Daily Archives: May 19, 2014
Before telling you my writing process, let me quickly explain what #MyWritingProcess is about…
“We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one’s playlist grows as the draft grows, why one’s poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook…”
So I’d like to thank Mary T Bradford, a fellow author at Tirgearr Publishing, where my novel Leaving the Pack was just published last week, for asking me to add myself to the link in the chain of writers and authors contributing to this ‘My Writing Process’ blog tour.
You can find Mary’s own writing process thoughts and learn about her own new novel, soon to be published, on her blog: http://marytbradford-author.blogspot.ie/
1) What am I working on?
I am working on a few things, one of which is a sequel to my werewolf novel, Leaving the Pack. In this new book, Leading the Pack, the son of the hero and heroine has come of age and must now leave the protection of his parents country estate to roam the city alone, learn to control his urge for violence and eventually become the leader of a new generation of werewolves that will be unleashed upon the streets. Needless to say, it’s not going to be easy.
I am half-way through what I hope will be my first ever novel written in six months – from idea to final edit and submission. It is set in Scotland, but other than that, I can’t give details.
Once these two are done, I’ll get back to my pre-Columbian Caribbean novel which I have been working on for a few years now, off and on. I get distracted by shorter projects, but there’s no rush. I am about half way through and it’s at 130,000 words so far, so it won’t be getting published until my other shorter work has beaten me a path to publishers – or the other way around!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
My imagination is not very extensive for a writer of paranormal and fantasy-type novels. I am a scientist by training, which does two things: it makes me loathe to write things that are way off the reservation regarding the laws of thermodynamics and evolution, and it makes me wonder, if the situation I am thinking of were to actually exist, what would that be like, in a real-world paradigm? My sensitive poets soul would like to believe in lots of things that logically I can’t say out loud. So putting that altogether, you have a guy who’s only describing the reality of phenomena that others have imagined. Werewolves? Well, of course they are real. Why would there be a legend unless there was a race of people we needed to demonise? They can’t physically change, but their lunar rhythms are bestial, with changes in adrenaline levels and other hormones that give them that mythical strength and tendency to violence. But why be strong and violent? Evolution answers that the only reason is to mate. If they have hormones that make them as primitive as other very sexually-dimorphic mammals, then why not also a pheromone to ensure their battles are worth it?
If ghosts exist, then what are they and how do they interact with the body? A YA paranormal adventure called “The Soul of Adam Short” explains. A boy who can see leprechauns? “Peter and the Little People” shows that it’s simply because leprechauns are real, and they are an undescribed species of mammal that would appear in our wildlife guides if only anyone was quick enough to photograph one – or they didn’t become dangerously indignant at the very suggestion (sorry Fionán!).
3) Why do I write what I do?
I have always been a slave to an idea. I believe myself blessed to have the little imagination I do, and if I get an idea, I always try to write something down to acknowledge it. At the same time, if I don’t, write something down, it stays in my head like a bee trapped behind a window. Sometimes it’s a poem, sometimes a story, and now and then the idea is extensive enough that it demands it’s own world to inhabit, and I end up having to describe a whole pile of things just to suit that original thought. I sometimes wish I didn’t have to write, that it would be much more pleasurable reading and enjoying the scenery. But I sit down and relax and read and ideas pop into my head. Every sunny day seems to merit its own few lines. And since I have an addiction to stationery, I love to fill up white pages…
4) How does my writing process work?
The short answer is erratically! I get the idea and I try to get it down as fast as possible. I have realised that handwriting (though I use the term pretty loosely considering my penmanship) is the fastest and it lets the ideas flow most freely. I usually don’t have the luxury of time to write as fast, or as much as I’d like. I write some straight into a word file and others in notebooks while I have a few minutes in a park or while out with the family. The ideas come all at together: bits of dialogue, plot points, structure, conflicts. I get it written down as it comes and later when they’ve dried up, I sit down, type up what is handwritten, and try to put it all together in some kind of coherent structure. Then comes the hard part of stitching together these pieces with new parts, connecting dialogue, using a chapter list or some other kind of outline, until there’s the guts of a novel. After that, it’s a simple matter of reading it many times and adding chapters and swapping parts around and then cutting little bits at a time over too many revisions to be very efficient until I’m left with something approaching readability.
Thanks again Mary for inviting me to contribute to this tour!
Next up on this blog tour is
Sean is a registered nurse living in Mobile, Alabama, USA. His lifelong dream has been to become a professional writer, but up until recently he hasn’t really known which direction to take. He recently started his blog to debut his writing to the world and is also working on what he hopes will be his first publication: a book of short stories.
You can read all about Sean’s writing process on his creative writing/ book blog called The Write Direction: www.thewrtdirection.com
He’ll be posting on May 26 so be sure to check his writing process out then.