I was tagged in a Writing Process Blog Tour by the lovely, sweet, and talented Kathryn Trattner (but I'm special and get to call her Katie). She's so wonderful, and if you haven't, you NEED to check her out: http://www.kathryntrattner.com.
I have been lucky enough to meet Katie, and so many other amazing writers, through a facebook group I created for support, critique, and general sharing of information and ideas. It is one of the best decisions I ever made. Seriously. I have made friends, that I hope will last a life time, and I can see how my writing has improved with the help and critique of other talented writers. Katie is one of these people I've been luck enough to connect with.
When you look at Katie's post about her writing process it is amazing. I just have to say, I don't have kids, so I really don't know how it works, but parents who are also able to write simply amaze me. Katie has such a detailed process, and she has 1.9 babies (the second is due any day)!
The manuscript she's currently working on sounds AH-mazing! I love twists and turns especially when you add in things like revenge and crime. I like the darker side of things sometimes :) It honestly sounds like something I would drink up and want to crawl inside to live with her characters. I cannot wait until it is published.
Okay, so now onto my answers to the same questions Katie answered when she tagged me.
1) What am I working on right now?
This is question that's trickier than it should be. If you know me, you know that I'm still working on my 2k a day until I finish 4 first drafts or 6 months worth of writing (whichever I hit first). So right now I'm working on the third of those first drafts. But I cannot get my mind away from the previous one. It is honestly the book of my heart, the best thing I have written up to this point, and a forever love affair for me. My husband just asked to read it, and he is the first person to look at those words. I'm a nervous wreck as he texts me while reading. I seriously get anxious worrying that it's not as good as I remember it being, because let's face it, when you're writing two thousand words a day there is NO time to go back and edit. I'm sure it's full of mistakes, but I'm just hoping the raw emotions are still as I remember.
I have a weird nickname for that WIP because it is still currently untitled. I haven't even tried to take a stab at a title. I hate titles. I've been calling it by the initials of the song that inspired the whole piece.
And I just realized you probably want to know what it's about. Duh. It is a NA Contemporary manuscript. It has dual POV and LOTS and lots of angst. I really poured my heart out into the words to give it lots of depth to the emotions. It's hard to read in parts, and that was the whole goal. There's some naughty bits, gasp, and questionable decisions, lots of those, and a lot of heartbreak. It's just my king of read! If I could only ever publish one other book in my life, I want it to be this one.
2) How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I'm going to take Katie's idea here and starts with some of my favorite writers. It's an eclectic bunch, because I love a little bit of everything. Actually I write as eclectically as I read. Some of my favorites are Chuck Palahniuk, Meg Cabot, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Candace Bushnell, and more I'm sure I'm forgetting.
I try to incorporate a few elements into every manuscript. My first WIP in this 6 month goal was NA Fantasy and LGBT. I love to mix it up. I also usually have some controversy (I swear like a sailor in life and in most of my writing - except the debut that's coming out) and questionable behavior for a lot of my characters. Basically I write what I want to read, and that can be a little crazy.
I use what I've read, what I've experienced, every single critique I've gotten or given, and mix it all up to be the best writer I can be in the moment. I truly hope that is always evolving, growing, and improving over time.
When I collect a new favorite book or writer my writing may change. But it continues to stay eclectic and all the way ME.
3) Why do I write what I write?
This one is by far the easiest questions for me. I write what I write because it's stuck in my head. I get an idea that I love, and I just have to run with it before I forget the, what I think at the time at least is, brilliance.
Also I write for me, or in other words, I write something I will enjoy reading for the billion times I have to edit it. I write something that gets my fingers moving across the keys. I write sort of messed up stories that I enjoy both reading and writing. I write things that I wouldn't mind snuggling up with on the couch (along with a cup of coffee or glass of wine).
When I opened up my WIP, my favorite book & the one mentioned before, I had butterflies reading the words in one particular scene. It was a moment that felt like so many other times I've had while reading a book I'm addicted to. It felt like the first time I read Beautiful Disaster, by Jamie McGuire, and I stayed up until 3am because I just couldn't read enough. I couldn't stop myself. When I was reading this scene in my WIP I couldn't read fast enough and I was actually anxious because I thought it was so good. I was racing through the words and emotions that seemed so perfect. Now that may just be my own reaction, since I wrote the words, but THAT is why I write. THAT feeling. I will always write, no matter if I'm never published again, no matter if I and my husband are the only ones to read my words.
I write because I love it. I write because I just have to. I write to get that amazing feeling.
4) How does my writing process work?
My process is incredibly laid back. Shocker. I'm a pantser for life. Unfortunately, or fortunately, a CP of mine has brought me a little bit over to the dark side and I semi outline/plot for my WIPS now.
When I have an idea, it can be an opening scene or a general theme or story line, anything, I start writing the idea out. As I write usually a few more little ideas come to me. I try to make sure it's an idea that can include enough plot, and words, to be long enough for a while manuscript.
Then I run the idea by a CP or my husband to make sure it's not dumb. Sometimes they are.
After that I open three word documents (I don't have Schrivner yet, but I'm planning on buying and trying it when I get my new computer soon). The first is to type up that idea in the beginning of an outline. After those couple paragraphs then I just bullet point plot points I want to hit. I add as I go whenever I come up with ideas (told you, pantser). The second document is a character cheat sheet. I need this because I used to scroll back looking for character's hair/eye colors and cars they drove, etc.
The third document is the WIP itself.
Then I just start writing! I keep all three documents up the whole time I'm writing. My process lately has included huge goals (2k a day) but I often have to use weekends to catch up. My plan is to take October off and then do one more WIP for NaNoWriMo in November, then use 2015 for editing and querying. This goal has been really tough at times, and I just hit the halfway mark, so I'm struggling, but I won't quit. I hate failing. So I won't.
Plus I have all of my cheerleaders in my amazing writing groups. I rely on my friends a lot to keep me going when I'd rather just nap and watch TV. My CPs are some of the most amazing people I know, so my process doesn't just stop at writing. I hate editing, but it's a necessary evil. There's no way to have perfect words when you write so fast getting the ideas out. I NEED my CPs to help me make it great, or at least better. I RELY on my CPs for their amazingness. And they are amazing. I've always said the difference between a writer and an author is editing. So, yes it sucks, but it's also so important.
Generally after finishing the first draft I edit it once. Send it to my hubs to read. Edit it once or twice more. Send it to my CPs for reading. Edit it after every CP critique. Then after everything edit it once more. It's a lot, and I usually just want to be DONE with the damn thing long before I am, but I do it until it's ready. Then I query. And I can't wait to query my favorite. I think it has real potential!
My process in simpler words is: write, edit, sharer, edit, fall in love! This means I'm always writing, so I can fall in love another time.
Okay, Okay enough about me! I bet you're so sick of hearing about my process. BUT you have one more job to do. Click on over to the lovely lady I'm tagging next! S. J. Henderson: http://www.sjhenderson.net/blog. She's another wonderful gal in my writing group, and she's also a mom like Katie! I SERIOUSLY don't know how they do it. I just don't. I can't wait to hear what she's working on.