Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Too long. I’ve been writing a little, but not enough to have much to say. However, a couple of good friends have tagged me for the Writing Process blog hop that’s going around. I’m always touched when people ask about what I’m working on and how I work. I view it as a high compliment, so thank you.
The first to tag me was D Wilder, a dragon friend of mine who writes excellent stories with dragons among the main characters. I met him on Twitter and we’ve had a lot of fun talking through story ideas. I’ve distracted him a few times by encouraging him to pursue ever-more stories to write. And I’m not even sorry. 😉 Definitely worth a follow on Twitter, @ofthewilds.
Then another dear friend, Amanda of Mandaray tagged me. She’s also a Twitter friend, one who I met through her hashtag #MandaryReads. If you’re on Twitter, you should keep an eye out for it. She reads some of the most, well, terrible books on it but the commentary is priceless and we have some fun with it every time. In fact, you should just follow her at @mandaray.
1. What am I working on?
I haven’t been able to stick with anything lately, and I have about 3 manuscripts on the go, but the one I’m trying to concentrate on most is actually a total rewrite, a novel called Where The Ether Flows. For those of you who’ve been reading this blog for a while, that should ring a bell. That’s Devan’s first book. 🙂 For those interested in a taste of Devan’s world at least, a short story called The Way Out Is Through is available on Little Red Reading Hood.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I typically write High Fantasy, though my brain flirts with other genres. Where The Ether Flows (and its companion volumes) are High Fantasy, but there are definitely some differences. For one thing, there are no kings or queen, but rather families that have extraordinary abilities, a different set for each Great Family. Another thing that’s a little different? My main character, Devan is a Necromancer. Yes, he talks to dead people. Quite often in fact. He has more powers over the dead than just that, but I don’t want to get too spoiler. And he’s a good guy. Like really good. In fact, his whole story started with me wondering if I could write a necromancer who was a hero.
I wrote him once already, but realized late last year that I’d made a very fundamental error in his back story that changed EVERYTHING. It also made Devan WAY more interesting. I haven’t actually started rewriting the manuscript yet, as I’ve been figuring out how that correction changes everything, and discovering new things about the story. I’ll get to the actual rewrite at some point though.
In a general sense, I like to keep my work original by twisting whatever idea I have until I can’t remember having read something quite like it before. There’s always a good way to twist an idea and it tends to keep me guessing in the early stages of working on a story. 🙂
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write Fantasy in just about all its forms because I’m rarely happy with a story without magic in it. I like the way it lets me explore things from a different angle and play with societies that can be quite different from ours. I also like to try writing stories that are a bit off the beaten path because there’s a freedom in that. Also, it keeps things interesting, right?
4. How does my writing process work?
My process varies a bit from one project to the next, but in general, I’m a plotter. I work out the story in advance of starting to write the actual manuscript.
It usually starts with a spark or a bit of framework for the story. Sometimes a character, like with Devan, who showed up once I asked myself if I could write a heroic necromancer. I usually make notes on world-building, magic system and characters next. Then story points, though those sometimes come up during earlier parts.
After I’ve made enough notes (a very organic, feel-based decision), I outline the actual story. This gets reviewed and revised before I start writing. The funny thing is that, once I start drafting, new things crop up and get folded into the story. I follow my outline, but I’ll put it aside if the story needs to go in another direction. Once, I rewrote half an outline right in the middle of drafting the book because of a major change in direction for the story. I like my outline, but it shouldn’t be a set of handcuffs, right?
Now’s the part where I would nominate friends and fellow writers to post about their own work and writing process. The thing is, I looked around and it looks like they’ve all done this. If I missed someone who wants to participate though, please feel free to post your answers to the questions next Monday and put a link here in the comments.
And I will try not to go so long without posting again, honest.