My lovely writer friend from grad school, Rachel Pollock, tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Tour. Rachel is a super awesome writer of non-fiction, fiction, plays, and poetry as well as being a fellow Morrissey/Smiths fan. 🙂 Check out her website.
So this blog tour basically consists of a bunch of different writers answering the same four questions about their writing process. Here are my answers:
1. What are you currently working on?
I am in the submission process with my literary agent for my debut young adult novel, The Muses. I am currently working on the sequel to that. I started to try to write this last summer, but I kept getting stuck. Recently, I sat down and came up with an outline for not only the second book in the series but the additional two books after that. Once I had everything outlined and I figured out how to get to the ending I always had in mind, I could actually start doing some writing. So I am about 30 pages into a first draft of the sequel to The Muses, which doesn’t have a title yet. It’s a young adult fantasy series that puts the Greek Muses in a modern context–infusing a fantasy element into a contemporary setting. Read more about The Muses.
I also am freelance editing a number of books at the moment. And I had an idea for a one act play recently inspired by some of my more entertaining neighbors, but I haven’t started working on that yet.
2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?
Well, like Rachel, I work in so many different genres (poetry, plays, fiction, fantasy, realism, etc. etc.) so it’s hard to answer this question. I think that all of the different genres and mediums I explore have an impact on all of my work, though. I try to incorporate poetic language into my plays, for example, and sometimes I write songs about my fictional characters. The Muses, a novel, is a spin-off of my play, Painted. So I guess my work is unique in the way that it is all connected.
3. Why do you write what you write?
There are many different reasons why I might write something. My songs and poetry are often deeply personal and usually help me deal with some sort of problem in my life. (This is why I have so many “rage against the ex-boyfriend” songs/poems.) With fiction, I might have a dream that inspires me or I might be inspired by an interaction between two strangers that I witness at the airport. I have written several plays that have incorporated things I have heard by eavesdropping on strangers at the coffee shop. Sometimes I write because I want to communicate a certain message. Sometimes I want to hang out with a certain type of person so I make one up.
4. How does your individual writing process work?
It often involves all-night sessions when I get so into it that I look at the clock and realize it’s 4 AM. Sometimes it involves sitting at Cool Beans (my favorite coffee shop). Sometimes it’s a long process where I have to let things sit.
With longer projects, there tends to be a lot of starting over. I might write 100 pages just to get to know who the characters are before I figure out the plot and start completely over. I may write a ton of back story that’s not important and won’t end up in the final piece.
I do a LOT of journaling and a LOT of stream of consciousness writing. I do this to process anything I’m feeling or anything that happens in my life. If I feel stuck with a project I am working on, sometimes I will write 15 pages in my journal about what kind of poem or play or story I really want to write.
The process for me is unique to the project.
Well, that was fun!
Now I’m going to tag two writers.
A.D. Sams is another Renaissance woman. She writes fiction and poetry, she sings, she’s a photographer, she’s a graphic designer. Basically, she does everything. I met her in a super fun writing group that she started, and since then, I hire her basically any time I need photos or graphic design. Check out her books.
Shannon Barber is a writer I just met in an AMAZINGLY SHOUTY writing group online. She’s from Seattle, Washington where she lives with her partner and a small collection of oddities. She is an avid writer, reader and blogger. She has a new self-care book out and you can find that and more of her work at www.shannon-writes.net