I am honored and humbled to join in on the Writing Process Blog Tour (#mywritingprocess). When Michelle over at The Green Study invited me, I couldn’t refuse. I am always delighted to read her posts. Her writing is both eloquent and intelligent, and I feel I gain a morsel of truth every time I visit her blog. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to pay her a visit. As I learned from her post from the blog tour, The Dilettante Writer, understanding the world around her is at the heart of her writing process, which makes perfect sense to me.
Now on to the questions I am to answer on the blog tour. Here we go:
1) What am I working on?
Currently, I am on a mission to complete the things I’ve started. I have a short story, a medium-sized short story, and a longer short story (possible novella!) that I will finish, just because I’ve come so far already. The short story, Ghost Walk, I presented on my blog and then rewrote, and it is still hanging off a cliff. My second untitled story I am still writing and will probably rewrite before I’m finished. It’s a fun, urban fantasy piece. Lastly, my possible novella, Knock Knock, is a horror story.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
In any genre, the writer’s voice is the most prominent factor in differentiating one writer from the next. It is sometimes tricky to pinpoint why you like a particular voice of a writer. It may be nuanced, subtle, and small and calculated things, but it is something that pulls you in and stirs you up inside, making everything in the story so real that it becomes an extension of what is possible in your mind, your imagination, and how you experience life around you. The world the writer creates is something you relish, don’t want to leave, and hopefully cherish when you are through. If it is unforgettable, the words will linger in your subconscious, and give new meaning to the world around you. It would be a little dream to write like that.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I don’t question what I write so much. I feel the stories are already somewhere inside of me and it’s up to me to dig them up. My mother has always encouraged me to write a book, and inspired my love of reading. She took a book with her no matter where she went, reading in line at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, or at church (just kidding).
As far as my writing goes, I gravitate towards stories that merge reality and fantasy, or that perhaps question reality. I like to see reality flipped upside down. It’s all about perspective. I also enjoy putting characters in interesting circumstances and then examine their relationships to one another.
4) How does my writing process work?
First, let me say, there is the process that I have and the process that I wish I could have. Generally, I like to write in the morning when my head is a little foggy because there is less pressure this way. The house is quiet and I am less distracted. Half the struggle is simply showing up. If all I have to give on a day is fifteen minutes, I’ll take it and hope for a creative burst. I would prefer greater chunks of time to settle into a writing routine and into my story.
I don’t believe in outlines, because I think they shortchange my creativity. Part of why I enjoy writing is the Aha moment when I discover something about my story or my character. It’s an incredible feeling and I wouldn’t want to give that up. I find it helpful to have a sort of road map with possible plot points, and if anything, an ending. Having an ending prevents me from getting lost or diverted into another story. If I am lucky, my characters will point the direction of where they would like to go. I like when that happens. I also keep a notebook handy, so if I am not forming complete sentences, I will jot down phrases and words.
Also, I consider the thinking I do when I’m not writing as a kind of pre-writing. This wondering and wandering into a kind of zen state sometimes happens when I’m cleaning, doing dishes, and scrubbing my shower. Really, no joke. I can work a lot of problems out this way. I write my first draft to get the bones of my story and all my ideas. The second draft is for shaping, filling in, and rewriting, lots of rewriting, and so on, until I’m satisfied. I’m not afraid to cut. What I’ve come to understand is that writing is about perseverance and patience, believing in yourself and in your story. I think I’ve probably gone on long enough!
Now, I will pass the baton to three bloggers who will talk about their writing process in a post on their blogs next week. I am so thrilled and honored to introduce these bloggers who have generously agreed to participate in this blog tour. I enjoy these writers immensely and they all have such a unique voice and are incredibly talented. Here they are:
Sandee Harris writes from Manhattan. She was born in Harlem Hospital, wrote her first story when she was nine, and studied writing at Columbia University. Her collection of work includes a novel, several short stories, and a screenplay. The screenplay is one of three of her homages to the death metal genre. Her book “Mean-Spirited Tales” is available on Amazon.com. Her short story “Night Terrors” is her first published piece featured in the Mensa literary magazine, Calliope. Her story “Shredding” is published in BlazeVox, to be released on May 15th. Sandee Harris works in an art gallery, and at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
David Stewart grew up in Canada but is currently living and teaching English in Korea. He loves foreign languages, hiking, and reading. He first starting writing with his sisters on long car trips across Canada and the United States. His writing tends towards the quirky or bizarre, but he also enjoys writing in the fantasy and weird genres. He has written nine novels and has had several short stories published. You can read his stories at his fiction blog at The Green-Walled Tower.
Trent Lewin is a Canadian writer from Waterloo, Ontario. This past March, Trent’s story, “Saad Steps Out,” was shortlisted in the top five for the CBC* Short Story Prize, and it happened to be his first submission to a contest. His love of stories has fueled his passion for writing in which he puts his characters in improbable situations; his stories are sometimes surreal and always imaginative. He also enjoys wine, scotch, and baseball. Besides showcasing fiction on his blog, he also graces his readers with a few energizing rants. Currently, he is putting the final edits on his novel.
Look for their posts about their writing process next week. A big thanks to them for participating! Thank you for joining me here.