I have been nominated by author Sandra Danby to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour.
Sandra’s first novel Ignoring Gravity is about two pairs of sisters linked by a generation of secrets. It is currently available for pre-order. Sandra also has a lovely blog about living in rural Andalusia, Spain called Notes on a Spanish Valley. Thank you, Sandra, for inviting me to participate!
Now for my writing process:
What am I working on?
Currently, I am polishing a New Adult fantasy/horror story called Undead Stepsister, based on the Cinderella fairy tale. The protagonist is one of Cinderella’s stepsisters. It features an expanded fairy tale universe (kind of like the TV show Once Upon a Time) with characters from other fairy tales making appearances throughout the story.
Oh, and it has zombies. Lots and lots of zombies.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This isn’t a fairy tale “retelling.” It picks up the story after the “happily ever after” and focuses on a much-maligned antagonist of the original tale. It’s also humorous. (I have no problem treating the source material, and the fairy tale genre itself, with a bit of irreverence.)
Did I mention it has zombies?
Why do I write what I do?
That’s an interesting question, because what I end up writing is usually quite different from what I think I should be writing. I set out to write serious, grim stuff and usually end up writing humorous stories instead. I can write serious stories, and have, but for some reason I gravitate more towards humor.
Basically, though, I write the kind of stories I would like to read. The past few years I’ve been writing YA because I find those are the books I’ve been enjoying the most. I also like writing NA because it’s exciting to get in on the ground floor of a relatively new category.
How does my writing process work?
I spend a lot of time developing the story concept. To me, it’s a waste of time to start a story if I’m not confident in the concept.
I’m not the type of writer who keeps notes or a journal. (I actually dropped a college class once because keeping a daily diary over the semester was a requirement.) Which is supposed to be a big writing no-no, but that has never worked for me.
I keep stories and characters in my head for the most part. Since I was a film studies major, I guess it’s not odd that I “watch” my stories play out like a movie in my head. When I develop characters, I think a lot about their backstories. Most of which never ends up in the final product, but it helps me to know and understand them.
In spite of the fact that I loathe note-taking, I do usually sketch out a short outline. I rarely start a story until I have a fair idea of how it’s going to end. I’m very flexible about veering away from the outline, but I still like to have one.
When writing a first draft, my method used to be to write a couple of pages and edit. Write a few more pages and edit. And so on. I have abandoned that method and now forge ahead with a first draft without looking back on what has been written. I find that far more efficient. I am also far more likely to finish a draft using this method.
My first drafts are usually very dialogue-heavy. I have a very lean style of writing and don’t care much for long descriptions, so I have to make a conscious effort to add them in during the editing stage.
At this point in the post, I’m supposed to link to up to three more writers that I have invited to participate in the blog tour. Due to an illness in the family, I didn’t have much time this past week to invite people and find myself with no takers. :(
If anyone would care to participate, consider yourself invited and state your acceptance in the comments section. Don’t forget to include the link to your blog!