I have been invited by Michelle over at RisingWoman to take part in one of those blog hop/meme/tour thingies (technical terms) to answer a few questions about writing process. I always find it sort of fascinating to see how everyone works and writes, mainly because I’m always left thinking “wow they’re way more serious than I am.” I should get my act together.
You can check out Michelle’s post here to see what an actual author and real writer does. You can check out my nonsense and complete lack of professionalism below.
This post is brought to you by the antics of Chuck Shurley (of Supernatural, naturally):
1. What am I working on?
I’m currently working on
Playing the Part Safe and Sound What We Become a piece for which I cannot decide on a title. If you’re one of those people that instantly grabs onto a title they love, well…I discuss my feelings about you here.
Like everyone, I have a few works-in-progress going. Since Camp Nano, I’ve been primarily working on an urban fantasy with supernaturally goodness for the last month and a half.
Confession time? I’m really bad at explaining what my WIPs are about until they’re done and this one is far from done (maybe a little over halfway if I’m feeling generous). It’s not a difficult concept or theme but I always found it sounds so cheesy whenever I say it out loud. I spent a bit of time this week reading up on writing those handy ‘back cover’ blurbs in hopes that it would force me to come up with a nice concise paragraph outlining what I’m working on. I didn’t get far when it came time to actually write that blurb. I’ll give it another go soon, of course, but for right now it’ll sit until I feel up to tackling it properly. It’s funny how you can sit down and write 45,000 words but one paragraph will leave you pulling your hair out.
Cole Matthews would’ve laughed in the face of anyone that told her that the creatures from her nightmares were real.
James Marshall knew what was really out there in the dark.
See that? That’s as far as I got and I kind of hate it. Very generic.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Oh gosh. Questions like this are always a little tough because no matter how you answer someone will always be quick to pipe up “NOPE! SOMEONE ALREADY DID THAT!”
So how is it different? I’m under no illusion that I’m working on something groundbreaking. Basically everything has been done at some point. It’s about twisting, manipulating and massaging those things to make them feel different and maybe draw a new reaction out of the reader. Or something.
We’ve all seen a million books where it’s “Sassy girl falls in love with bad boy. Bad Boy turns out to be a monster. Sassy girl loves him anyway because despite his fangs/wings/claws/fur, he actually has a heart of gold.” It’s been a while since I’ve read a decent book that concentrated on the human players more than the BigBadSupernaturalMonster. My characters are human – in classification and abundance of flaws – and that won’t change.
On a second note, I’ve been trying really hard not to let this book turn into one with romantic elements despite my characters wanting to head that way every now and again. “But you should let the characters lead you to the story and not force them in a direction they don’t want to go!” I know. I do. This isn’t a piece that covers a long period of time and, as I mentioned in my review of JoJo Moyes latest, I can’t stand stories when characters fall in love really fast. It’s not realistic, in my opinion, to throw people together for a handful of days and then they realize that they’re in oh-so-deep-I-can-never-live-without-you-love. It just doesn’t happen that easily.
I guess more than anything I want to make the unbelievable feel believable. Maybe there’s a reason all that ancient lore is still around today? Maybe there are certain events whose stories have been passed down for centuries because they matter? What if someday you turn around and all of a sudden everything you thought didn’t exist was infiltrating your world? What do you do when you can’t tell anyone else about it?
Despite having supernatural elements, my goal is to have a piece grounded in reality and feel authentic to how relationships actually build. So instead of romantic love, I want to write a connection that builds upon the need for friendship, companionship and having someone be there for you when you weren’t expecting them to be. Does that always lead to romantic love? No. Can it be the basis for a solid relationship down the road? Maybe. We’ll see where it leads.
3. Why do I write/create what I do?
Tough question. As I said, I always have a few projects going and they’re all pretty different. Only one contains any sort of supernatural element. I love the show Supernatural (in case you couldn’t tell that by the way I end every post with a gif from the show) so it would be a total lie not to say that the show, its mythology, and its character building didn’t inspire me to dabble in that world a bit.
A side note: If you’re not watching that show because it’s on the CW and you’re not fifteen (I’m so far from being a teenager it’s silly) or because it has supernatural elements, you’re missing out on one of the best scripted shows on television for character building and mythology, and possibly the best actor on TV today in Jensen Ackles.
The last 2-3 years of my life have been freaking hard. Lots of sickness, death, and a long list of other issues. Some I’ve written about here in the past, some I haven’t. I find myself writing characters that have or are in the process of overcoming similar things. Call it wishful thinking. Call it hope. Call it some free form of therapy that happens when I’m tapping away at the keyboard.
4. How does your writing/creating process work?
I don’t have much of a streamlined process. I don’t have a specific schedule. That whole life falling apart thing I mentioned means I don’t have much of a forced schedule to stick to so I don’t have to schedule in certain writing time. This can be a blessing and a curse. All the free time I’d like to read and write? SOUNDS FANTASTIC. Except it isn’t always that great. Knowing I’ll have time later to write means that I often push away the laptop with a promise that I’ll return to it later.
As far as the actually writing, I’m a bit of a “plantser” – some of it is outlined, some of it is not. I’ll write certain scenes when they mood strikes, no matter if they’re in order. I’m always afraid that I’ll lose that “yes! I have to get this down!” feeling if I try to wait and write it chronologically. Most of it is written in order and then I go back and try to stitch together the pieces into some semblance of order and story.
Kind of boring, eh?
So that’s my take. I know I’m supposed to ‘tag’ some other bloggers to continue this on but most that I would consider have already done it. Except you, RubyNibs! Come on! You know you wanna!
So what’s your writing process like, oh reader? Do you plan out every detail? Fly by the seat of your pants and hope it resembles some sort of story arc? Will Jensen Ackles ever get the acting accolades he deserves? Hit up the comments or drop me a line via that handy dandy contact page linked at the top.