July 8, 2014 by Renee
I was tagged this week for a blog hop about the Writing Process, or as Veronica (my tagger) put it, “the roadmap that takes each writer from “What a cool idea” to “THE END, motherfucker!”
I don’t usually do blog hops, but this one is cool, and offers some insight for other writers and for readers, so I accepted Veronica’s invitation. For this blog hop, I’m supposed to answer four questions about my writing process. We each have different strengths, weaknesses and talents, so it follows we do our shit our own way. I can be wildly productive in my writing, and have written more than 10,000 words in a day (for you non-writers, that’s a frigging huge thing). I can also be pretty pathetic, only writing 1000 words in a week. I don’t get upset if my word counts aren’t high, and if they’re astronomical, it’s usually because I’ve followed the “process” I know works for me.
What is that process? Well, let me answer those four questions and you’ll all know.
1. What are you working on?
I’m working on several projects at the moment, which is the only way I can be productive. When I focus on a single project, I tend to work slowly and get pretty bored. To avoid that, I let my brain wander, and I work on the project that most inspires me at that time. How many projects? Let’s see, I’ve just finished Nefarious (the third book in my “for the love of gods” series, the first two books Lucky and Mendacious) will be published by Crescent Moon Press), and I’m outlining the fourth book, which is untitled at the moment. I’ll probably start writing it before the end of July.
I’m about a quarter of the way through the second book in the Sex, Peanuts, Fangs and Fur trilogy, an absurdist series meant to tickle one’s funny bone. I’m still puttering on the outline for that one, because something feels off. I won’t tackle the third and final book until I figure it out. Thanks to my boss, Maria, I have a fantastic book about the book of Revelations for research material. (Revelations and understanding the many interpretations of it is crucial to writing this trilogy) This stuff is fascinating and distracting.
I’ve also started a book that twists Grimm’s fairy tales into a real-world setting with dark and (hopefully) hilarious results. It’s part paranormal romance, part dark fantasy, part tickle your funny bone type of book. I love every minute of this project.
Finally, I’m editing Lies We Tell, which I hope to publish this fall, either before or after the release of LUCKY.
Yes, I think that’s all I’m working on at the moment.
2. How does your work differ from others in this genre?
I work in several genres. Romance, paranormal, fantasy, thriller, suspense, absurdist, and even literary fiction. I write the story that I’m inspired to tell, and I don’t think about genre until it’s finished. I think what makes my books different is my voice. I think that’s what makes any book different from others in its genre. I try to add humor, when it’s appropriate, and I try not to add fluff or frills. Also, there’s almost always profanity and sex in my books, though these elements aren’t always X-rated.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I don’t know. That’s a boring non-answer, but it’s the truth. I don’t know why I write what I write. It’s not a simple answer, because the motivation is different for each book. I write what is interesting to me, and I hope that someone else finds it just as fascinating or amusing as I do.
4. How does your writing process work?
God, this is going to be pretty rambly. I begin with an idea. (Which makes sense, right?) It might be a plot idea, or just a character. It might be a question or a sentence that stays with me. I think about this idea for a long time. Sometimes I think about it for months before I consider sitting down and making any notes. Once I’ve decided I need to write this idea down, I start plotting.
I outline everything. It might not be anything intricate. Sex, Peanuts, Fangs and Fur started with a one paragraph outline. It evolved as I wrote it, and when I reached the 3/4 mark on the manuscript, I stopped and wrote an outline. This is when it turned into three books, because it would have been about 200K words. Anyway, once the outline is done, I usually start writing, and never look at the outline again. For me, outlining is just a way to get to know the characters and to determine if I actually have something worth writing.
I research if it’s necessary before I sit down to write. Often I find I’m pausing to research as I write too, and I usually finish the first draft within a couple of months. Sometimes it takes longer, depending on how many other projects I’m working on at the same time. When I finish the first draft, I walk away and work on something new.
Then revisions, and all that boring stuff.
I flit from project to project, writing what my brain is willing to write each day. If I have edits, I work on those too, and sometimes editing takes up 100% of my writing time. This is the drawback of having so many books on the go at once. At some point, they all need editing and I can only put it off for so long.
Like many authors, I have notebooks here and there where I jot down various ideas and details. Some books have character profiles, some have chapter summaries, or thoughts for later. I used to write the entire manuscript in notebooks and then type it on the computer later. I don’t do that anymore. It takes a really long time and my penmanship is atrocious.
So, that’s it I guess. I’m supposed to tag 3 or 4 people who I think will enjoy sharing their writing process. This blog hop has made several rounds, though, and there aren’t many I know who haven’t been tagged. So, I’m tagging one person: Katrina Monroe, and I ask any writers reading this to share an element of your writing process that you feel is unusual or that you think might be useful for others.
Thanks for reading. I hope you found at least one useful idea in my rambling.