Friday, August 1, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Hop

Woot!Woot! My adorbs friend and beta reader Kate Michael tapped me to join this Writing Process Blog Hop thingie. Kate and I met via the now-archived Thursday's Children blog hop, which I really, really miss. If you ever get a chance to have Kate beta read a project for you, totally take her up on that because she is AWESOME. You should also be stalking her on Twitter and Pinterest because not only is she an incredibly gifted eclectic writer, she's also sort of hilarious and just an all around fantastic person.

I figure at the very least this will give people scoping out the blog for PitchWars a brief but terrifying look into how my writer brain works. (Warning, it's scary in here.)

What Am I Working On?

I am nearly "done" with my YA Multicultural Retelling of Robin Hood, which I cannot say much about other than I am SUPER excited. This project popped into my head fully formed last September and it has been a labor of love ever since. I can't wait to get it out into the world and shop it around, which is honestly something I've never said before.

How Does My Work Differ from Others in Its Genre?

Usually saying your book "doesn't fit into one genre" is a bad thing, but I'm not sure that's the case here. It's not just a retelling. It's not just a multicultural novel. And it's not just a gritty contemporary. It's everything I love about all three of these genres mashed into one book. It's a genre mashup.

Why Do I Write What I Write?

Because it demands to be written. I can't explain it any better than that. A story or character pops into my head and I have to tell it. HAVE. TO. Often at the expense of really important things like paying bills, eating, and keeping my V.I.P.s happy with me. I have the best husband in the world, truthfully. He gets it enough that he lets me get away with shit I've got no business getting away with.

How Does My Individual Writing Process Work?

I wrote differently with this project than I have with anything else I've written and now that I've done it, I know that this is how I'm supposed to write.

As I mentioned it started with an idea, a Twitter pitch, really. From there I expanded that to a 35-word Pitch. Then a query. And finally a synopsis. Yes I wrote a query on a book I hadn't written yet. I sent that synopsis to a couple, much more seasoned writers I really trust and got their feedback. Then I created "The Binder."

I don't draft free-hand if I can help it but I do like to plot freehand. I've got notebooks like this for my last three NaNoWriMo projects and it's a fun way to have something tangible that makes you feel like you're "writing" even when you're not quite ready to write yet. As a hardcore plotter, I couldn't survive without this thing.

There were also notecards at some point but when I transferred them to Scrivener I think I shredded the originals. I'm kind of bummed about it. And yes, everything is color coded, down to the post-it notes I use to brainstorm ideas.

So beyond being a really great exercise in "how to spend a lot of money on office supplies under the guise of a writing career" that's how I spent October of last year--brainstorming ideas for individual scenes, settings, doing character studies and relationship charts, etc.

I also took archery lessons.

This was my first day. I had terrible, terrible form.

Oh and Pinterest. I spent a lot of time on Pinterest.

At the end of October I made all the big picture decisions I needed to make to write the manuscript from start to finish and I incorporated those into a new Scrivener file.

On November 1st, I started to write. My first draft was roughly 80K. I wrote it in 23 days.

I just completed my second full draft and I anticipate at this point a few more scene edits and then line editing and it will be "done." Compared to IMPERFECTLY FINE which had 5 complete redrafts during querying alone, this was MUCH easier.

So, yeah. That's my writing process.

I warned you, it's scary in here!

Now to the poor bastards I've tagged to continue this hop! Hop their way and check out their blogs and whatnot! :)

Shawn Ingram is a member of the #TeamDannie Clubhouse, a blogger with @YAInterrobang, a YA writer on his way to greatness and an all around good guy. I'm keeping him and you should, too.

Carolyn Dennis is one of THE BEST critique partners on Scribophile. She's much more tolerant about reading outside her genre than I am. You should check out her website and read all about her WIP because it is scary good.

Helen Aveling is another Scribophile friend who writes incredible diverse books about people with disabilities!! She's got an awesome WIP on Scribophile that is forever on my TBR list. I cannot wait to read all about the inspiration behind it!

So there you have it. A little more about how my writer brain works. I'd love to hear more about yours! If you've participated in the blog hop, comment below with your links!


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