My Writing Process
I was tagged by the lovely Charley Descouteaux to do this meme about writing. You can see her post on this here.
What am I working on?
I’m starting on the third novel in my Serpentine Series, this one featuring Jed, who is the nice guy Pete has a “friends-with-benefits” thing with in Serpentine Walls. I’m also working on a YA story (my first! I’m excited about writing YA). I’m awaiting my 2nd Serpentine novel (on Aidan) and a magical realism short story to enter into the editing process with Dreamspinner and then I’ll be working on edits for those.
How does my work differ from others?
They aren’t very plot-driven! And they don’t always follow the conventional romantic tropes. My novel Serpentine Walls frustrated some readers because it took SO long for my characters to get to their happy ending. I think it’s because I’m so interested in the coming-of-age aspect and the psychological reasons why people are stopped in allowing love into their life. I also like having a large cast of characters who have story arcs so that tends to make my stories more complicated.
Why do I write what I do?
I’m not sure why I’m so drawn to m/m stories, but I’ve always been, ever since high school. I remember having a writing exercise when I was a junior where we were shown a picture of a man at an open door (either leaving or entering). I wrote a story about how the man was leaving his marriage because he realized he was gay when he was propositioned in a public bathroom! Now, where the hell did that come from? This was years ago, before the Internet made slash writing widely available. It makes me laugh to remember that. I was also writing erotica of a sort even younger (het variety… if anyone wants to read about that, I talk about it in my first blog post). So I guess I could say I write what I do because it fascinates me, moves me, and makes me smile.
How does my writing process work?
· Get some vague ideas for a plot and write out a tentative outline
· Find some people, fellow writers or betas, who will toss ideas around for the outline, and keep revising the outline (ignoring the little voice that says I’m HOPELESS at plots)
· I don’t always do this, but write back stories for my main characters so I know who they are and where they came from. Invite their voices to begin to speak to me.
· WRITE. I’ve gotten better at the discipline of just writing, going for a certain amount of words a week rather than a daily goal (because work days yield fewer words than weekends). I’ve embraced Anne Lamott’s concept of “shitty first drafts”, which has freed me to WRITE, and worry about the rest of it later.
· Have betas read my draft(s). I usually have a couple of readers who are reading it as I go along, because I need some encouragement along the way. I’d like to get more published writers in on beta reading my drafts (Charley… exchange?)
· Once I have a complete first draft, the dreaded EDITING begins. Re-read, revise, re-read, revise, etc. etc. read it out loud, revise, etc. etc. etc. until I have something I regard as finished and ready to submit. It’s in the editing phase that I often do research on places, topics, etc. and fill in the proper stuff (like restaurant names or hospital layouts). I also call on experts to help me (for instance, for my Aidan novel, I had a lot of conversations with DSP author Zahra Owen who has been an RN in a ICU because of something that happens in the story).