A big thank you to Jennifer Austin for tagging me in the Writing Process Blog Hop! Jennifer is a YA author and a happily married mother of five! Read all about her at jenniferaustinauthor.wordpress.com. Here goes…
What Am I Working On? I am about 98% done with Circling, my first novel. I am to the point where I could about recite it to you verbatim, so I have set it aside for a rest before the final final final read through. Currently I am working on Book 2. As you may have guessed, this is as of yet unnamed. Book 2 is theoretically the second of four novels in this series.
Circling is the story of John and Anna, two gorgeous, highly damaged people who like having sex in public places, yet are trying to work out their shit, to find a path to a future together. But there is a lot of shit to work out. I am fascinated by the average person’s ability to function with anxiety. We all have it in some capacity, whether we admit it or not. John and Anna have their share. I think we can all be funny, interesting, sexy, and brilliant yet still be a little immersed on our own craziness. Helping my characters to acknowledge their crazy and then learn to manage it, keeps the story writing process engaging for me.
How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre? I am calling my novels Contemporary Romance, but I’m not entirely sure they are. I don’t follow the formula of two potential lovers meeting, suffering a misunderstanding and then detesting each other, all the while they can’t wait to get into each other’s pants. Oh just screw already! My story is a little more straightforward with less beating around the bush so to speak. I like characters who have sex before they should, make mistakes and lie and swear a lot. I like characters who lack introspection. I think sex is the easy part. Watching two characters figure out how to keep from moving on after the screw is much trickier. All that being said, there must be development. That is no story without personal growth.
Why Do I Write What I Write? Writing, I mean really committing to it, is very new for me. I am in a place now where I cannot NOT write. This idea of starting from nothing and puzzling through it fascinates me. I also enjoy the freedom that comes with a first draft. The ability to allow it to suck a little, knowing there will be a second, third, fourth, etc. (Circling has been through seven drafts so far.) I’m a former editor and a very Type A girl, so I think freeing myself that way is very emotionally healthy. As for my subject matter – I am a romantic at heart. Ok that was complete bullshit! I am not at all a romantic at heart. I would prefer an oil change to a dozen roses any day of the week, including Valentine’s Day. I am a realist. But even in a world of brutal truths, there is still love. I like to wrap a nice dose of reality in a silken sheet of fantasy. Ok, that is bullshit too. I hate silk sheets. You get the point though.
How Does Your Writing Process Work? I’m a lunatic. I write for hours at a sitting if possible. I put my hands on the keyboard and they hit the letters. Right now I have no idea what the next word will be yet there it is. I spend a lot of driving time, sleeping time, staring at the wall time away from a keyboard trying to better understand my characters. This understanding leads to the action at the keyboard. I do not outline. I am 16,000 words into Book 2 and I could give you a three sentence theory on where it is going, but I’m not sure. This was my method with Circling and I was pretty sure it would end in the shredder, but it came together nicely. Editing is key with this kind of writing!
I should also mention that this is all very setting driven for me. Note: Katinss Everdeen ran these falls located outside of Asheville, NC. I walked them last week. Very inspiring. I need a place, not my home, not even my state to land my characters. I have been doing a bit of travelling as of late and that has been a big help. Once I can see my characters in a place, they gel and develop voices and tell me what they are going to do and what they won’t do. They really do have the power. That sounds a little insane, doesn’t it? But it is a hell of a lot of fun!
Passing the torch:
1 – Arran Bhansal (arranbhansal.com) – Confessions of a published author. Storyteller, Order of Merlin 1st Class, Master of Potions, Holder of the Golden Snitch, and Author of Infertility, Infidelity, and Insanity.
2 – Gary Bailey (garybaileywriting.wordpress.com) – Journey through the imagination of a new writer.
3 – Guy Hugo (confessionsofahollywoodnobody.com) – 19 year old writer from the Uk, who come out to LA after dropping out of university in his first year.
Check them out soon to see their posts on the Writing Process Blog Hop!