My Writing Process

Lindsay Cummings tagged me in on Twitter for this Author’s Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s pretty short, but it should give all you lovely readers something to catch-up with.

1. What am I working on? Well, I just turned in everything except my final proofreading edits on THE BUSINESS OF DEATH last night, so I’m in the process of figuring out what to work on next. I’m sure the appropriate answer is to write the sequel, but I’ve got so many possibilities bouncing around in my head right now that it’s going to take me a few days to decide.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? I write across a few different genres, but what I think makes my work stand out is that there is never a “happily ever after” ending. I 110% believe that you can have a satisfying conclusion without Character A and Character B miraculously better off than they were before and hooking up for all eternity.

3. Why do I write what I do? As a kid I would read all these fairytales and moral stories and different religious texts and wonder about them. What would happen if the fairytales were fleshed out so that they actually made logical sense? What if we’d badly interpreted the word of God/Allah/YWYH/Zeus? The catch to these questions is, of course, that I’ve always been fascinated by the darker side of things–so my literary answers reflect that.

4. How does your writing process work? I’m a strong believer in (my own personal version of) the Snowflake Method. Basically I write a pitch. Then I turn that into a query. Then I turn that into a synopsis. Then I go through and ask question after question until I can’t possibly add any more detail without writing the dang thing. Then I let it sit for a month or six. Then I see if there’s any more questions I missed and if the plot holds up. THEN I start writing. Day to day my process varies. As an historian and former journalist, I spend an absurd amount of time researching and documenting things. I try to write a bare minimum of 500 words a day, and then I always do NaNoWriMo with a goal of 2,000 words a day. I can generally crank out a rough draft in two to three months, though I’m not ashamed to say THE BUSINESS OF DEATH took me four years and seven drafts. Once done, the draft goes to critique partners while I start snowflaking something new. While the new idea is resting, I edit the critiqued draft. Rinse and repeat.

So, now I have to tag someone else. I think you’ll get some pretty interesting answers out of Sunniva Dee and TJ Loveless. 😀