|A special notebook made for me|
by my beautiful and talented
Today's post comes courtesy of authors Kate Larkindale and Jolene Perry. (Be sure to check out their sites and their books!) Kate tagged me in the Writing Process Bloghop that's been making its way around the blogosphere while Jolene posted a similar themed post on her blog yesterday that I decided would compliment the first nicely.
And since I'm pretty terrible at talking about...well, everything, I thought I should welcome the opportunity to practice talking about writing and how I do what I do.
Whatever that is.
Shall we get started?
1. What are you working on?
I am working on publishing my epic-ish (sorry...still uncomfortable with the 'epic' label.) fantasy novel, Effigy, and completing the first draft of Effigy's sequel, Second Nature.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
A lot—not all—of the stories in the fantasy genre tend to be plot-driven. I try to make my stories more character-driven because I do believe character is king. Nothing against plot, because heaven knows that's important too, but I'm a character-driven reader.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Well, I'm a fangirl obsessed with sarcasm, medieval weaponry, and bucking the establishment. Me writing what I do is probably just a given.
4. How does your writing process work?
Some would say it doesn't. But for a more detailed look at my writing process, please refer to the questions and answers below...
1. What genre do you write?
I write fantasy, urban fantasy, YA, romance, and literary. If it strikes my fancy, I'll give it a go. Someday I'd like to write a spy novel.
2. How many books have you written?
Jolene's number was 31, which is so insanely impressive that I am embarrassed by my paltry number. Which is 6. Unless you count the two installments of my fantasy series that have been started but are a long way off from finishing. Then it's 8. Wait—9. I forgot about that really crappy romance novel I wrote in college. It'll never see the light of day, but I did write it. So 9, then.
3. Are you published?
Not yet. But I just might change that later on this year. Unless I've totally just jinxed myself by saying so. D'oh!
4. How long do you let an idea "simmer" before you start writing?
I think that answer depends upon the project. Some things I can just jump right into, but others need a little more percolating.
5. How much pre-planning do you do in the form of outlines, character sketches, maps, etc.?
It used to be none, like seriously, none. I never really planned anything, just kind of jumped into the deep end and went for it. These days, however, I have trended toward more plotting than pantsing. I have a six foot storyboard in my office (if you're curious, you can check out a post devoted to the details of that storyboard HERE) which contains maps, charts, a family tree, and a color-coded calendar. I now also have a second storyboard claiming all three walls of my dining room.
|The six-foot storyboard in my office|
|My dining room storyboard. I'm happy this room finally has|
found a purpose. It's not like I ever used it for, you know,
dining or anything like that. That's what the living room is for.
6. If you use an outline, what type do you use?
I don't know if the dining room storyboard should be considered a proper outline, but it does outline the story for me—where it's been and where it's (supposed to be) headed. The little index cards on the dining room storyboard are color-coded too. Each POV character was assigned his or her own color so I can tell at a glance which character is supposed to be running any particular scene.
The above chart is where I'm currently at in Second Nature. The little pink post-its tell me which scenes are incomplete. The chart for chapters 25-26 has only two index cards on it right now—each listing an incomplete scene in its currently intended spot in the novel (But they'll likely end up moving. I find that happens a lot.) so I know where I'm aiming to go.
7. How many drafts do you usually go through before you're done?
I'd say three is probably average for me, but again, it really depends upon the project.
8. How long does it typically take you to write a first draft?
A long time. George R.R. Martin looked at me the other day and said, "Damn, girl, you write slow!" (please note: that is possibly not a true story. Though if George R.R. Martin and I did know each other, he probably would say that. Right before he handed me my restraining order.)
9. How long do revisions usually take you?
Please see above.
10. Are your revised drafts substantially different plot-wise from your first drafts?
Not usually, but in the case of Effigy, the answer is HELL, YES! The very first draft of the very first conception of this story is a long way away from where the final version has ended up. A lot of changes were made—for the better, of course. In fact, I would never, ever show anyone the very first draft of that story now because it's too embarrassing. The only way it'll ever see the light of day is if I were teaching English again and needed to make a point about the awesome power of revision. But, fortunately, that's not likely to happen.
And wow...I talked a lot today. Sorry about that, but I am finished now. If you made it all the way through to the end, I thank you for hanging in there. We at My Pet Blog salute you. And if you didn't quite make it, I thank you for trying. We at My Pet Blog salute you too.
At any rate...Have a great afternoon, everyone. Thanks for stopping by.