I've been a busy bee for a week, and now that I have free time, I just acquired two MSs to read! WOOHOO! So to save on time, I'm gonna do this hip new cool thing called the Writing Process Blog Tour that Gina Denny tagged me in. Ready? Here we go!
1. What am I working on?
I just finished FINAL revisions on TARGET, in which a runaway prince teams up with a girl outlaw named Robyn to save his parents, and falls for her along the way.
I'm in the midst of writing/polishing the query and synopsis for that novel, while also drafting the sequel, SUMMON, in which a girl accidentally pulls Excalibur from a cliff side and has to choose whether to keep the sword and fight to be queen, or put it back and never know what might have been. The voices of the characters in this particular book are hilarious, and I'm both excited and frustrated by that. Excited because they're very easy to write, and frustrated because part of me wonders if I'll ever have such easy characters ever again!
Anyway, moving on...
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
As you can probably tell, I have elements of fairy tales and myths in this series. But they are not retellings. What I'm setting out to do is make a chain of stand-alone stories where one somewhat minor character from a given book will move on to become the main character in the next. Along the way, I've chosen stories from which to draw inspiration, but not plot.
For example, in TARGET you meet Robyn -- a girl who has formed an organization of outlaws to help support the citizens of this kingdom because their nobility is taxing them dry. (Seeing the similarities?) But it's not about overthrowing an incompetent stand-in king while the real king is off fighting wars. The royal family in my story actually have no idea what terrible conditions their people are in. So when the prince meets Robyn, he's in for a huge shock.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I love Fantasy. But I found that when I sat down to write my very first novel, all I had in my brain was tropes and cliches. So, TARGET actually originated as a writing exercise from the question, "What if Robin Hood had been a girl?" It spawned all kinds of other questions. What would lead her to be living in the forest? How would she have become the leader of a band of men? What would happen to her? All those questions and more are answered in TARGET, and it's not even *really* her story. It's been a rough journey, and much more difficult than I thought to make it work, but I've loved every minute.
In other words, I write Fantasy because I love it, and I'm writing these tales because they are both easier and more challenging for me.
4. How does my writing process work?
Oy. Honestly? It's slightly different every time. I've written two full and polished novels, and a score of unfinished ones. What I think works best for me so far is this:
- Get the idea
- Brainstorm in a word doc a quick plot, along with some world building and character ideas
- Let it sit
- Go back and use Dan Wells' seven point system to get an idea for structure
- Expand that outline into chapters/sections based on character and viewpoint
- Possibly run it by a beat sheet
- Think about it more...
- Draft. I'm what I'd call a mid-speed drafter. I can't pound out a whole book in a month, but it also doesn't take me a year. I can do it in two or three months. By the end, I've gotten a much better handle on the entire thing, so I usually have to...
- Go back and rewrite the beginning all over again.
- Read through to fill in blanks I left in world building, stuff I need to research, and other random junk
- Let it sit. (This is REALLY HARD FOR ME.)
- Read through again to polish and tweak sentence-level stuff
- Give to my first round of CPs.
- Get notes back and remember why I love those people
- Send to more (usually different) CPs
(Repeat the last three multiple times.)
- Spam my go-to CPs Gina and Rachel for all the help
- Send to beta readers
- Die. (Not really, but it sometimes feels like that.)
There you have it! I'm probably skipping a few steps in there somewhere, but you get the idea. It's a long process, so if you ever try asking me "How's your book?" Either be prepared for an onslaught of information or expect me to just say the same thing you hear me say the last time you asked, "Great!"
TAG CAIT GREER!
Thanks for reading, guys!
Thanks for reading, guys!