Monday, March 31, 2014

Writing Process Blog Hop

Welcome to the ongoing Writing Process Blog Hop! This week it's my turn to share a little about my writing process. First, I want to thank Isabella Norse for inviting me to participate. Make sure you go check out her blog hop post!
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And now I get to talk about my writing process a little.

1)     What am I working on?
Right now, I'm getting Sarya's Song ready to publish. The release date is April 10, and I've got some proofreading to do and then the formatting.

Up after that is my six-book series, Daughter of the Wildings. It's in the initial stages of revision (the whole series at once, to get it all consistent). Once Sarya's Song is out the door, I can work on Daughter of the Wildings full time.


2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write fantasy which has a strong romantic storyline between the two main characters pretty evenly balanced with the fantasy plot. You couldn't take away either the fantasy or the romance from my novels and still have a story left; both are essential.

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3)     Why do I write what I do?
I've always loved fantasy, and I've always loved a good love story, but I had trouble finding books that combined the two in a way I found satisfying. Either the fantasy or the romance was an afterthought; I like them both the be equally important to the story. So I write the kinds of books I'd love to read.

Plus, wizards in love. :D


4)     How does your writing process work?
My ideas usually come in the form of a character or two in a specific situation. I can see the characters, what they look like, what their surroundings are, what they're doing. I start exploring who they are, what sort of world do they live in, why are they in that situation and doing what they're doing, and the story develops from there.

When I start writing, I like to know who the main characters are and what they want or need to do in the story, what sort of conflicts and opposition they face, the first few scenes, at least a couple of major scenes throughout the story, and a general idea of the ending (good triumphs over evil; girl/guy gets guy/girl). The more detail I have figured out ahead of time, the happier I am, but usually the story also develops in different ways while I write it from what I planned. And some stories don't like to be planned much in advance; when that happens, I end up feeling my way through a few scenes at a time. I have to know what I'm going to write before I sit down to write, so I'm not staring helplessly at a blank screen.

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When I'm writing a first draft, I aim for about 2000-2500 words a day, though I'd love to increase that. At that rate, a first draft will take a month or two to write (depending on the length of the novel and disruptions to my writing schedule). When the first draft is complete, I take it through a major revision using a method based on Holly Lisle's How To Revise Your Novel course. After that, it goes out to the test readers, then I take it through another major revision based on their feedback. Then I do a revision to refine things like description and dialogue and any plot points I'm still struggling with, then another editing pass to polish up the prose, followed by a couple of proofreading rounds. Then I format the book and put it up for sale!

Thanks for joining me this week, and be sure to check out next week's stops on the Writing Process Blog Hop:

John James Loftus
is the author of Celtic Blood. He has been interested in medieval history since seeing a book with a cover detailing the battle of Agincourt. The book engaged his imagination, and drew him to the period. He has one novel to date and a co-credit as a feature film writer, Underdog's Tale. He was in the Queensland Police Service for ten years reaching the rank of senior constable. A former Karate instructor, he is a past Queensland champion. He lives in Brisbane with his wife and two children.

Heather Heffner is an avid fan of fantasy/science fiction books, the longer the better! She is the author of the urban fantasy Changeling Sisters Series and the dark fantasy Afterlife Chronicles.

And if you still can't get enough, I came across another Writing Process blog tour post today, by Dyane Forde. Check it out!

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