Monday, May 5, 2014

Writing Process Blog Chain

Thanks to the fabulous Michelle Tran who tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Chain last week. Be sure to check out what she has to say about her process on her blog, here.

1. What am I currently working on?

I just started editing my second draft of my YA retelling. It's a loose retelling and I hope to share more details later. It has elements of science fiction. I would classify it as light sci-fi as it's set in our present world. The first draft took almost 2 years, a long time compared to my other books. Partially this was due to the massive amount of research I had to do, part of the trouble with having a hyper intelligent main character. I also suffered from a rough bout of writer's block for a while and I couldn't be happier to have that behind me.

I also am working on a YA Fantasy about a girl struggling to accept and make sense of her own abilities while the magic community she lives in is rife with political drama and civil unrest. So far I have the complete outline and the first two chapters written, but it'll be on the back burner while I edit.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There's no clearly defined villain or evil force at work. My characters do a fantastic job of ruining their lives without outside help. Likewise, there's not a hero. My main character is not a bad person, but I wouldn't say he's a great one when the story starts either.

Another thing that sets it apart is that my main character is a teenage boy. While that's not unheard of it is rare in YA. Many books with male MCs still focus on a female character, such as the Caster Chronicles which are told from Ethan's perspective but he shares the story with Lena. Maybe YA books with male MCs don't sell as well? Obviously, I'm hoping that's not the case.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I'm going to sound like a total hippie (because I kind of am) but I write what comes to me. I can't force plots or characters to reveal themselves, I've tried. I get an idea, I don't know where they come from. Usually it happens when I'm in that fragile place between sleeping and wakefulness. When an idea grabs me I try to make sense of it the best I can.

I've always been partial to fantasy and all kinds of speculative fiction, though I have written short stories that were contemporary Adult fiction. I read a lot of fantasy and I think my brain is tuned in to that genre. I like the examination of ordinary people forced into extraordinary situations which is common in fantasy novels. For better or worse, it forces the characters to evolve.

4. How does my writing process work?

  • Get idea-Thank the gods of inspiration for choosing me!
  • Type frantically in fear of losing idea
  • Outline the whole book-I've been getting better at this. 
  • Write the rough draft- Sometimes I know I'm writing crap. I need to do so to get through a slump or a difficult scene. I know this doesn't work for all writers but this is the best method I've find for me. 
  • Edit rough draft-This is when I smooth out the rough parts until I have a clean first draft.
  • Send the first draft to my Betas-My friend Ashley has been the first to read each of my completed books. Jess is a close second and helpful grammar guru.
  • Edit with Beta feedback into a polished second draft.
After that I decide if I think the book is worth working on or if it's time to give up. That might sound harsh or even like I'm calling it quits too soon, but the truth is I've written a lot of crap. I'm undoubtedly going to write a lot more crap in the future. It takes a long time to write something that you're proud of. And while editing can improve a book drastically, there is a point when it's clearly time to move on. For me it's usually around the second or third draft.

My first two books were great learning experiences and those characters will always be with me, but I wouldn't want them to be published because I wasn't proud of the stories or the writing. I knew I could do better and so I shelved them and moved on to my next project.

Currently, I still feel good about my YA retelling, but it's too soon to say anything. If I feel good after I'm done with this round of edits, I'll send it to be critiqued and keep editing from there. I've never queried agents, because none of my books have ever been ready, but I imagine after lots of editing it would be time to query. Of course, then there will be more editing. Basically, the editing doesn't end until the book is published or the writer surrenders.


I'm passing the chain along to fellow blogger extraordinaire Cindy R. Wilson, check out her blog and see what she says next Monday. Thanks for letting me tag you, Cindy!

Cindy R. Wilson grew up telling her siblings stories she invented every night before bed, and realized quickly she wanted to be a writer as an adult. As a mother of three girls, YA drama is a big part of her life. Writing for young adults gives her the opportunity to combine her passion for romance with elements that are more out of this world. Cindy resides in Colorado near the foothills, where the mountains and forests often inspire settings in her stories.


  1. Hey, I'm working on a retelling, too! Thanks for tagging me. It's so interesting to read about someone else's writing process because everyone has their own unique way of doing it.

    1. I agree. Also whenever I learn about someone else's process it helps me see if there's anything about mine I can change.

  2. Lol, not sure why I had to follow your blog twice for it to show up on my dashboard. It used to be there and now it's gone. So, there are two of me following you :) Creepy.

    1. Hahaha, it's double the support so I don't mind!