Thursday, June 26, 2014

Tag You're It! My Writing Process Blog Hop! It's my turn!

Thank you to the lovely Patti Richards, who tagged me in the My Writing Process Blog Hop. She is an author of several picture books and is also working on middle grade novels, as well. Check out her blog, Sensibility and Sense (her link is on the right hand side of this page), for some cool discussions and tips on the writing craft.

Without further ado....
1. What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a historical fiction novel. My current work is mostly reading and research. I do try to write a couple pages a day to get something on paper. Mostly though, I am researching the time period. Ancient times are very difficult because some research is in bits and pieces, while other research is sketchy or educated guesses. It is time consuming, but I am enjoying it.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I actually write all across the board. I have written a middle grade novel, a couple YA novels (one is a mystery/ghost story, another would be classified as magical realism), and this historical fiction piece would be more for the general audience. My work is different because they're my words, for starters (that's a given), but I enjoy putting a fresh spin on ideas and seeing how it all turns out.

3. Why do I write what I write?
I write because I am breathing. Seriously. Writing is my soul. It is one of the gifts God has given me, and I am so thankful. I have focused more on middle grade and YA because I was a high school teacher for thirteen years. I am branching out into more of a general audience, so I'm not sure what the reasons are. Mostly, I'll get an idea and go with it. Once I start creating the story, I can't stop until it's finished.

4. How does my individual writing process work?
Writing is a part of my life every day. It is not a hobby for me, it is a part of me. I am constantly thinking up new ideas, jotting them down, visualizing scenes from current books I'm working on, sorting out dialogue between characters, or drafting, revising, reworking, submitting, and starting the process all over again. When it comes to actual story idea to completion, my writing process involves starting with a sample couple pages. How would I start the book? Can I get myself hooked? Then, if I'm liking the idea, I start taking notes in the form of an outline. What are the key parts of the book. What are the conflicts? Will they get resolved. The outlining phase can be several pages long (one outline was approximately 30 pages long). Then I start to write. If I need to research, I research, but I always try to get something down even if I know I'll have to revise later. Once the draft is done, I send to readers who love helping me! Then I rework the book, rewrite the parts that need to be rewritten, and there you have it!

Thanks, Patti, for tagging me. I will keep you all posted with who I tag (because several people in my circles have already been tagged)! I'd love for you to leave a comment. If you'd like to be tagged, let me know!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Looking for blogs!

Hi everyone,
I would love to add your blog to my blog list, especially if it's about writing or publishing.  Please let me know!
Here's to navigating our stories and the publishing world!


Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Pain of Getting It Right...

I was writing with a friend of mine a couple weeks ago, and she was excitedly talking about all of the new research she had discovered to add to her early middle grade novel. She has been researching for at least a year (probably longer), sifting through interviews with Vietnam Vets, reading books and articles on the era, and most importantly, drawing from her own experiences.

I wish I could say that I have embraced the research component with as much enthusiasm. For me, I want to jump in the novel. I'll use as much prior knowledge that I've got in my brain (I'm pretty smart, after all), and get "most" of it right. Now I know, as you do, that it won't work. Research is a key component to writing (at least writing well). As I delve into a historical fiction novel that has been itching to come out, it DEMANDS that I research. As frustrating as it is, it has been an eye-opener. I realized I do not know near as much as I thought I did. I find myself reading about the food they would eat, their clothing, their marriage practices, the art of war, and on and on and on. I try to make myself write a page or two of the draft every day, but it has become difficult because after all that research I desire to "get it right."

Making your story believable and encapsulating within that era is an important ingredient to producing a well-done piece. As I read through my friend's manuscript I was sucked into the story line. The characters felt real and an integral part of that time period. Her research had added multiple layers to the conflicts, making it a page turner. I can't wait to see the book on store shelves!

Until then, I will keep researching for my own book, reminding myself that "getting it right" might be time-consuming and, at times, tedious, but the finished product will be a much more authentic story.

I'd love to hear from you!