The Writing Process Blog Hop
What are you working on?
I've just finished my latest book (lucky #13) and I'm waiting on beta-readers and my cover designer before I make my final tweaks. In the meantime, I am always and forever doing promo work, blogging, helping the ever-growing community of new writers, contemplating the next project (or 2 or 3), reading both classics and the latest from friends and acquaintances and investigating new ways to get the word out. Other than that, not a darn thing.
How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Tough question, since I don't do just one genre. I've got romance, fantasy, action, spiritual, satire, paranormal and biography. The one thing that I would say I emphasize in all my writing is growth; the characters don't just overcome the odds, they find out more about themselves, discover they are more than they thought they were. Sometimes that means getting what they want, but sometimes it doesn't. You just never know.
Why do you write what you do?
I write because I can't not write. I write whatever story takes hold of my brain and refuses to let go. Some characters would like to have their stories written, but aren't terribly insistent about it. Others simply will not be put off until I start getting the words down on paper. When they're consuming my every waking thought and showing up in my dreams, it's time to hunker down and start writing.
How does your writing process work?
When I first get an idea, I jot down maybe 5 bullet points: the opening premise, the conflict, the complications and the resolution. (Ok, that's 4.) But this is all very broad, very loose, and very open to development. I start to "draw" my characters, listing their physical attributes, their age, their relationships, any distinct personality traits. Once I have a feel for them, I can start writing. I update the list of plot points as I go, often times re-ordering them in the chronological order so as to build tension. Then it's just write, write, write. Very often the flow of the story will guide me one way or another, or a character will start to pull the story in a new direction and I will usually go with that. I actually claim very little control over my books. When they start writing themselves, that's when I know the muses are engaged. That's when the process changes from mechanical to magical, and I love that.
Now I'm supposed to tag 4 other writers and have them continue this blog hop, but I seem to be tail-end Charlie here and the only one who hasn't already blogged about it. If anyone wants to continue this, please feel free.