It falls to me to wrap up the blog hop on writing process that has been happening this month. I sit in the car with my laptop on battery power, which is not how I intended to be doing this post this morning, but circumstances conspire, don’t they? A little late, but better than not at all. Eden Royce invited me to participate a month ago. She is an awesome writer, and this is her biography for those of you that don’t know her:
Eden Royce is a writer and editor from Charleston, South Carolina whose stories have been published by various presses. She also reviews books for Hellnotes, a website dedicated to horror in fiction, art and movies and is the horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press. Besides writing, her passions include roller-skating, listening to thunderstorms, and excellent sushi. She lurks around at edenroyce.com and blogs at darkgeisha.wordpress.com.
The point of this blog hop has been to explore the writing process. As you can tell from the opening paragraph above, mine is rather chaotic at times. We are asked to answer four questions about our writing style. Here you go:
1) What am I working on?
Currently, I am still on a short story kick, but I also have some longer things in the works, and I want to get some new poetry written to read at the Austin International Poetry Festival next month.
I am brainstorming the next book in my Conn-Mann Chronicles tentatively entitled The Nearly Notorious Nun. In the next tale of Josephine Mann’s Steampunk adventures, she will have to help an old acquaintance deal with scandal and scheming. I think it will be a lot of fun.
Those of you who are old fans will be happy to know that I am also polishing the Bruce and Roxanne stories for a brand new perfect-bound edition which will collect both chapbooks and at least three new stories into one volume. I am almost done with that project.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That’s a toughie…I’m not sure most of it does, though I think the Steampunk (The Marvelous Mechanical Man) is light-hearted and fun compared to a lot of the more serious offerings. It has no pretensions to be anything other than a dime-novel style romp, and it was fabulous fun to write.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write what I do because I like to read it. I write a little of everything, because I am an eclectic reader. I sometimes write in a new genre to see if I can–to test my skills and grow as a writer. Only mysteries have so far eluded me, but I am not giving up!
4) How does your writing process work?
Generally, I sit in front of the TV with my laptop and write to the television. I know that is not everyone’s process, but it works for me. As long as it isn’t something that requires complete attention (I had to give up on The Returned for now because of the subtitles.) I can work and pay enough attention to follow the plot.
To start, I might go to ralan.com or one of the Facebook Open Call groups and see if there is something that speaks to me–I have become fond of writing for a specific market when it comes to short fiction.
For longer pieces, I play the “What if?” game. I start with a premise and beginning action. From that plot point, I consider what the consequences of that happening might be and build in the next action. Okay, where might that lead? And so on, until the full plot plays out to a logical conclusion. If I find something doesn’t work after all, I backtrack to a previous point and try another branch of the road.
Don’t forget to save those dead-ends. You might be able to use them later by “filing off the serial numbers”–changing names and details–and putting them into another piece. For example, I used to write Fan Fiction (a great way to practice). There was a lovely scene about an underground thieves’ camp in one of my Ladyhawke stories that I pulled out and used in The Lute and the Liar. And, the description of the King of the Thieves’ throne room formed part of the basis for the throne room of the elves in The Luckless Prince. One of my Shadow Chasers fan stories makes a great Bruce and Roxanne story. 🙂
In conclusion, everyone’s writing process is different. Some people can’t work with distractions, some use music as background, some like varieties of stimulation around them.
Writing what you know doesn’t mean that you have to have experienced everything you write about. You can know things you have read or researched about. A writer is always learning new things to write about.
And the most important thing to know and remember about the writing process is to have fun with it!