My Writing Process – #mywritingprocess Blog Tour

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Of course, the Universe.

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.

*Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
photo credit: paloetic via photopin cc

 

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31 thoughts on “My Writing Process – #mywritingprocess Blog Tour

  1. Fun to learn about your process. I agree that we accomplish much in our pre-writing process, so much that I consider this part of my writing time. Ideas come when we least expect it, and I’ve learned to jot it down right away because I won’t remember otherwise. We can also have much of our character’s traits and quirks already firmly established even before we sit down to write, just by thinking about them while doing other things. So I guess when it comes down to it, we’re always “writing”!

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    1. I need to write stuff down immediately, too. When I don’t I lose my idea really fast. Amazing how that happens. I find sometimes when I don’t think too hard, ideas will come more freely. They need to have a little space around them. Forcing ideas doesn’t seem to happen for me! So, you’re so right, we’re always writing. I think it counts. Haha.

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  2. Really interesting — love hearing how others write as well, and I’m similar to you in the pre-writing in the mind first…nobody thinks we are busy but we are! Thanks so much for sharing. The blog tour sounds great.

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    1. I like the pre-writing because it’s painless but productive. Sometimes I need it to get over the next hurdle. It’s nice when it happens naturally. I’m not sure who started the blog tour, but I think it’s pretty cool, too! Thanks so much for your comments, Robin.

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  3. Great stuff, Amy. And I couldn’t agree more about outlining short-changing creativity — or, at the very least, a sense of spontaneity with your character and story development. I really enjoyed reading about your process. Well done 😉

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    1. Thanks, Ned. If something is happening spontaneously, I try let it happen. I think some things are simply meant to come out. I don’t think I always understand why I’m writing something until I’m done! I’m okay with that. If I had an outline, then that other story wouldn’t get written. I hope I’m making sense. Thanks for your great comments! 🙂

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      1. That makes perfect sense, Amy. That’s how I work with my columns, and for the most part even manuscripts I’ve written. Half the fun is thee discoveries you make along the way!

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    1. Oh, absolutely! Writing is rewriting. On the one hand, it’s less pressure to begin a new project. I know I can always rewrite it and, of course, I will rewrite it! Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Is that your handwriting or a screen cap from the interwebs?

    How do you get any sleep with all those unfinished story threads rattling around inside your head?

    “Why do I write what I do?” You might just as well question why you breathe the way you do.

    I’m glad you chose Trent. I’m a big fan of his. Did you hear him being interviewed on the radio a couple of months ago? It’s nice to match a voice to the words.

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    1. No, that is not my handwriting. I’m pretty good at compartmentalizing. I guess that’s how I can work on a couple things at once if I need to. Yes, and breathing is a good thing. I suppose I know what I like in good writing! It’s good to have goals. I also am a big fan of Trent’s. I sure did hear his interview, which I thought was superb. I appreciate all your comments. Thanks, Mark!

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  5. Amy, thank you so much for this, and also for outlining your writing process. I think we write in a very similar way, actually. It’s amazing how unprecise this whole world is, I also don’t outline or structure too much ahead of time. And I love writing in the mornings, when everything is cool and coffee-driven.

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    1. Cool, it’s my pleasure. And thanks again for joining the blog hop! I look forward to hearing about your process. I kind of laugh that I can even call mine a “process” yet there are certain things that I don’t do or that don’t work. So, I suppose my unstructured approach defines it best. I am most productive in the morning and I find my whole day is better, too, probably because I feel like I have already achieved something for the day, and that’s a good thing! And coffee, yes, more please.

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  6. I also love hearing about the process other writers go through, Amy. This really struck a chord with me “Half the struggle is simply showing up”. Very well said! :).

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    1. Isn’t that the truth, Dianne! Sometimes you can’t show up, other times, well, it’s hard so you don’t face it. But, whenever I do, I realize I can do it! I appreciate your comments. Thanks so much!

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  7. It’s always interesting to learn how other people go about their craft. I’m the same as you in that I don’t work well from outlines. Even when I make one, I usually deviate from it when I’m actually writing and the inspiration is flowing. I generally have a rough idea in my head but I don’t write things down usually. Also, like you, I usually make up stories when I’m doing other things and then write them down at the computer. Good luck on your novella and other stories. I’m eager to read them whenever they are done. 🙂

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    1. Thanks, David. I look forward to learning about your process. If writing is flowing, no I don’t ever want to limit that or stop it in any way…not that it happens that often. I still have hope that it will. I’m going to just keep at it. Little by little I will finish. I do want to start back on my novel, one that I started. It’s swirls around in my head every now and then, beckoning….Thanks for reading and participating in this. I appreciate it! 🙂

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  8. If you had asked me about my writing process, I probably would have told you that I don’t have one. However, as I was reading about yours I realized that I do…or did. My best ideas always came while driving. I could get in the car and drive to work in the morning and by the time I got there I would have everything worked out and it would just flow. I use to keep a recorder in the car so I could just randomly say stuff into it. I haven’t had a car since last summer so it occurs to me I better figure out another “process”.
    Perhaps I can adopt some of your process, it certainly works for you.

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    1. Ah, thanks Michelle! Thanks for sharing with me about your process. Indeed, I think you have one! I know how you feel though, because I feel like mine isn’t a “real” one. But, there are things I don’t do and things I repeat, and then things I like to do….so, in a nutshell, there it is! I respect anyone’s process no matter what it is. Hmm…you don’t have a car? What about walking? Or, you can try scrubbing dishes like I do, but I bet walking would be more fun. Thanks for your lovely comments. x

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  9. I wish I had time to write in the morning, but I drag myself out of bed at 6 as it is. I don’t think I’d be physically capable of making that happen any earlier. That being the case my writing happens at the end of the day, when I’m already exhausted. I tend to reason that that’s why I’m easily distracted and don’t write as much as I’d like to. Sometimes I’m just too tired for the words to come out as I’d like so I don’t even try.

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    1. Honestly Adam, I’m having difficulty writing in the morning right now. I’m hoping to get back into it. I know it’s so good for me, and I’m most productive when I do it. I just need to make it a habit. They say it takes 21 days to make a habit of something…so I should just push myself to get there. I know when I try to write when I’m tired, it’s a different kind of writing. I wonder how much a story might be different depending on what time of day you wrote it. It’s probably nothing we’ll ever know, but I wonder. Anyway, I hope you can keep getting those words out, even if they come sporadically and slowly! Thanks for sharing with me.

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    1. Tracci, thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts. Thanks for the encouragement. I appreciate that. I enjoy hearing how others write too. It’s like uncovering a big mystery!
      – Amy

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