conflict and tension in my stories, but it also allows me to test my characters in order to see what they’re made of and provides a good opportunity to see how they develop under difficult circumstances. It makes it quite fun to write when you take things away from your characters to see how they fare. As a writer, it challenges me to try and think up solutions when everything seems to be in disarray for the characters I’ve created. So for me, writing is all about the challenge and ingenuity that comes with removing certain elements those characters I’ve created rely upon and discovering how (and if) they can live without them.
How does my writing process work?
In all honesty, I’m not really sure it does! But, I tend to have an idea and let it ferment for a little while then if it’s still on my mind after a few weeks I make some notes, put them to one side and come back to it to see if it’s worth investing in. If so, I commit to producing a vague outline that will stand me in good stead for when I furiously write out the first draft – typically during NaNoWriMo in November. Usually I then I have to complete it after Christmas because 50,000 words never sees me to the end of the story.
As yet, I haven’t really got past this point in the writing process – if you are familiar with my blog you’ll know I am now struggling with the editing process. As a result, I’ve completely shelved one of my NaNo novels which was Young Adult fiction because I know I’m not ready to tackle such a demanding genre. But, thankfully, this question doesn’t ask about that the revision stages, so we can save that until I’ve figured it all out! 😉
So, that’s me. On the 28th April the lovely bloggers below will be picking up the tour and answering these questions for themselves. I’d definitely recommend checking them out because as we all know, no two writers are the same…
D. Emery Bunn is a mixed bag of interests, but in short he’s an author, editor, gamer, engineer, and music lover. He’s currently working on an arcing set of cyberpunk short stories entitled Normalization: The Crackdown and a dark fantasy/mystery entitled Darkness Concealed. Depending on when you ask him, their publication date is “never”, “in a few months”, or “next year, maybe”. He currently lives in New Mexico with his two Maine Coon cats, Gypsy and Tiger, though his heart is either in the Black Hills of South Dakota or the Lowcountry of South Carolina. He’s not sure. He can be reached on Twitter as @DEmeryBunn, and his blog is at www.DEmeryBunn.com.
K.R. Green writes novels about dragons, falconry, mythology, magic, and necromancy. This year, she is focusing on the edits of a fantasy about a falconer unravelling the myths behind necromancy. She attends a local writing group, and outside of writing enjoys herbal teas, reading, and gazing up at the stars. When she isn’t painting pictures with words, she works in the Mental Health sector in London and Children’s Services in Sussex. You can find her at www.krgreen.co.uk or twitter as @K_R_Green.
Dawn Chapman has been creating sci fi and fantasy stories for thirty years. Until 2005 when her life and attention turned to scripts, and she started work on The Secret King, a 13 episode Sci Fi TV series, with great passion for this medium. In 2010, Dawn returned to her first love of prose. She’s been working with coach EJ Runyon who’s encouraged her away from fast paced script writing, to revel in the world of TSK and Letháo as an epic prose space journey.
She’s had success with a web series, co-written with ‘Melvin Johnson’, produced by Nandar Entertainment, and a short film Irobe, also co-written. This year her experience of working with Producers/Directors from the US and AUS has expanded. From Drama, Sci Fi to Action, Dawn’s built a portfolio of writing, consulting and publishing.
You can find her at www.kanundra.wordpress.com or on Twitter as @kanundra