Writing–My Writing Process

Rainbow paperThis post is part of the My Writing Process Blog Hop, which is  pretty nifty. I’ve never participated in a blog hop before, so I hope you’ll be gentle.

Anyway, I was drawn into this by my lovely, long-time internet friend Helene Kwong, a writer of novels, short stories, blogs, and reviews. Helene and I achieved internet buddy status through LiveJournal, Twitter, and NaNoWriMo. She’s delightful and I could hardly say no when she asked me to do this.

So the premise of this blog hop is to answer four simple questions and then tag three more victims writers to do the same. Groovy. Let’s go.

1.  What are you working on?

At this precise moment, I’m currently rewriting/revising my novella The Timeless Man, the second novella featuring my fat-girl private investigator Ivy Russell. I’m also prepping one of my old NaNo first drafts, (Vampires) Made in America, for revisions. It features another one of my frequent characters, happy-go-lucky vampire Stanley Ivanov.

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

I imagine it differs because I’m lousy at genres. My short stories are usually very easily defined as horror, but the longer the story goes, the harder it is for me to slap a nice, neat label on it. I suppose the one thing that sets me apart no matter where I’m at is that my female characters don’t necessarily end up with a male character, even if the story line would strongly indicate such a thing happening. If my female main character enters a story single (Kim Ales in Night of the Nothing Man, Ivy Russell in Cheaters and Chupacabras, Edda Blue in A Tale of Two Lady Killers), then she’s probably ending the story the same way.

3. Why do you write what you do?

When it comes to fiction (I’m still experimenting with non-fiction so I can’t really answer about that), it’s what comes to my head. It really feels like this is just what I was programmed to write. I seem to do better when there’s some kind of horror/paranormal/supernatural element to my stories. I’ve tried to write straight stuff and it doesn’t feel like it’s as good to me. I was not meant to write literary fiction, my friends. I just don’t have those chops. But if you want something quick and entertaining and don’t mind getting creeped out, I can help you.

4. How does your writing process work?

Slowly and sometimes with many hang-ups. I keep hoping that the more I do this, the more fluid and faster I’ll get, but so far, that hasn’t happened. I tend to do a lot of the first drafts for my longer works (novellas, novels) during NaNoWriMo because I’ve become incredibly disciplined in the context of that contest. For me, the worst part of writing is the first draft, so the quicker I get it all down on paper, so to speak, the quicker I can get to revising, rewriting, and editing.

There’s almost always at least two revising passes on any given manuscript and then a polish. Some stories I find don’t need a lot of work and some need tons. I probably revised A Tale of Two Lady Killers ten times over five years before I decided it was done. As a self-publisher, I’m a stickler for good editing, particularly the technical stuff, but when it comes to the story, I just know that I got it right and it’s done and I can stop revising. Then comes the polish, which is just correcting errors and spiffing up the word choice.

So which writers do you need to check out next week because they’re answering the same questions?

Johi Jenkins, who’s published Resurgence, The Thirst Withinand Margarette (Violet) (Volume 1) (with K LeMaire). She’s a Chicagoan and if you ask her, she’ll tell you that she writes young adult paranormal romances because she’s clearly immature. Ha!

Shana Hammaker,  author of creepy stories like Charlie (I love this one, so it gets shout out) as well as unflinching memoirs The Cookie Dumpster and Hieroglyphs. She writes shit, reads shit, drinks shit, and talks shit, and she does it all like a pro.

Lisa Fernandes is a long-time friend of mine. I think we’ve known each other around fifteen years or so (let’s not say longer, otherwise we’ll start looking our age). She and I have both struggled through this writing life together, walking different paths, but still in the same forest. In addition to fiction, she also does some really fabulous reviews.

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