Monday, March 10, 2014

My Writing Process–an author chain

JoyfullyYours-AmyLamontRomance Author Amy Lamont invited me to join the Writing Process chain to talk a bit about how I work.

Amy and I met recently in a writer’s group and I’m enjoying getting to know her. If you click on the book cover, you can find her writing process post. I look forward to checking out her next-to-come book, Mandy’s Marine.

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What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently going through final edits for the re-release of the first two books of the Rehearsal series, this time under my own imprint, which gives me more flexibility. Book 4 is also in final edits stage and Books 5 & 6 are in the works.

Along with that, I’ve just started putting together ideas for an anthology of local writers (you’ll find some of them linked below) and have a short story forming in my thoughts to be included. It’ll be the first story I’ve set in my adopted hometown and I look forward to adding luscious details to make the reader feel as though she’s actually been here.

How does your work differ from others in the genre?

I’ve had a hard time calling my work any one genre. It’s romantic, but doesn’t stay in the bounds of the romance genre since it tends to be far longer and includes family backgrounds and is often heavy with societal issues. It’s part literary fiction given my writing style and the mentioned societal issues, but it’s faster-paced than much lit fic and usually lighter. I think it’s what they are now calling Upmarket Romance and some of it could be called New Adult, but I call it Literary Romance and to be honest, I haven’t read any other books that are very similar. I write very deep inside my characters and let them tell the story, which is always art-centered.

Why do you write what you do?

Because that’s what comes out. I don’t remember which author was first credited with saying, “Write the book you want to read,” but I truly believe that and that’s what I do. I’m not terribly big on convention and don’t worry much about what’s “in” at the moment. I write what I need to write. Writing, and the characters’ stories, always comes first. I worry about how to market it later.
[*caveat: My pen name line is more conforming to recent trends than my LK books. I’m often up to trying new things.]

How does your writing process work?

Characters come to mind as they’re involved in some situation. I think about their story and about who they are and what they truly want most and what tries to keep them from it for quite some time before I start writing. That’s my usual MO. I have, however, grabbed a couple of characters from the air, so to speak, stuck them in a situation I hardly know, and let them go where they go. But most often, the story is well-formed in my head first. It may wander and change while writing the first draft and I let it do that.

I don’t outline first. I outline as I go. After I write a scene, I make a note of it so I can refer to it later if needed. When I do the big rewrite (aka the second draft), I may move things around and add or delete and make sure to tie up loose ends and fix things so the beginning, middle, and end all agree. My last book started in October and midway through changed to spring, so then I went back and made it all agree.

After my big rewrite, I send it to my first reader to get her thoughts while I start editing. When I’ve edited a few times, at least twice after the BR, I send it on to my proofreaders to help catch things I missed, then go over it once more. As John Irving says, at least 2/3rds of my writing time is editing.

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Hopping on the Blog Chain next week (Monday, March 17):

Liz Lally: Liz Lally lives with her husband in Sharpsville, Pennsylvania. She has written two humorous books "Help! I Married a Cartoon Character" and "Nooo! I'm Not a Cartoon Character.”

TC Conner: TC Conner, The Write Gardener, writes about life in and out of the garden.

Valerie Rutherford: Valerie Rutherford is a YA Fantasy novelist, planning on self-publishing. She's currently working on a universe of inter-connected novels mixing magic with relationships and real life issues.
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