The purpose behind this blog chain is to learn a little more about our fellow writers, so here are my answers!
1. What am I currently working on?
Oh, I can't tell you how excited I am by my new project. I've been mulling it over for months and I finally had the chance to start writing a few weeks ago. It's a YA urban fantasy and a retelling. BUT, sorry to say, I can't give much more information than that because it's a secret. I will tell you, however, that my MC is good at throwing knives, building things, and skirting authority--you know, until she gets caught.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I'm a big fan of character driven stories, and in a plot-driven YA world, I feel my stories delve further into my characters' psyche than most. Not all. But most. Also, it's a retelling, which is not unheard of but it's completely revamped. The MC is a different gender than the original story, and it's set in a completely different world. It's one of those "based on" stories rather than a very strict-to-the-original retellings.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Oh, because I can help it. Truly. I write more than one genre, but YA is my super-duper passion. I like it because it's relatable, because it appeals to all audiences, because it's okay to write outside of the box. And mostly, I write YA because I get to write characters who are learning about themselves. Who are old enough to make choices, but young enough to become completely overwhelmed with those choices and, well, cause a lot of drama. These characters feel like real people. And then I get to dump them into a fantasy world and go crazy. Love it!
4. How does my writing process work?
It varies depending on the genre. I write both contemporary and paranormal romance as well as YA fantasy. For my contemporaries, I tend to plot a little more, but for my YA stories, I'm a pantser--for the most part. That said, I still have a process, which looks something like:
* Get an idea. It's usually vague, like "I want to write about witches." I develop it to the point where I know the ending, can think of three major plot points, and can come up with some pretty good conflict. If I can't do that, I either keep thinking or discard/set aside the idea.
* Flesh out my characters. I come up with character pics and back stories and GMC because I have to know what's driving my character. I add in more and think of more later, but I have to have the basics. I also like to think of something small my character is interested in, whether is mechanics like my current MC, or drawing like a character I've written in the past. I don't necessarily have to use it in the story, but I like having a better feel for my character and what he/she likes.
* Write! Yes, I know that's basic. But after that, I write. I'll mull over my current scene or chapter while I'm exercising or cleaning in the morning, and then try to write soon after that.
* Then I edit for basics, send it off to one of my CP's who gets to see my work first, and make changes she suggests.
* Next is another CP and beta readers. I like doing edits in stages so different things are caught and I get feedback as the story is progressively (I hope) getting better.
* Polish and submit!
Thanks for letting me share my writing process with you. I'm happy to pass this chain along to one of my very talented CPs, Jessica Hoefer who also writes YA fiction. Please visit her blog next Monday to learn more about her writing process.
Jessica grew up in the Seattle suburbs and moved east of the Cascade Mountains to start a career in broadcast news. While she no longer works as a television reporter, she freelances for Northwest magazines and business publications, but her true passion is writing YA Speculative Fiction.