Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Writing Process

Looks like I'm running a little late this week. My apologies!

My Writing Process Blog Tour

I was asked by author Clarissa Johal to participate in this blog tour. Check her out - she has a lot of interesting stuff going on over there!

1) What are you currently working on?

I'm working on the sequel to Silver Bound. It's tentatively titled Silver Burned. Our heroine is facing a bloody conflict to reclaim her territory, and not all of the demons she's facing are coming from the outside.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Let's look at my main character: Samantha has a lot of bestial traits. She doesn't always think like a human, and favors brute force over more subtle (and effective) solutions. She's purpose driven, with very little need or desire for introspection. One of her larger character flaws is that she doesn't stop to think about the consequences of her actions. She isn't so much impulsive as she is direct, and she tends to smash at problems until they stop twitching. In short, Samantha is a bit of a brute. I thought her nature would be a fun change after reading about so many main characters who wiffle waffle, especially about romance.

As far as world building - well, I think a lot of what I've put together has been done before, but not in this combination. We've read stories with different kinds of weres, and all sorts of explanations about why they don't overrun humanity. We've seen mages and magic fluctuations before, along with all of the other fantasy creatures that sneak about in my world. We've even read stories where people change (what I call snapping) at puberty. What makes my Earth unique is how I've used those ideas in combination, and how nasty the results are for the people who have magic in their blood. It's better to be human.

3) Why do you write what you do?

I write what I want to read, and I read two genres: Urban fantasy, and regency romance. I couldn't write regency to save my life, so here I am.

Also, I got tired of how urban fantasy seems to be getting taken over and blended with paranormal romance. Paranormal romance is fine enough, don't get me wrong, but why does almost every female protagonist feel the need to tie themselves in knots over a man, or two, or three? Can't we find something else to worry about? Like the giant, thorny problem that's staring us in the face, perhaps? Isn't that enough?

Sure, we all want to get laid, but there's no need to get bent out of shape about it. Handle your business, girl!

4) How does your writing process work?

I'm an unabashed pantser. I've tried outlining, and it just doesn't work for me. My characters do what they want. Sometimes I can steer them in a different direction, and sometimes I can't. The most outlining I can do is to decide on a general, overarching sequence of events and the desired conclusion to my current manuscript. Everything else is in flux until it's on paper.

By and large, I can't write at home. I have three cats, a husband, and a roommate. Something's always going on, and someone always wants my company. It's nice to be needed, but hectic.

When I want to write, I go somewhere other than home. Sometimes I stay late after work and write while I'm off the clock, and sometimes I'll go to a local business. If I do use a business, like a coffee shop, I scout it out first to make sure it isn't too crowded, because I don't want them to be inconvenienced by me taking up a table. I buy something about once an hour.

First, I read over the last few paragraphs that I completed in the previous session - not too much, but enough to get me in the mood and remind me of what I was doing.

Second, I jot down a few notes detailing what events I want to have happen during the current session. I can usually write notes for 1-2k worth of words before things get sketchy.

If there are things going on around me, I put on headphones. The music I listen to has to be energetic, strong enough to drown out any background noise. In general, I'm listening to dubstep or industrial, and I try to avoid anything that's easy to sing to, or I'll be distracted by the words.

Some people say that music helps them focus. For me, it's a method that I use to remove other distractions, so instead of getting bombarded with things from all sides - that child's squeaky shoes, the sound of the coffee grinder, the big truck rumbling outside, birdsong, that couple's conversation, those students and their dating problems - I just have one sound that yanks on my attention.

I can't face a window, or I'll stare at it. I can't face the room, or I'll watch people moving around. I can't even face a wall that has art on it, or I'll ponder the posters. Everything that I do is to isolate myself, as though I've locked myself into a closet in public.

Writing with ADHD is hell. I'm not on medication, although I've pondered going back to that, especially when things get really bad. Some days are worse than others. My coworkers might think it's funny that sometimes I end up running laps in the office instead of working, but I don't. The only thing that saves me is that I love what I'm doing, so I keep coming back.

The next participants should be posting soon! Check out:
Jess Haines


  1. Love to think of you scribbling away in a coffee shop. A very interesting blog indeed and a wonderful addition to this blog tour. You have so much energy and it shows in your writing.

  2. The coffee shop thing is SO stereotypical, haha. Thank you!