The wonderful Sandra Danby, my fellow contributor to The Milk of Female Kindenss: An Anthology of Honest Motherhood, nominated me for the writing process blog tour. She is currently working on the second novel in the Rose Haldane identity detective series (how cool an idea is that?). Here goes.
How do you start your writing projects?
I’m never without ideas, as a general rule. But it often starts as a small concept that evolves and shifts over time. I also do well with broad writing prompts, such as in anthologies. Here’s an example of how that works.
About two years ago, some writer peeps and I were toying with the idea of doing an anthology. The common thread-a club run by a siren-had to show up somewhere in the story. I knew I wanted to write a love story about an Amazon warrior finding love, as I have a thing for strong, kick-ass women as heroines. A little research on Greek mythology revealed that Amazons probably procreated by heading over to their neighbors, the Gargareans, once a year—a sort of hit and run baby production ritual. Digging deeper, I found that there was a preference to spend 13 nights together as that was believed to increase the chance of conceiving. Given the standard ovulation cycle, there is truth there. From those various pieces, Thirteen Nights emerged. I made the club called Neutral Ground, based in DC where I live, the location for an annual speed dating ritual between the Amazons and Gargareans in modern day. From a germ of an idea, I built the foundation for the story.
I loved the world so much, I turned it into a series, Divine Temptation. All the heroines are Amazons. Book 2, Life Reignited, launches on September 3.
So often, once a project starts, it’s easy to spin off additional stories. Once I’ve started to create a world populated with characters I’ve grown to love, I want them all to have their HEA.
How do you continue your writing projects?
I do a broad outline of the main story and try to summarize each chapter into a sentence. Then I just sit down and write. I’m pretty much a pantser with an outline.
How do you finish your project?
One word at a time. Once I complete a full draft, I put it aside. Then I re-read, revise and repeat the process. The third draft I send out for critique and feedback. Then I revise based on the feedback. Put aside, then do a last final edit before sending it off.
Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
Don’t get caught up with what other people are doing. We each have our own style, pace, life demands, etc… Its too easy to feel the pressure to do more (write more words, market more, publish more). We each bring our own unique voice that we develop and nurture in our own unique way. Be proud of how you do it. Of course experiment with different approaches, but you and only you should be the final judge of what works for you.
Passing the Pen
I am passing the pen to Misa Buckley, an awesome author of science fiction romance, a genre I aspire to write in. Misa has a slew of books you must check out.