#mywritingprocess Blog Tour

fountain pen
Heloise West tagged me in this, so here goes:

1) What am I working on?
Right now, I’m working on developmental edits/revisions for Bite Me and for A Knight in Shining Kevlar. The werewolf story is going much better than the cop. Plus finishing the first draft of the sequel to Nuts About You, and working on the Christmas angel story.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Honestly, after the conversation I had earlier with the other Dirty Birds, I’m not sure, though it certainly is. I think tend to throw a lot of dark humour into things, probably due to my early obsession with Monty Python and other British comedy troupes. I do like funnies–part of my background is Irish/Scottish, who tend to be a humorous group overall.

3) Why do I write what I do?
I like the challenge. Romance is very under-rated, because people assume that if a genre has a specific structure that must be stayed within, then the rest of it just writes itself. But, producing something unique and compelling within that specific structure is a huge challenge. Sure, it’s easy to write according to the structure. But doing it so it doesn’t feel like every other romance book out there–that’s the trick. I don’t know that I always hit the mark, but I do make every effort to.

4) How does my writing process work?
I usually start with an image, or a bit of dialogue. Sometimes it’s a question, or my editor poking some weird idea at me (she knows that I like a challenge). From there, the question, “Where would this go?” is the next step. Generally, once I have the characters well enough fleshed out in my head that I get one of these catalyzing scenes, I also know enough to see the grand outlines of the conflict, and how it will be resolved.

At this point, I’ll open a new binder in Liquid Story Binder, start a planner for the story itself, and another for taking notes in. I’ll create a couple of chapters and write the parts I have worked out in my head. As I write those, I’ll recognize other pieces of the story that have to be told, so I’ll create chapter files for them as well, with notes about the goal of the chapter.

I jump around in the project as I figure out parts, come up with conflict and resolution, find and patch weaknesses in the story. Things generally slow down in the middle, where I’ve created promises in one part and have to figure out how to fulfill them, or have fulfilled others, but have to figure out how to make them.

Eventually, the whole thing is done, and then it’s several passes to go through and fill gaps, add foreshadowing, add details for richness or distraction. If I’m planning a follow-up, this is where I add references to things that create the threads linking this story to the next one. It’s goes through my critique group, after which I make another set of passes through it. Then it goes to beta, to see if I’ve actually fixed the issues brought up in group or just muddied the waters. Then I make another couple of passes through it, and send it away, with all fingers and toes crossed.

And after that, the cycle starts over again with another project.

Check out Jena Wade’s contribution to the tour!

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