My Writing Process is an ongoing blog tour in which authors blog about their own processes by answering four basic questions and then pass the baton to two more authors. I was invited into the tour by fellow Anaiah Press author Courtney Rice Gager, so be sure to check out her awesomeness at www.courtneyricegager.com.
My Writing Process in 4 Answers
One. What am I working on?
I’m working on a few things. This is not abnormal. I have many digital and physical folders full of notes and characters and settings and plot points. But I’m earnestly working on three things at the moment. First, I’m completing illustrations for my picture book Moon Mail and Star Kisses, due out in 2015 by Anaiah Press. In Moon Mail, a parent reassures a child that they share the same moon even when they’re apart.
Second, I’m revising The Founding of Josiah Turn, a historical fantasy I’ll self-publish this November. In TFoJT, seventeen-year-old Josiah Turn loses everyone he’s ever known during a freak Appalachian earthquake and freeze. With powers he can’t control, Josiah enters the world of 1888 and faces the military that wants the source of his power. Recently, I sat with a book club of folks I’d never met before to discuss their beta reading of this book. Now, I’m revising again before final edits. Check out kickstarter.com to preorder and support this novel.
Third, I’m drafting an unnamed WIP, a sci-fi set in the present and near future dealing with space junk. Meanwhile, when notions about other WIPs or not-yet-WIPs come along, I jot them down and try not to dwell on them.
Two. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Research. Whatever I write or illustrate begins with and is fueled by research. Every story exists at the intersection of research and imagination.
Three. Why do I write what I do?
I write to tell stories, so I write the stories that are drawn in my head. Very often, the stories that come to me relate little to my experience or expertise. My education in history and law are instrumental because I learned how to research in lots of ways for lots of topics. When I have an idea that is mostly foreign to me, I weigh whether I think someone else will have the same idea. If I think another will, I won’t write. If I think another won’t, I dig in and see where I go.
Four. How does my writing process work?
An idea can grow from the smallest observations and imaginings. I start a physical folder and a digital folder under a working title. I collect bits and notions until the story’s voice comes to me. Then I write the most exciting parts, or the parts I’m most excited to write. I make character and setting profiles as I go, and I use Scrivener, which makes it super-easy. I tend to write in fits – a bunch at a time with mulling periods between fits. And I use self-imposed deadlines to keep myself accountable.
There you have it – my writing process! Like every writer, it boils down to loads of thinking, reading, writing, sharing, and repeating.
I hereby pass the baton to…
Tricia Sankey of milspouseprose.com
Milspouseprose is devoted to publishing outstanding literary fiction and non-fiction featuring military spouses or loved ones. Tricia Sankey is the editor who publishes content at her sole discretion. Tricia is the wife of Warrant Officer James Sankey. She has an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University and has published flash fiction in The Journal of Microliterature. She also contributes to Army Wife Network’s blog “Loving a Soldier.”
Scott Springer of scottspringer.com
Scott Springer came to consciousness slowly, his eyes opening under the shade of a rock. Out there the sun beat down on the sand. He didn’t know where he was; what day, month, or year it was; or even who he was. Through fumes of heated air, the first thing he noticed was the smoldering wreckage of a personal space cruiser: his craft, he remembered eventually. That’s when the rest of the story flooded into his mind. It was 1964 and he was somewhere in the land of bilingual cattle. But where exactly he had come from remains a mystery even to this day.
He adapted, got a job. Watched Star Trek, Lost in Space, Star Wars. He is pissed that the space shuttle program has been canned. We were supposed to be colonizing Mars at this point, at least. Or what about the women of Venus? Hello? And Pluto is NOT a planet? So he waits with his mind hidden in a computer. Often he is haunted by strange stories of a land far away. Sometimes he tries to write them down.
He has married, produced offspring, acquired a fake birth certificate at the flea market and a mortgage or two, and he pays taxes. As long as you pay your taxes you will be okay. That line haunts his memory; it must have come with him from that other world. At night he sits in his lawn chair, looks at the stars, and wonders.