It’s My Turn…
because the beautiful and talented Christa Wojo tagged me to participate in this most recent blog hop on my writing process. Basically, I get to answer four questions and then tag some poor, unsuspecting, yet talented writers/bloggers of my choosing! (Cue evil laugh)
Without further ado, let the hazing begin!
1. What are you working on right now?
Well, I am very close to finishing what I hope will be my next published work. The working title is, Countdown To Chaos. It is an ironic stand-alone prequel to my current novel, Between Octobers. It’s the back-story of the villain. And I think it’s going to kick major booty when it’s done!
My tagline for Countdown To Chaos is: Three friends, two bodies, and one very dangerous secret….
Eh, I’m still working on it.
But the inspiration for the plot of the book came from a song by a band that I LOVE! and probably no one who reads this post has ever heard of. The inspired song is several years old and is called Sick Love Letter, by the super awesome Accident Experiment. And since I know you are all dying to hear it… hit play!
2. How does your work differ from others in the genre?
Hmm… I’m not sure about my genre yet. I usually know what category it falls into after I get the major writing done. I’m thinking this book will end up reading as Young Adult for grown ups because of some subject matter and also the story covers a very long period of time. The protagonist starts a teenager and ends up mid-to-late-twenties.
3. Why do you write?
Well, good-golly….I just have to. Which is very strange considering I had no idea I wanted to or was capable of writing until I sat down and started the story that became Between Octobers. Now, it’s a major part of my life. I have to do it everyday, mentally and/or physically. But I feel most at ease when I get in a good word-count (for me, that’s 1k a day). But if I don’t get to sit and write for a few days, I’m a monster. My poor family knows…
4. How does your writing process work?
I have to get through one book at a time. If I have other awesome ideas, I jot them down and set them aside for later. Otherwise, I will never finish anything. And you can’t get published if your manuscript isn’t ready.
I must write and edit it completely. Completely. As in send it out to my CP’s and work through the feedback.–mentally go from rough to final draft on a 100k+ word novel before stepping away. Even with my published book, I didn’t feel done until i saw it in print. Even now, I want to go back and make a hundred changes. There is always room for improvement, right?
I have to read and re-read the manuscript a hundred times and get totally sick of it before I can walk away. That’s usually when i sends it to my critique partners.
But before any of that can happen, I start with the ending. Then, think up a few characters that would fit the situation, and bing-bang-boom! It’s a book!
Actually, it takes me a long time. I’m a total pants-ter, as in I don’t use an outline. I waste time when I plan, because my books never end up being like the way they started out. I think the most planning I ever put into a book is with my current WIP, Countdown To Chaos. See, the overall plot was inspired by that song in the video, but that was just a beginning.
For me, all plots are a work in progress until the book is finito. I start with an idea that is usually the ending of the the story, then my mind builds backwards.
Countdown To Chaos was born when the Accident Experiment announced they were going to make a music video for the above song. The song is obviously about obsession. (Lyrics here) and so my wacky brain immediately formulated an idea where I was the director of this music video and in it, the band was being stalked by a young girl who was the author of the Sick Love Letter, and she was at every single show.
In my mind, there was a montage of her in the crowd, watching the band, intermingled with tight shots of the grunting faces of the band members as they performed. Then, my brain decided on a twist ending– I thought, “lets fool the viewers! Lets make them think that those tight shots of the band members faces are from them playing their music!” So, in my ending, the shots would widen, pull back to show that the band members were actually struggling, tied up, trying to get out of the ropes that bound them and run away from the stalker girl who held them captive in her bedroom.
But the real video was nothing like my imagination and I always liked the idea. So I’ve finally gotten around to creating a book about this poor, sick girl who stalks and inadvertently destroys her favorite rock band. See, this is what I mean about a work in progress; the original idea was so clear to me, but as I developed the story and the people in it, I had to make sure the choices followed the characters personalities and not a set-in-stone plot. And I needed some ROMANCE! So I added in a relationship between the young girl and one of the band members and a few other major problems.
Most of my story is created in the editing phase of writing. That’s where I set the pacing and find out what type of story I have written.The editing phase is the most crucial for me becasue i can look at what I have written and decide whats worth keeping or tossing.
See, I have to write and write and write. That’s how I get to know my characters. I write so much, that I have to cut lots of things out. And in the cutting, I must disconnect my mind from the sentences that I love and would kill to keep just because I like the way they read. I have to ask myself, “Is this important to the plot?” and a myriad of other questions to help me shape and or fine-tune the story and stream-line the characters. This is major for me, because I have a habit of delving into the lives of my characters and into details that are so unnecessary–seriously, who cares what they ate for breakfast if they’re about to die? Unless they are puking right before said death, I have to tell myself to leave out that little detail.
I’ve blogged on my process before. Click here, there, or anywhere if you’re interested in learning more.
SO… there’s my writing process blog post! And now I must pass the torch…
I was born in raised and Western, NY. And yes, it is western, not upstate. After more than two decades, I decided to trade in the cold winters for hot and humid Charlotte, NC summers (and sometimes spring and a little bit of fall). Since then I’ve bee focusing on finally do all the things I said I would do someday. I love my dog, he’s my right hand man, but he’s not the man of the house. That belongs to my cat, he’s kinda crazy. Country music has my heart. My favorite song of all time is Rhett Akins “That Ain’t My Truck.” To challenge myself I run. Mostly because I used to be horrible at it, but I’m starting to get the hang of this 5k and 8k thing. Contemplating a 10k, but no promises on that. There are a lot of places I haven’t seen in life that I would love to go. Italy and Paris are high on that list.
She is the author of THE UNDEAD, a paranormal romantic story of a 16 year-old’s encounter with the grim reaper, is complete and will be published by Curiosity Quills this fall (my official release date is September 3, 2014!!). My Nanowrimo baby, a fairy tale retelling called RYDER AND WOLFE, is patiently waiting for me to finish edits for THE UNDEAD. SEREN’S HEART, a magical realism story of a witch burdened with the rescue of her society, is in the rewriting stage.
“I love to breathe life into the stories drifting around my head. It’s an obsession, a passion, and an escape.”
5 thoughts on “Writing Process Blog Hop”
It’s so funny how an entire book can spring from one song! Our writing processes are so similar. That’s what happened with my very first novel. One Coldplay song called Amsterdam gave birth to the whole saga. (I forgot to mention the music thing in my writing process post.) The music is crucial! In fact, I had a hard time getting started with the third book because I couldn’t find the right soundtrack.
So, let me guess, you listen to this song everyday? At least every day you write? How many times?
Now that I know more about Countdown to Chaos, I’m really intrigued. The band is held captive? She inadvertently destroys them? How far along are you?
The books not turning out to be so similar to my original ideas. But she will thoroughly destroy them before it’s over with.
I love that song! It’s been around since at least 2004. The band has a different singer now. The guy, Pete Stewart, on that track went on to win a Grammy for his work with MacLemore, the rapper dude. (is that how it’s spelled?)
So nice to learn a little more about you and your writing. Looking forward to your musically-inspired novel!
Thanks Margot! You’re always so supportive!