And now for something completely different. A look inside the mind of this particular crazed writer. It’s like a chain letter minus the wacky superstitions. . .
I was tagged by Janet Gershen Seigel http://jespah.adastrafanfic.net/2014/06/29/writing-process-blog-hop/.
I asked for volunteers, and these three have thrown themselves upon the sword. Check them out!
Colleen Booker Halverson, https://colleenbhalverson.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/writing-process-blog-hop/
What am I working on?
A better question might be what am I not working on. There’s the novel, Silverblood, born in the fires of Nanowrimo 2013. Ostensibly, that one’s done. It’s been successfully queried and the full MS is with two fine literary agents. Patience is hard, yo — but I am persevering. I expect, in the event that I unlock the achievement of obtaining representation, that I’ll be doing even MOAR edits/revisions. I am realistic enough to know that my novel is not a sparkly perfect snowflake. I’m sure there is work to do yet. Lots and lots of work. But that’s all to the good.
I have also started work on Silvervein, book two in what will be a trilogy of YA/SF novels, in which we follow Izzy on her quest to free her big sister from the labyrinthine conspiracy that has ensnared her. Should be fun. Now with sudden surprise gayness. You know how some writers talk about their characters talking to them — I too have these voices in my head. I’d think I was crazy, but it’s a good time, so I’ll just accept that I hear voices and write down what they say.
So far I am 5k into the roughest of rough drafts. Trying hard not to hate it with the burning fires of a thousand suns. Cages inner editor and keeps banging on the keys. There are also a few languishing short stories that desperately need revision. I’ll get to those one of these days.
Why do I write what I do?
Such a lovely open-ended question. If I were to dredge back to the primordial ooze from which my writer’s soul was born, I’d have to lay my love of all things SFF at my parent’s doorsteps. I grew up in fandom. I was a con kid. I can say, with varying levels of veracity, that I’ve at least met dozens of SFF luminaries in my time. That’s not a brag, just a way of showing that my life is perhaps different from other people’s lives. Thus, writing seemed accessible and normal. That explains my undying devotion to genre fiction.
This intersects with my education. I have a BFA in creative writing. During my time in the workshop trenches I learned how to write lit fic. I used to find that constraining, but my disgruntlement with academic disdain for genre fiction could fit into another entire blog post. At any rate, I learned to write realistic, character driven fiction.
What happens when a upbringing within fandom meets lit fic training? Character driven SF. I won’t pretend to have invented my weird-ass writing style, but it is a hybridized thing, and that’s kind of a cool thing.
How does my writing process work?
What can I say about my writing process? Something that would help other penmonkeys — to borrow Chuck Wendig’s wonderful phraseology. I tend to drop all the things for writing. The kids, they are blessedly old enough to need minimal supervision. My husband who arguably needs more of my attention, has been the very soul of patience. My house, it would be charitable to call it a slovenly pit of badness. BUT. And this is a big but — when I do this, the words flow, and wonderful, magical sparkly things happen. So, in brief, a shifting of priorities occurs. I try to write approximately three hours per day with a minimum of 1k per day. A lofty goal, I know, and one I don’t always actually follow through on. In reality, I tend to write in 3k bursts every two to three days. I’ll do this, nano style, for 4-7 weeks and when I am done I have a draft. Shoot off the confetti cannons! Drink the beverage that best suits you! Pantsless dance party in the living room! It’s great. A wonderful feeling worth celebrating. Then I let the draft sit for as long as I can stand. Ideally a month. In practice, if I can keep my grubby hands off it for three weeks, I call that a win. Then I reread. If it’s a rough draft I am likely to scrap most of it, salvaging the bits I like and rewriting from scratch. If it’s a later draft, I bring in a small army of beta-readers and revisereviserevise. Lather, rinse, repeat until I have something worth showing the world.
I’ll point out this was my process for Silverblood. It being the only novel I’ve ever written, I can’t speak to whether the process will be the same with subsequent books. So far, Silvervein has taken more planning and sussing of character motivation and whatnot. I’m finding it harder. The hardest part of all being that my words, they suck again. I got used to writing pretty. Must go shove that inner critic in her cage again, and take lots more notes. So many notes. All the notes!
I’ll be back next week with more flashfic/poetry. Carry on.