Archive for May 5th, 2014

Writing Process Blog Relay 2014

Many thanks to Anoosha at My Heart’s Blab for bringing this blog relay to my attention since I can be a bit oblivious about what’s going on around the web. It’s been fascinating to trace the posts backward through various blogs and I’ve been introduced to many authors I would not have otherwise met.

 

What am you working on?

Currently, I’m working on Conflagration of Phoenixes, theta draft. I was doing a serial, but I’m a bit stalled out because it’s hard to write a scene to top killing the MC and bringing them back to life.

 

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I write romantic fantasy, so there’s quite a lot going there. *laughs* I’m pretty sure most things have been done at this point.

It’s set in alternate universe imperial China with magic, so that’s a bit unusual. I also try to balance the epic fantasy elements of politics and adventuring with a strong romance angle involving four entities — so it’s a bit of a mutt. I expect people will tell me if I’ve succeeded or not when I’m done.

I suspect people won’t know how to properly characterize it. Certainly I’m having a hard time really giving people a good idea of what to expect. Too much romance for it to be just epic fantasy; possibly too heavy on the political/adventure aspects for the romance crowd and it involves multi-partner romance but I don’t intend to make it explicit so I’ve scared away the usual m/f crowd but left the erotica crowd cold.

I’ve had CPs throw up their hands a bit. *laughs*

 

Why do you write what you do?

That is how the stories come to me. I’ll have a plot bunny and then I’ll have characters show up to populate the story. As the story unwinds, they tell me things and for me including them as they isn’t a choice.

Goddess in Waiting, for example, started out with a reluctant goddess who’s dragged back into the living world. I had the outline planned out. But somewhere in the story, this conversation happens:

Thanatos: “What are you doing with my wife?”

Me: “Uh? Since when? I haven’t seen you in each other’s company for what, a few thousand years?”

Thanatos: “None of your business.”

Amarantha: “Don’t wanna talk about it. Painful memories.”

So the entire plot shifted.

I serve Story, that’s all.

 

How does your writing process work?

A better question might honestly be “how does it not fail”? *laughs*

I used be a complete pantser, but now I outline. I follow the 5 key turning points of scripts when I’m laying out the initial outline, but it’s really fluid. As opposed to say, “turn right at Cross St and then go straight for a mile before turning left onto Pearl St”, it’s really more like “Start with car accident, turn left at emotional trauma and go until you’re halfway there then make a slight right onto emo drama and straight on til morning”.

The first draft is usually fast for me. I tend to edit as I go, going over the previous chapter before starting on the new one. I tend to produce fairly clean copy, so I’ll read over it when it’s done, tweak whatever needs doing and send it on to my CPs. They’ll let me know what works and doesn’t work. Then, well, then Hell happens. I haven’t finished edits on my first novel yet, so I’ll have to update after I’ve finished a polished copy that’s ready for publication.

I do writing challenges with friends at writechat.net almost every day. I also keep Google Hangouts up all day so my friends and I can spur each other on, help each other with brainstorming and shoot the breeze. That and my number spreadsheets keep me going when I otherwise might not.

 

Next up:

(I’m linking more than three because these ladies are just that awesome and when they all responded to my call to action I didn’t want anyone to miss out on meeting them.)

Zoë Sumra was born in London, and decided to become a novelist when she was three years old. She subsequently moved to Lancashire and, bored with countryside living, finally started writing novels at the age of twelve. She wrote most of an epic fantasy trilogy before moving to space opera and staying there, because making spaceships blow up is entertaining.  Away from writing she works as a print controller in the advertising industry and is a UK-ranked foil and sabre fencer.

Jess Mahler is a kinky, crazy, and somewhat confused woman trying to get by in the modern world. She was introduced to fantasy in 7th grade English class when the teacher assigned “The Littlest Dragon Boy,” by Anne McCaffery, and never looked back. Today she writes specfic of all kinds, incorporating her own experience with alternative sexualities, alternative lifestyles, and chronic illness.

Elise Hepner writes smutty goodness. Her latest book is about Megaera,a Fury who functions as Hades’ right hand.

Claudia Long is the author of Josefina’s Sin and The Duel for Consuelo, two novels of 1700 colonial Mexico. She also wrote The Harlot’s Pen which is about women in the Labor Movement in San Francisco in 1920. She writes about Colonial Mexico, Mexican historical fiction, and in The Duel for Consuelo, the Conversos, the secret Jews who converted at the point of a sword. .