Monday, June 23, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

I’ve always loved historical romances that feature governesses, particularly if they end up catching the eye of the handsome, enigmatic lords for whom they’re working. Well, Avon Impulse author Ellie MacDonald has a whole series about a group of Regency governesses who are trying to pool their resources and start a school. What a great concept! You can learn more about The Governess Club series on her website. Anyway, Ellie has tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Hop, for which I have to answer 4 questions.

1. What am I working on right now?

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

3. Why do I write what I do?

4. How does my writing process work?

 Eeek!!! And she said they were going to be easy questions. Thanks a lot, Ellie! (j/k) Okay, here goes.

1.     What am I working on right now? This one’s pretty easy. I’m working on the first book in my new series about a minor league baseball team called the Kilby Catfish, from Kilby, Texas. I’m on the last chapter, so my first draft is almost finished. Woohoo!!!!

2.     How does my work differ from others in the genre? Every author has their own unique blend of different qualities. I hope I bring my particular brand of wit to my writing. I like delving into the emotional struggles and damage of my characters. And I really like writing sex scenes. So those are the aspects I focus on when I write. I want some fun, some sexiness, and some personal struggles. I also really like characters who aren’t what they seem at first. My characters often seem to be keeping secrets or hiding parts of themselves from the world. Until true love comes along, of course.

3.     Why do I write what I do? I write contemporary romance because I know from personal experience how challenging it is to find love in today’s world. It took me a long time to find my husband, and I nearly lost faith in romance along the way. Crafting a romance for characters who are damaged, wary, and possibly somewhat cynical is so satisfying, even if it’s fictional. It brings the potential for love into a complicated world. Romance novels gave me hope during some tough times, and that’s what I want to do with my books.

4.     How does my writing process work? Tough one!! I’m much more productive with an outline. I start with whatever challenges my characters are facing, and develop a rough outline from that. I ask questions like, What would make things worse for the hero? Why is falling for the heroine going to create problems? What situation can I create that forces them to make really hard decisions? Once I have a rough outline, with several important turning points, I write a rough draft. Often I change the outline as I go, if something isn’t working. This might involve going back and changing the beginning, but generally I just spew out the first draft. Then – VERY important – I let that draft sit for a while. Then I go back and revise. Then I send to beta readers, and revise again. I LOVE rewriting. For me, that’s when the real magic happens, when I can see the story through thick layers of dust (which is all my bad writing and ideas that didn’t work and tangents that detract) and polish and polish until it all sings. Hopefully. One other thing: I’ve found that every book is a little different, and I have to adjust my process accordingly.

So there you have it – my writing process. I now have to tag three other authors (but I'm greedy so I'm going to tag six.)  Here's my first victim: Meg Benjamin. I can't wait to read about her process, because the end results rock. 

Any questions about my writing process? Or would you like to share your own writing process?

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