So I was tagged for this writing process hop by Joelle Casteel. You can find her blog here. (WARNING: Her blog is not for the under 18 or particularly squeamish person - she writes BDSM and gets into some hardcore things.) I thought it was a fun little post and all I really had to do was swap the day between one of my shorts and this post so I figured I'd do it.
What am I working on now?
That's a good question. I'm editing Marked, I'm writing Fury, and I'm still writing my blog posts. Marked takes place at the birth of a new "race" (for lack of a better term) in my fantasy kingdom of Lytharia. The Majin as they will come to be called are fleeing certain death at the hands of the Imperial army because of a difference found frightening by the Emperor and the High Lords. Death is imminent for them on more than one occasion but they survive to go on.
Fury is the working title of a science fiction story that deals with a war between the colonies and the central worlds in what is now an expansive galactic community of planets. There are no FTL drives so getting places is time consuming and difficult, but it doesn't stop Fiera from heading to one of the core worlds to attend university. She's there as her father's spy, listening to the gossip of the wealthy elitest students to see what they have to say about violence towards the colonies. She's found other young women to attend the parties for her. The bane to her existence is the son and heir to one of the greatest fortunes in the galaxy. This story is turning more into an erotic romance with a F/F/M poly triad. Not sure how that's going to work but that's what it's turning into.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
With Marked, it's not a classic HEA for my characters. Their life is not all happy and good when the story ends. They're alive but that's it. With the fantasy novels set on this continent I have a tendency to not have happy stories. They are violent, devastating to the characters, and coming out alive is going to be one of the best things that happens to them. I'm not saying there won't be some happy moments. Just don't expect complete and total happiness for anyone.
With Fury, I haven't seen very many sci fi novels with a poly triad. I haven't seen many with an erotic romance twist. I've seen a few here and there. I'm still not sure how this one is going to turn out. I don't write sex scenes or erotic anything. I do the whole “fade to black”. Instead, not only am I focusing on romance I'm writing most of the sex too. It's an experiment and of course when I write one I can't pick something easy.
Why do I write what I do?
I write fantasy and sci fi. I don't have another sci fi like Fury but I still have several stories in the planning stages. I've read fantasy and sci fi most of my life and I've wanted to be an author since I was a kid. I write what I do because I love to live out the stories in my head. My imagination runs strongly to fantasy and sci fi. Epic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance (again not my usual genre), soft sci fi, space opera. All of these things I've got things planned in, some of them are even in the process of being written. I have a story idea file, folders for each of my stories, and a story graveyard for things that just don't work right now.
What is my writing process?
Well, it's totally random most of the time. I research, I read, I jot down notes and some attempts at outlines. Then I abandon those notes and outlines and write by the seat of my pants. I let the characters tell me the story for the first draft and chop it to pieces (and even rewrite large chunks) when I go through the first edit.
From start to finish, this is what it looks like. I create the world. Races, lands, languages. Everything that makes up the setting I think up. Then I find characters to inhabit the world. I listen to them talk, watch them as they move, see them to get an idea of what they look like. I learn their backgrounds, what they want, what they're willing to do to get it. I learn who's the protagonist and who's the antagonist for the story. Sometimes for me the protagonist for one story is the antagonist for another. It all depends on the perspective.
I tend to bounce ideas off of my husband. He's helped me refine my worlds, bring new depth to my characters, and change the setting to suit the stories. But most of the time I think it through completely before I even start writing. There have been times (like Fury) I start with a vague idea and take it wherever it goes. That's rare though and I try to make it somewhat organized as I attempt to write what the characters tell me to.
The one thing is I rarely know how a book is going to end, until I get there.
I have to write beginning to end. I don't write in chapters. I don't write in segments. I have to write the story chronologically. If I come up with an idea that happens later in the story from the point I'm at, I will make a few notes and move on until I get there.
As for the actual physical act of writing, I get up in the morning. I turn on my laptop. I play around on Facebook and Twitter for an hour or so. When I'm done with that, I shut down Facebook and Twitter. Open up the web pages I use for naming things. I have my IM up so I can talk with an author friend of mine. We tend to chat all day. But after everything else is taken care of, I open up the document I'm working on and I start writing.
Since I'm home all day because I'm disabled, I only rest when I'm hungry or want to take a much needed brain break. At that point it's onto my blog roll to read posts, Facebook to scroll through what's on my feed, and skim through Twitter to see if there's anything I want to retweet and make a few posts to keep my feed from getting too boring. I also do some stretches, maybe walk a little even if it's just around the room a few times, to work out some of the kinks that come with the territory of sitting in one place for extended periods of time.
I have a tendency to focus almost obsessively on my word count, measuring my progress by it each day. Some days I can manage up to 10k a day. Other days I barely make 1k because it's a slow writing day. I usually make it somewhere in between. I enjoy what I do. It makes me happy. It also helps pass the time of what could be a long and boring day.
I'm supposed to be tagging someone, but those I know who'd do this have already done it. So I'm not going to tag them again.