My Writing Process

OK, first, everyone (or probably just John), Mandy thinks I am a writer! Yes, I write, but there is totally a difference between a writer and someone who writes sometimes. And Mandy? Is a Writer. Not only has she had a blog for over ten years, but she’s getting published. For realsies. Like a publisher is going to put her words on pages, add a cover, and sell a book with her name on the cover. So I am honored. And should probably do more to earn the title. Ahem. Especially on this poor lonely blog that’s, despite what it may look like, purpose is not to celebrate birthdays. Those that is one of the purposes. Just not the sole purpose.

Anyway, Mandy tagged me in a blog tour about writing process. There are four question. Here are my answers.

1) What am I working on?

I am trying to revise and edit my very first completed manuscript titled “Oops,” Said God. Finishing it took over ten years, mostly because there were whole years when I never even opened the file. It is a story that I started from just an idea. I had no real notion of plot. So I would get brainstorms for the plot that would lead to energetic writing sessions that would inevitably fizzle because you need more than one plot point. Finally, in and around 2009, I managed to write an outline for the entire plot. Then I became a mom. Then I had to finish my masters and be a mom. So it took another four years to finally finish writing it.

I am stymied in the revision. First, my voice as a writer has changed, naturally, over ten years. Those are really the easier fixes to make, but I was really pounding my head against the exposition. There was a lot of it in just the first ten pages, and while I think it is important stuff for the reader to know, it was boring. I was telling. I wasn’t showing. I didn’t know how to fix it. Last week, I think I stumbled onto the fix. Now I just need to find another brain to tell me if I did, indeed, fix it. I just contacted an online writers’ group, I am hoping will help. That and whining to friends about it. Friends like Mandy who are patient.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This has proven a hard question for my predecessors, and I concur. Genre can be tough to pin down. When someone reads “Oops,” Said God, my hope is that they will laugh and get drawn into the adventure. So comic adventure? Some who have read piece of the whole have likened it to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, so whatever genre that is in. My story is not quite so far flung or farcical. I like to think it is on level imagination-wise though.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I tend to write what I like to read which is fantasy. My manuscript does not really fit that genre, but most of the other ideas I have and the few short stories I have written fall into that category. I like that anything is possible in fantasy and that it can often incorporate aspects of a lot of other genres like romance or mystery.

4) How does your writing process work?

It usually ends up something like this….

In the shower in the morning, I think, “Tonight, after the kids go to bed I am going to make myself write 1,000 words no matter what.”

Fast forward to 10:30 PM when my son has FINALLY fallen asleep. I open the laptop. I open Google docs. I open the doc. I sit with my hands on the keyboard while I watch Buffy or Doctor Who on Netflix because I no longer can remember how to write a sentence let alone make them string together.

What I finally did to finish my manuscript was to take my sleek little Chromebook (Thank you, Honey.) everywhere. Waiting rooms were writing time. Kid TV time was Mom writing time. If I found myself scrolling Facebook or Twitter, I would make myself write instead.

It is all about the willpower of which I have little. (Proven by the cinnamon sugar doughnut I just owned.)

So next up is Tricia who is one of my favorite bloggers. Her sense of humor in the face of mothering her twins, Search and Destroy, is truly wonderful. And she will also be a published author in the near future when her children’s book, The Little Boy Who Was Afraid of the Dark is released. Thanks for taking part, Tricia.

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