Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Big Easy Blog Tour: Reblog

So, the writing process hop is really making the rounds! I posted this back in April, but I was tagged a second time by Lisa Medley, fellow reaper-writing Missourian. It is pretty neat to see how other writers "do it". (immature snorts go here) If you'd like to know more about Lisa, check out this interview she gave on my blog HERE.

 Lisa has always enjoyed reading about monsters in love and now she writes about them. Reapers. The grim kind.

She adores beasties of all sorts, fictional as well as real, and has a farm full of them in her Southwest Missouri home, including: one child, one husband, two dogs, two cats, a dozen hens, thousands of Italian bees, and a guinea pig.

She may or may not keep a complete zombie apocalypse bug-out bag in her trunk at all times, including a machete. Just. In. Case. 

You can take a peek at Lisa's writing process HERE.

My process as seen last April... with a few alterations.

What am I working on?

I am juggling several projects, which I really don’t recommend. At least, not to the extent I’m doing right now. I’m finishing up edits for PSYCHOPOMP, the fourth novel in my Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series. And I'm working on a new YA trilogy for an agent I adore. I am also working on a few short stories for anthologies and magazines.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My Lana series, which is my baby, is technically urban fantasy. I love vampires and werewolves, but they’ve been done. A lot. I was afraid that I wouldn’t have anything new to offer in that arena. I still knew I wanted to stick with urban fantasy. It just sets my heart on fire. I really enjoy studying world religions and mythology, so I decided to take my writing in that direction. My series is set in a modern afterlife, where all the faiths are right and all the deities exist… and have to work together. So, while it’s an urban setting, it’s still not quite “of this world”, and I’m playing with less familiar supernatural beings than most urban fantasy readers are used to.

Why do I write what I do?

Aside from my love of urban fantasy, I thought it would be fun to put my mythology and religious research to good use. I’m also a big supporter of religious tolerance, and while the deities in my series don’t always get along, my readers are still learning things about different faiths that they might not have known before. Intolerance is a cousin of ignorance. We fear the things we don’t understand. While my primary goal is entertainment, I still like the notion that I might also be subliminally promoting tolerance and peace.

How does my writing process work?

Not very well. I wish that was a joke.

Ok. Seriously… I have a plot board. I’m a bit OCD and ADD, so I NEED the plot board to stay on track. I have oversized post-its that represent my chapters. The post-its are big enough to hold a 2-3 sentence description of what’s going down in that particular scene. I fill out the big events first and shuffle them around until they make some sort of sense. Then I fill in the chapters where foreshadowing needs to happen, where character bonding and development is crucial, ect. ect. ect. Until I have somewhere between 25 and 35 chapters.

Then the actual writing happens. Once again, ADD, so the plot board comes in handy. I do not write my books in order. I often have the last chapter written before the fourth or fifth. If I don’t feel like a lovey-dovey scene, I skip ahead to a fight scene. If I’m not feeling the dialog in one spot, I play with the scenery or narrative somewhere else. My muse has mood swings, so I just go with it. Eventually, I have a book written. Then I read through it and make sure everything is still in order. I do some shuffling again. I polish up a scene here or there. I rebalance the dialog/narrative ratio where it feels off.

Then I email the draft to an author friend or two, a couple beta readers, my husband. I print it out and deliver it to my former college comp professor who volunteers to edit my novels (this is why he has the honorary title of THE professor—he also teaches Shakespeare, and he introduced me to Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, so I trust his judgment and taste in literature). Then I’m bombarded by a plethora of plot holes, grammatical errors, and general typos… which I face palm my way through as I fix. A final read through and BING! It’s done. Yes, it sounds like an Easy-Bake Oven in my head. This has happened in a matter of three months… or a matter of three years. Once again, I wish that was a joke. I have become more consistent and persistent over the past few years, so I’m hoping that means it’s a skill I’m able to hone… and not just a sadistic muse I’m at the mercy of. 

So that's about it.  

P.S. I'm not tagging anyone in particular. If you haven't been tagged and would like to participate in the writing process hop, consider yourself invited! You can totally blame me. ♥

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