Monday, November 4, 2013

My Writing Process

So the lovely Veronica Bartles invited me to take part in this fun little blog hop. Just four questions about my writing process, and then I'll name someone at the end to hopefully keep this going. Here goes.

1. What are you working on right now?

I am working on two things. I'm finishing up edits for my MG fantasy TEARLESS, which I love so much it's almost overwhelming at times. And I'm working on coming up with the idea for my next book. Because eventually, I'll finish editing and start querying. And we all know that the best way to avoid the loony bin while querying is to start working on your next project. I have an idea rolling around in my head, but I'm not sure about it yet. I like to let these things sit and simmer for a while before I commit to them. Kind of like tattoos. I have a rule that I won't get a tattoo unless, a full year after I decide I want it, I still want the exact same thing. So far, nothing has passed this test, and I remain un-inked. But don't worry...I don't force myself to wait a whole year before starting a book. Because books, unlike tattoos, can be revised, or even put in a drawer, never seen or heard from again. 

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?

The big difference between this and other MG fantasies (or other fantasies in general) is that I've really created a form of magic that, to the very best of my knowledge, has never been seen before. I did the same with LUMINARY, my YA fantasy, and that's really what I want for my next book, as well. I think that's what I'm especially good at. Creating really fun, original words/magic systems, and then writing characters that you can truly come to love and root for. I really hope any future readers will love Sam, the main character of TEARLESS, as much as early readers have. 

3. Why do you write what you do?

I have been told, repeatedly, since I was old enough to speak, that I suffer from an overabundance of imagination. Well, suffer might not be the right word. Though it is the word certain people have used to describe me (the people who don't get me, and just think I'm a whack-a-doo). But I choose to believe that I have been particularly and especially blessed. I write fantasy because, to paraphrase Anne Shirley, it has more scope for the imagination. And because it makes me happy. Really, truly, and seriously happy. How many people can say that about their jobs? 

4. How does your writing process work?

I am a plotter through and through. But long before I start plotting, I come up with a premise. Like with LUMINARY, color=magic. Or TEARLESS, a wizard controls everyone in his kingdom through their tears...except the boy who can't cry. Once I come up with this premise, I let it simmer and percolate. I try to let characters and plot points and worlds and rules of magic come to me naturally. And once I feel I have a firm enough grasp on what I want the book to be about, I sit down and write it all out. I prefer the program Scrivener, which has a nifty cork board page. I can put all my plot points on separate notecards, and then move them around as I see fit. It's so much easier than what I used to do (basically just writing out a bullet list in Word, with no order, rhyme, or reason to it). Then I also have separate cork boards for my characters and settings. Couldn't recommend this more. Anyway, after I have things meticulously planned out and written down, I start writing. And 99.9% of the time, I write in order. I generally find writing out of order stressful and just plain strange. And once I'm done with a first draft? Edits, edits, and more edits. This part of the process has grown particularly intense and awesome ever since I met my three fabulous critique partners. They see things I never would or could, and have made me a significantly better writer. 

And that's about it! So now I'm supposed to tag someone else to keep this going. The awesome Rachel Horwitz has agreed to take part. Go here on Friday to read about what she's working on and her writing process.  :)