I was supposed to post this on Wednesday but am epically late because my Wi-Fi at home went out for a few days and a I live an hour from a Starbucks (truth!). I’m posting as a part of Kelley Harvey’s Writing Process Blog Hop. I was tagged the lovely Jenny Kaczorowski, a fellow speculative and contemporary fiction writer whose first novel, The Art of Falling, was one of the sweetest books I read this winter. Here goes!
1) What am I working on?
I’m doing a third revision on RISE OF ORION that includes reworking the ending and the beginning, as well as getting the whole thing ready for line edits. Being the third in a series (and Mikel’s story), it pretty much drove me crazy during drafting, so I’m pretty excited to be into the later stages where it’s all just tweaking. I’m also drafting an untitled novel as a part of CampNaNoWriMo. I have about 30k written on that project so far.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Probably my unusual use of timelines? I don’t do it in all of my manuscripts, but if you crack open one of the Serengard novels, there are two parts, preceded a chapter at the beginning to place the reader in the present. Part One is a flashback that takes up half the book, and Part Two continues the present story. It sounds so weird when I explain it, but because each book pivots around one of the central characters, and the backstory is almost as important as the present story, each protagonist gets their own flashback to the most important timeframe in their lives. It could be more character-centric than a lot of adult epic fantasy, but I hesitate to say that for certain. I just say it has few dragons and many heartaches, because the creatures and powers are minimal while the characters’ journeys and emotions tantamount. I’ve read a few Young Adult epic fantasies that could be described that way, and I loved them.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write fantasy because I love how layered it can be, how every event and word spoken can have a deeper meaning. This is true of all fiction, for sure, but in fantasy it’s somehow more vivid for me. Some of my books are darker than others, and that’s because I am fascinated with the contrast between tragedy and hope. I don’t think every book needs to resolve happily, it just needs to have resolution in what it set out to communicate, augment and/or portray.
I also love that I can create my own world and traditions, that I can pit humans in human struggles without excluding or misrepresenting earth history or culture. But at the same time, the opposite is the reason I love historical fiction. I love the truth in it, the fact that the other place and time I’ve been taken to was once a real, living thing, y’know? I almost feel like fantasy and historical are polar opposites, yet they are both favorites of mine.
4) How does my writing process work?
Oh man. This is hard because each novel I’ve written so far has had a different process. Some of them I sketch by hand for years before I even start drafting, some of them I sit down with a deadline and just write, some of them are abstract pieces of old manuscripts that I’ve decided to glorify into their own story. Two things remain constant, though:
- I must write linearly. Once I start drafting, I am not allowed to skip forward to a chapter that I’m desperate to write. I can write a barebones version of every chapter if I want, leave plot holes and very little description or conversations without context, but I must. move. forward.
- I must have a deadline. Even if I miss it, even if it means nothing in the grand scheme of revisions and beta readers and I end up having to strikethrough everything on my dayplanner, that deadline is what makes me sit down every single day and write.
Three of my books so far required a complete rewrite (ouch), but once I have a solid draft in hand, I send it to CPs, implement their notes, revise some more, send it to betas, revise some more… and then, since I self-publish, I go through line edits with my line editor and do a few read-throughs both to myself and aloud to my husband. After that, I get to send it to my editor and she works her seriously brilliant magic to fix all of the remaining problems with my writing. After her edits are in the finished product, I get it formatted for paperback and read through a hard copy of a real book with a red pen at the same time as my proofreaders do the same. And then I’m done!
I’m tagging three writers for you to check out next week! They might post theirs on Wednesday…if their Wi-Fi is working! #fingerscrossed
Esther Meyers is just some girl who loves classic rock and reads too much history (not possible), while obsessing over Supernatural and dreaming of future travels. She is an aspiring filmmaker and journalist, possibly an artist or archeologist, and hopefully someone who will finally finish and publish that darned Urban Fantasy novel.
Brett Jonas is a music and book lovin’, Christian, homeschooled girl. She spends her days on her family’s farm in Southern Indiana, making and selling soap made from the milk of their 50+ Alpine Dairy Goats. Once she’s done with school and work, she spends hours writing her own books and helping other writers with their own. When she’s not doing that, you can find her chasing her seven younger siblings or hiding in a corner with a book.
Lauren writes Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and Paranormal for Young Adults. She has an unhealthy obsession with exclamation points and the caps lock key, thinks going to the movies should still be an Orphan Annie style event, and fangirls like it’s 1999.