This week I'm joining in the Writing Process blog tour/hop thingy. I was invited to participate by writer Matthew Wilbur, who I know better as the dry humored @nightveil on Twitter's Monday night chats on #WritersRoad. If you tweet, you should follow Matthew. At the very least, visit his blog at www.knightveil.blogspot.com and say hi.
So, on to my Writing Process, shall we??
1) What am I working on?
Oh boy! Seems like I have a lot of ideas swirling around, several projects in various stages. I've got a steampunk adventure story I wrote in a month for JuNoWriMo that I'm currently typing. (I hand write my first rough drafts, so now I need to type it up.) Edits will ensue. I have a scifi/dystopian young adult novel called Vessel due out from Month9Books early next year so I may still have some editing to do for that. And I have at least 3 projects I want to create outlines for: a young adult contemporary, a new adult historical, and a sequel to Vessel.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don't know how objective I am about that. I do a lot of genre hopping too, so it's hard to say my work is always "xyz". One thing I do try to always do is start with a great character and a great theme. I try to make my characters diverse if it serves the story and I hope that I'm able to do that without falling too much into stereotypes. If I do I'm sure readers will let me know.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write because I can't stop myself. Its a strange form of self entertainment! I also write because I enjoy putting interesting characters into difficult situations and making them learn important lessons. And who has more to learn than young adults? I love that exploratory phase young people live in, where every day is something new and different to them.
4) How does my writing process work?
My writing process has changed a lot over the years, hopefully for the better. I used to get an idea for a scene and just go for it, but I always stalled out because I didn't know what would happen next. Now I make a detailed outline which consists of a few sentences to describe each and every chapter in the book. The better, more detailed this pre-work is, the easier the story is to write Like I said, I tend to hand write my rough drafts because it's easier to schlep around a notebook than a laptop in my car. I often end up writing in my car, waiting for my daughter to get out of dance practice.
The first typing becomes the first round edit for typos and such. Then I print it out and take a good, hard look at it for plot holes, contradictions, and lazy language. I'm notorious for word echoes (i.e. using the same word five times on a page). I tend to write pretty spare the first time, so rather than cutting words, I look for places that need more words, usually in the form of description. I add clay to my sculptures instead of carving it away.
After all my edits are scribbled on the hard copy, I'll make them on the electronic copy. At that point, I may let it sit or I might look for a beta reader to tell me if I'm on the right track. I don't know how I decide when I'm done editing. I've just somehow learned when I've had enough and it's time to move on to another project. I've been known to sit on manuscripts for years that weren't quite ready and I wasn't quite ready to fix. It's not ideal, but my process can be pretty slow. Of course, if an editor is waiting for it, it gives me some incentive to hurry it up.
Next week be sure to check out the next writer's Writing Process blog on July 28. Or hop on over there right now and follow her!
C. J. Burright writes urban fantasy, paranormal romance, or—since all things medieval and magic fascinate her—fantasy romance. A member of RWA and Secretary for the FF&P special interest chapter, C. J. also has her 4th Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and believes stories should always include a gratuitous fight scene. She shares a house in Oregon with her husband, daughter, and a devoted herd of cats.
Author of Wonderfully Wicked, Swoon Romance