Thanks to writer pal Stephanie Higgins, writer of women’s fiction, for inviting me to take part in the My Writing Process blog tour. I’m thrilled that she invited me to participate, because I think it’s important that all creators accept and honor their own process, regardless of how insane or inefficient that process might seem, both to themselves and to others. Next week, I’ll be tossing this hot potato to Diva, who will be sharing about her own writing process. Diva is a novelist, elementary school teacher, and mother to a super heroine disguised as a two year old. You can visit her here.
What am I working on now?
The second book in The Daughters of Prophecy series. The book doesn’t have a title yet, but the heroine will be familiar to readers of the first book in the series, The Star Prophecy.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My books are fantasy romance. Nowadays, that usually means Urban Fantasy, which tends to involve vampires, werewolves, or other supernatural beings, and heroines who flawlessly execute their martial arts moves while wearing hooker boots and a halter top. My heroines are strong, no doubt about it, but they don’t usually know that about themselves– not at first. Though my stories certainly have supernatural elements, the tone and settings have more in common with historical romances than with modern Urban Fantasy.
Why do I write what I do?
I believe that the quest for love and acceptance is the quintessential human motivation. Have you ever noticed how a romantic thread sneaks into the fabric of almost every story? I think that’s because no human journey can be thoroughly told without telling about the main character’s struggle for true love. My reason for writing fantasy is much less philosophical; I hate research. Hate it. I could never write a true historical novel. I love to read them, and am no end of impressed by the writers who write them well, but I’d sooner dig ditches for a living than have to spend all day gathering resources and facts and double checking those facts. I cringe at the thought. I write fantasy because I get to make everything up. The only facts I’m required to stay true to are those I created myself.
How does my writing process work?
On the days when it does work, I write 2,000 words a day, sometimes more. Those are the days when I’m outrunning my internal editor. Some days, my internal editor grabs me by the hair of the head and I only get about eight hundred words, and I sweat bullets for every single one of those. In a first draft, I’m just getting down the story. If something in chapter six contradicts something in chapter two, I just keep running. I’ll fix it later. My goal in the first draft isn’t to finish the book, it’s to figure out what book I’m writing. In the next draft, I’ll work out the structure, clarify character motivations, and drill down into theme. On the next pass, I try to make what I’ve written make sense to somebody besides myself. Then I send the thing out to beta readers, who always see something I missed– something that seems so glaringly obvious once they point it out. I know I’m done with a manuscript when I’m just changing words, not improving, just changing. Then my editor will go over the entire thing with her eagle eye and my tarnished, overworked prose will gleam like polished silver. Sometimes. It’s true what they say– books aren’t finished, they’re abandoned.
This is my process. Now. Next year, it may change. I hope it does. If so, I’m willing to change with it. If not, I’ll accept my muse in all her scatter-brained, flighty, strung out glory. She may be crazy, but she’s mine, and I’m just happy that she still shows up.