Join me on The Writing Process Blog Tour
I’m delighted to be taking part in the writing process blog tour, a blog relay in which each author discusses their individual writing process, and then passes the baton on.
My thanks to Debby Gies – aka author D.G. Kaye – for inviting me to participate 🙂
Truth be told, I was invited once before, but failed miserably to follow through – things got in the way – you know, life and all that.
Anyhow, Debby is an author I met online and we’ve discovered many things we share, not least that we spell the contracted version of our names the same 🙂 Debby writes memoir, a book form I’d never read before, but now I’m hooked – her first book CONFLICTED HEARTS is a fascinating skip through a life challenged by guilt – something so many have to deal with but so few acknowledge – and I’m itching to get stuck into her second, MENO-WHAT? A humorous look at menopause.
You can see Debby’s stop on THE WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR here , it’s well worth a look.
So, my turn to answer the four questions:
- What am I currently working on?
I’m up to my armpits in the second Five Kingdoms novel, which has expanded without prior permission into a full length novel and a novella.
After all the wonderful feedback and reviews I received for THE PRINCE’S MAN, so many popular plot points were highlighted that I realised I had far more story to deal with in the sequel than I’d originally intended. Although I began to write it as one novel, it needed 6 viewpoint characters, and that’s a lot, unless your name happens to be G.R.R.Martin and the book is called Game of Thrones.
That’s where the wonderful flexibility of being an indie author comes into its own; we can write to whatever length we want. So I extracted 2 of the characters from the main story, and they now have a novella all to themselves, which will dovetail back into the final part of the trilogy (or is it now a quadrilogy?) with all the characters in the right place for the final showdown.
- How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My ideal book is filled with action, adventure, magic, animals, subterfuge and multiple plot strands. Oh, and it must be character driven, with quirky, imperfect individuals, neither good nor bad but caught somewhere in the grey area between.
I haven’t found a plethora of books with just those ingredients, so I write them for myself.
Although I haven’t studied it formally, I find psychology fascinating, and love to explore how characters are moulded by experience, particularly contrasting how two people with similar backgrounds can develop in opposing directions as a consequence of their mental makeup.
- Why do I write what I write?
I’ve always had an overactive imagination, and what better way to unleash it than to give it free rein with every aspect of my work, right down to building a world from scratch.
An author friend, who writes humour, once expressed admiration of anyone who writes SF or fantasy, on the grounds that we have to create so much more than writers of contemporary work. In some ways I disagree with him – I actually find it easier to have total freedom to make up whatever I want as I go along. Oh, for sure, there have to be rules, and once made the writer must stick to them, but what greater creative outlet could there be?
Plus, I don’t need to spend time on research – no one is going to tell me I have the timetable of the number 27 bus service wrong, because if there’s a bus in my story, I made it up!
- How does my individual writing process work?
My process is changing with each novel. I started out as a ‘pantser’, writing an opening scene and then seeing where my characters took me. I love to write like this; you get a reader’s thrill, with no idea where the novel is going to take you.
For my next couple, I had a beginning and an end, and left things to develop in between. That’s how THE PRINCE’S MAN was written, but it does necessitate a lot of backtracking once the subplots start to amass and need threading into the earlier parts of the novel.
So for my most recent, I decided I would storyboard the plot. Cue one large piece of cardboard (cannibalised from the box containing my new towel rail), some coloured stickers and a whole load of post it notes. It has served as a framework, and was useful for highlighting areas I needed to work out in more detail, but it also proved to me that I’m never going to be a detailed plotter. My brain likes to keep adding plot layers as I go along, hence the absolute need to keep making voice notes on my phone when I’m out and about.
With 4 viewpoint characters, I was finding it tricky to keep details straight in my head, so I’m working on each thread as a separate document. I use Microsoft Word on my laptop, but I‘ve just braved the trial version of Scrivener as by far the easiest way to move scenes around to get them into chronological order without laboriously cutting and pasting, and I love it!
So that’s me.
Passing the baton
In keeping with the intentions of the author who originally invited me, I have asked two horsey authors to follow on, and my chosen
victims -er – fellow authors, who will be posting their answers next Monday August 11th are:
UK author JANE SEAMAN
Jane had her first short story published in a UK pony magazine at the age of 14, and as a horse-mad teenager, she devoured every pony book she could lay her hands on. Many, (many!) years later, Jane has had 30 novels published, and work has been translated into 9 different languages. She donates all author royalties from the Matty Horse and Pony Adventures to charity Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Her latest e-novella, Valentine Horse, is available from Amazon. To find out more about Jane’s books here.
US author Toni Mari
Toni Mari has been a dressage trainer for over twenty-five years. After closing High Spirits Farm in New Jersey, Toni began writing, indexing and proofreading. These days, she still rides with her daughter, going to local and youth championship shows. Grace rides their homebred and trained appaloosa-thoroughbred cross, Lilly, who remarkably has many similar qualities to Windsong. Visit her here.
Toni has just released the second book in her ‘Dancing with Horses’ Trilogy
Do mosey on over to their blogs next week to take a look.
Any surprises in my answers? Or does anything strike a chord with you?
I’d love to hear.