Tagged! The Writing Process Blog Tour: A Piece of Cake
A big “Thank You!” to T’Mara Goodsell of Message in a Bloggle for asking me to participate in Margo Dill’s The Writing Process blog tour. I appreciate Tammy including me in this. I found Tammy’s blog a number of years ago when she did a series on dating that was laugh-out-loud funny, and have been a regular blog reader and follower ever since. I’m never sure if she’s going to make me laugh with her microfiction mastery or cry from the telling of a poignant tale, but the one certain thing is that whatever she writes is going to rock.
Well, now that you’re eager to run to Tammy’s blog, I’ll answer The Writing Process blog tour questions before you scamper off:
What am I working on?
My current WIP is Book 2 of the “Fireflies” trilogy (based on my award-winning short story of the same name), working title, The Arrangement. I’m 40,000 words in and estimate 90-100,000 by the time the book is finished. This would be way more impressive if Book 1, Love Built to Last, was published, but I’m still querying my little heart out. Fingers crossed, Buttercup!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Voice, I hope, though I suppose that will be up to readers to decide. My tagline is “Sweet romance with a slice of spice!” and that pretty much sums it up. No open door sex scenes here—I have no interest in writing soft porn, and describing intimate body parts just makes me giggle like a five-year-old. If you’re looking for murder, bloody demons, or Fifty Shades type sex you’ll be disappointed. If you want a “Hope Floats,” feel-good kind of story, then I’m your author.
Why do I write what I do?
My mother. After my father died, Mama discovered Nora Roberts and company. She missed my dad like crazy and told me she loved reading romance because the happy-ever-afters made her feel good, and when she was reading and lost in the story she wasn’t grieving. That’s a huge thing! I took that to heart and am proud to work toward providing that sort of safe escape for readers. I’ve always enjoyed romance novels and love reading them still. I do absolutely, 100%, believe in true love and happy endings. After you read my books, I hope you will, too. (And you’ll have that opportunity . . . as soon as I find a publisher. 😉 I’m an optimist! )
How does your writing process work?
Ideas fly at me in a million different ways—pretty much everything has a story in it if you look. From the seeds of a plot form the characters, and I live with them 24/7 for as long as it takes for us to become BFFs. I do a full summary outline of the plot and write character summaries. Next comes a chapter-by-chapter outline which helps keep me on course, although this is fluid and changes while I’m writing because things always happen or are revealed during the rough draft that I just didn’t see coming ahead of time (when the plot or a character goes off the reservation I let it happen—I can take what works and kill what doesn’t later). Then I take my character summaries and put the basics (eye color, height, weight, birthday, biggest quirk, etc.) on a 4 x 6 index card for easy reference. After this, the writing begins. Because the actual writing of the story is the most fun part I have to remind myself not to begin prematurely. It’s kind of like taking a slice of cake from the oven before the timer goes off. It’ll still be sweet but the consistency is all wrong.
I envy the seat-of-the-pants authors who just dive in and manage to keep plot and pace in harmony with character development. That’s a fun way to write but I usually end up having to do a lot of rewriting when I write as a pantser. It is easier for me to map it and then explore different routes as they pop up during the process. Sometimes the end I envisioned when I outlined is not where I end up when the writing is complete.
What is your process when you write? Plotter or pantser? How do ideas come to you? Do you hunt them down or do they back you into a corner until you start writing?
Now I’d like to toss The Writing Process blog tour ball to two other authors so they can answer the above questions on their blogs:
Terry Lynn Thomas writes “gothic mysteries with a hint of romance,” and as her critique partner I can tell you her work is wonderful, due in part to her natural abilities as a storyteller and in part to her innate writing skill. She builds the groundwork of her mysteries with in-depth research, and is a master at weaving in historical tidbits so that the era comes alive through organic derivation rather than heavy-handed prose, which makes for delightful reading. She is a passionate writer and her dedication shows in her work. I can’t wait to read her next mystery.
Michael Gettel-Gilmartin is the Middle Grade Mafioso, a kid-lit author dedicated to great stories and fine writing for young ‘uns. His blog is a cornucopia of Middle Grade magic and includes reviews of MG books and interviews with other authors, interspersed with personal insights to get his points across. Michael is also a contributing author at Project Mayhem, a blog devoted to all things pertaining to Middle Grade lit. I’m looking forward to reading his answers to the above questions, especially if he hands it over to his alter ego, The Don.
Thanks for visiting. If you’d like to be in the Buff, please leave a comment.
See you next week for more of the naked truth. Enjoy your Wednesday!