Neelima Vinod tagged me in the Writing Process Blog Tour. You may remember Neelima from Vampire Month a few years back and she has since been doing rather well for herself. This meme is an interview meme about the writing process so those of you who are interested may find out more about how I do things… maybe…
What am I working on?
Well, the official answer has to be ‘shaping the minds of the next generation in the hope of getting them into university’ because at the moment I am mostly working on my day job of teaching. However, you want the writer answer and for that I am doing two things. One is working on the final stages of Gods of the Deep, the sequel to Gods of the Sea. That is with an editor and I have a cover waiting to be revealed which is awesome. The other is editing a selection of my short stories for publication in a collection I am calling Lurking Miscellany in honour of this blog. In addition to those two writing based things, I also have something I only found out about yesterday which I am not allowed to talk about. Which is ironic as it will involve me talking…
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I am not sure I am qualified to be able to say my work is different to any others. I’d like to think that it is but I consider that to be a question that readers should answer rather than me. If pushed to answer I would like to say that Transitions differs from many other romance works because of the BBW element. However, there is a whole genre of romance fiction based on that concept. I could also say that Gods of the Sea was either a pirate story set in a fantasy universe or a fantasy story set in something other than the Tolkienesque fantasy setting – either way a slight deviation from cliché. However, many of my influences (such as Barbara Hambly) are writers who have done similar. There is a lot of fantasy out there now which is veering away from the Tolkien influences of my youth and I consider this to be a very good thing.
Why do I write what I do?
I started writing while in school and found that I enjoyed it a lot. However, I never really considered what I wrote as worth publishing and so I mainly did it for fun. Of my current published works, I wrote Transitions because of an interest in both Roman history, specifically the history of the town of my birth, and in the paranormal. Gods of the Sea I wrote because there was a call for submissions for a pirate themed anthology and I had an idea for it which I thought might work.
How does my writing process work?
Chaotically. In the terminology of the Absolute Write forum, I am definitely a Panster (someone who writes by the seat of their pants) rather than a plotter (someone who carefully plans out the sequence of events in their story). Whenever I tried to write like a Plotter I found I could not do it and I actually think that everyone has their own preferred way of working which fits how their own mind works rather than there being any ‘one true way’. I often get ideas when my body is doing one thing (walking, tidying, etc.) and my mind is free to wander, the only problem is that I rarely get time to sit down and get those ideas down on paper. However, any idea that survives in my mind until I get time to write about it is likely to be one worth keeping while those that don’t I am probably better off losing. I also tend to be encouraged by necessity. Both of my published works have come about because there was a pressing need to get something submitted to a project I wanted to be involved in so I stopped wallowing in uncertainty and just got on with it.
I’ve also worked in different ways for different projects. For Gods of the Sea I basically sat down over Christmas and splurged out most of the story over a couple of days. I was not even aware of what I was writing until I reviewed it later. For Transitions, however, it was a more careful process and for that I had actually started out with the beginnings of two very different stories (an historic romance about a Roman soldier and his dying wife and a contemporary romance set in Birmingham) which I then realised could be merged into one.
Thank you Neelima for tagging me! You can read about her process here.
As part of the game, I’m tagging two writers for you to blog hop to.: