The great Katey at Katey Writes was kind enough to ask me to participate in a blog hop with her about #mywritingprocess as a way to connect writers to each other. Visit her blog here to learn about raising young readers, writing and parenting in general.
1) What am I working on? Gosh, what am I not working on? Currently I am in the editing stage for Second Chance Key, the first book I wrote and finished two years ago. Editing has proven to be the most difficult part of writing for me, it feels like pages of math homework with no end. I am on chapter 8 of 29 and trying to force myself to do a chapter a night so I can finally be done. It has already been combed over by an editor and now I just have to go through and work on the changes. You would think that would be easy. But you’d be wrong. I know I’m not alone, I just sat with a friend today who is also procrastinating going through the notes her editor has on her book.
Additionally I’m working on my YA Supernatural Romance novel Lodestone: The Wander Glimly Chronicles. I have met with a group of beta readers and made my bug list for rewrites and plan to begin on those as soon as I am finished working on a third side project that I’m almost finished up with. This one is something a little smaller and more under the radar but I should have it polished the end of this week and off my plate.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? This question is the hardest for me to answer because I don’t write for only one genre. I have YA, Adult, Chick-lit and Supernatural Romance/horror. I’m kind of all over the place.
I sort of skip around genres a bit. Second Chance Key is frustratingly hard to categorize for most people who have read it. It began as an middle grade story but partway through the book it started being so much about the young mother and the feelings of inadequacy and invisibility she deals with, that it sort of shifted. There is also so many life lessons woven throughout the story for the children and adults involved that it was suggested to me by one person that it should be a self-help book. So I believe it differs from other books in that it takes a story that is relatable by children and adults, gives them relatable fatal flaws and then tries to help them overcome them with important lessons. Not sure you could say the same thing for Ways of the Peaceful Warrior or Celestine Prophecy.
It’s difficult to pinpoint how my YA story is different from other genres because this genre is so overdone these days. But I’ll try. Lodestone, which will be at least two, maybe three books, it takes a more unfamiliar mythology from Finland and brings some of the characters and artifacts into present day. The mythology I use is mostly unknown except in areas where the Finnish people happened to settled during immigration. So I believe that in itself is atypical because most YA mythology books I’ve seen are from very commonly known and studied myths. Lodestone is a bit of a busy story, weaving together the Finnish mythology, a teeny pinch pf Greek myths and some bits and pieces of American folktales. Add a dash of reincarnation and you get a multifaceted YA book. I don’t think you often see multiple origin stories intertwine quite like that.
3) Why do I write what I do? A dream, a thought, a feeling move me to write. Second Chance Key is about the struggles of motherhood and the fear that can come from childhood and growing up. It is fun, scary and sad and I feel like it is incredibly relevant to most mothers. It was a story I wanted to tell because so many moms feel like they don’t matter and it was a way to show them to see the world a bit differently. It definitely made me see my world a bit differently.
Lodestone just started with a name. Wander Glimly. And then I went from there. But Earthbound, which is half written, was born from my need to process horrible things I’d heard on the news. Glory was the angel that would swoop down and stop something absolutely horrifying from happening. I would use her to rewrite events so that a victim was saved and the assailant was punished. It was therapeutic. But she grew into a very well formed character and now she has a life and quest of her own.
I guess I write what I do because I have stories in my head that I need to get out. And I’m delusional enough to think someone would want to read them.
4) How does your writing process work? Typically I grab onto an event, a theme or storyline and start there. I usually know the beginning, small parts of the middle and the end and then I just fill in the in between parts. Second Chance Key was a little different in that I started that book on Novemeber 1st for www.NaNoWriMo.org, and finished it 51,000 words later on November 31st. I learned about the event on November 1st and one rule is that you have to start something new, so I put aside Lodestone (what I was working on at that moment) and began a book I had no idea what was about. Every day I’d sit down to write my 1000-2000 words and have no clue what was going to happen next. I called it “writing by the seat of my pants”. I’m continually amazed and how things worked out with that book.
But usually I have major events plotted out for my stories, I do the research and get ideas of what characters look like, where they live, I even look at homes so I can get an idea what their house looks like. I use Pinterest to pin people who look like my characters, outfits they’d wear (side note: it’s a pet peeve of mine when an author puts something horribly unstylish on a young character -like a banana clip). Pinterest helps me so I’ll never have my character sporting an oversize scrunchie and peg rolled jeans. I can also use it to follow interests and styles of my target audience.
I also write with Scrivener, the best software ever! It helps me plot out major points, build character descriptions and profiles and have a place to throw all my research for later reference.
Once I have my start I usually pick a few days a week to just sit and write. Sometimes I “meet” a friend electronically or IRL to write or edit during a designated time. Having someone meeting you is tremendously helpful, it works for running too 😉
Now it is time to HOP ON my writer/blogger friends. They will be writing about their writing process next Monday.
And Cari Noga, a fellow Northern Michigan writer who’s book Sparrow Migration was a semi-finalist for Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel award in 2010, writes about parenting, autism, writing, publishing and all sorts of things. Check her out!
Join them next week to learn about their process and enjoy!