My Writing Process – a blog hop

I was invited by Libby over at Subourbon Mom to participate in a writing blog tour. You can read her posts about southern life and the writing life. Many thanks to Libby for tagging me to write about my writing! So here are the questions I was given, and my answers:

1. What am I working on?

Besides trying to come up with a witty and wonderful blog post each week, I’m working on a fantasy novel trilogy. I’m revising/rewriting book one, and working on the first draft of book two.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

That’s always the challenge, isn’t it – to write something that fulfills readers’ expectations while still being unique and unexpected. This trilogy I’m working on is cross-world high fantasy – it’s got magic, monsters, swords and battles, and hopping between this world and the fantasy realm. But it also has a lot of elements drawn from the mythology of Finland and the Sami (the indigenous people of Scandinavia). Hopefully that slant makes my stories unique without being so off-the-wall that one one will read them.

3. Why do I write what I do?

Because I have way too many ideas in my head to simply leave them there. I’ve always loved fantasy – reading it, watching it, and writing it.

4. How does my writing process work?

This question could be answered several different ways. I’m more of a plotter than a pantser. I don’t usually outline an entire book before I begin, but I have the basic plot worked out, all the main characters, and I know how I want the story to end. As far as my writing routine – well, I’m still working on that one. I’m generally more creative in the evenings, but I always seem to have a lot of other things to do then. I’m still working on making writing a priority.

And now I’m tagging three other amazing writers to carry on this blog-hop!

Abigail Bromilow says: Full time wife and mother, most of the time corporate crusader, and ever-constant fangirl. I love all things literary and want to be a writer when I grow up. I collect supplies for crafts I’ll never finish, am secretly trying to turn all of our farm animals into pets, and have finally accepted that I will never have clean floors or organized file drawers. I share my life with a husband who accepts me for everything I am (and am not), and three children that remind me how important imagination really is. She blogs at An Unorganized Mind.

Ashley Scott says: My name is Ashley, I created this blog in hopes of reaching people who are in pain…it doesn’t matter what kind of pain. I want to help you. Through my rough life I have gained the insight that I am supposed to reach out and make sure that no one going through hard times EVER has to be alone. Just know, you are never alone, especially now! Remember that you are loved. She blogs at Journey out of the Abyss.

Bonnie Watson says: Bonnie was first introduced to the digital world while attending Virginia Commonwealth University. As a writer, digital medium assisted in developing character and landscape references. Her collection of How to art books by various favorite artists (Gary Lippincott, Jessica Peffer, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law) continues to grow, and serves as an inspiration for future ideas. After graduating in 2005 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, Bonnie went into Visual Design and Customer Relations. She is author of the Wisdom Novel series, and a freelancer on the side. She writes, paints, and composes music at Wisdom Novels.

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Current Writing Projects

This week’s entry is all about me. I couldn’t think of anything useful or instructive to write, so I thought I’d just share a little about my own current writing projects.

Besides writing this fabulous blog, I am also working on two novels. They’re both part of the fantasy trilogy that has been my main creative focus for the better part of the past two years. The trilogy is entitled The Light-Whisperers of Kalevala. I’m about half-way (okay, maybe one third of the way) done with the first draft of book two.

I really enjoy writing a first draft, even when I find myself deviating from my original outline. Or when I get to that trouble spot of my outline where I just had a big question mark and now I’ve got to come up with something.

First draft writing is pure creation, pure exploration. I’m learning about the characters and having adventures right along with them. It’s fun and it’s freeing.

Editing, revising, and rewriting are not quite as fun. This is where I am with book one. Yes, editing, revising, and rewriting are all different processes, but I’m currently engaged in all of them. Mostly that last one.

I have rewritten many scenes in the first two chapters—more than once. And each time a scene is rewritten, I know it’s better—the plot flows smoother, the clunky boring parts are trimmed or gone, the characters become more three-dimensional and consistent. The total word count is going down, which is a good thing (the first draft clocked in at 175,000 words, which is a tad long, even for a fantasy tome). I’m excited about the end result of a more streamlined and readable novel, but I’m becoming less and less excited about the process to get said result.

I’m sure all writers (or artists of any sort) experience this feeling of being so tired of a piece of work that you just want to give up on it and call it done so you can forget about the thing. Yes, there will come a point when I have to call it done—without doing that, it will never be published. But I know that time is not yet.

My critique group has been very helpful by providing feedback. They have pointed out the slow spots (there are lots of those), the places where characters seem to fall flat, and those little inaccuracies that aren’t a big thing but could trip me up later. Of course I don’t automatically make every suggested change, but when multiple people point out the same things—repeatedly—it’s probably important.

Hence, the rewriting. And more rewriting. My goal is to have the rewrites and revisions of the entire first book done by the end of May. That’s a little over a week away, for anyone who’s counting. And how close am I to accomplishing that goal? I’d rather not talk about that…

Well, sooner or later, I will finish this revision of book one. As sick of it as I am right now, I’ve worked too hard on it to just quit. And besides, since I’m industriously writing book two (and sketching ideas for book three), that kind of makes book one necessary.

So now it’s back to the rewriting/revising board again (with the occasional hop over to first draft creative freedom on book two, when I just can’t stand it anymore). Oh yeah, and cranking out a blog entry of some sort every week.

So what sort of projects are you working on?