Before telling you my writing process, I thought I'll fill you in on with what #MyWritingProcess means:
“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… “
1) What am I working on?
I'm working on a novel called BE STILL. It's a weird arrangement in how the idea came about. I have one novel that I decided shouldn't be the original novel; it should be a prequel. So, now I'm writing the original novel for the prequel that I already have. It's a tragic New Adult love story.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? That's hard to answer without sounding boastful. Sometimes when I'm reading a novel, I feel like I'm a step away from the character. I can't grasp their personality. When something bad/great/dramatic happens to the character I can't feel for them in a way I know I should. I want to but can't. This can be easily compared to trying to have a relationship with a very guarded or non-communicative partner. It's frustrating because I never feel like I'm in. With novels, I feel like the fault is in the characterization; it's not deep enough, thorough enough. And the other fault is in the character not communicating their emotions enough...or simply not having emotion to communicate. Whatever the case, I hope I have delved so deep into the personality of my characters that it comes across on paper. And, I hope that I have written in my characters' emotions well enough that readers are able to feel a fraction of those emotions themselves.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write New Adult and Young Adult because I find that their voices plague me the most. They're the characters who pop into my head. I don't start out with a plot then try to fit the characters in. The characters come first, and they're always youthful (does that make me immature?), then comes the plot.
4) How does my writing process work?
I showed my hand in the #3 question. Sometimes it's a daydream, sometimes it's a nightdream, but it's always a character. He or she always comes to me with emotion on his face: terrified, worried, crying, angry. There's always a story behind these characters (in my nighttime dreams it's usually a fairly defined story, but I've forgotten it - just the face, I remember the face), and my procedure is to figure out their story, their conflict. It takes a while. Sometimes I think I have it, and my character shakes his head at me, and it's back to brainstorming I go. When I have my plot, I outline. Then I write, very fast. Generally, it takes me about a month and a half to pump out a rough draft. It's really rough, but I LEAVE IT. That's a very important part of my process. Leave it. Many say for a month, but I wait at least two months. I feel like I lived that story, so it's hard for me to forget it. I leave it so that I can forget what each sentence was supposed to say. If I don't leave my project alone long enough when I go to revise/edit, I'll notice halfway through that I'm not editing, just reading. I'm not noticing confusing sentences because I remember what they're supposed to be. My mind, my memory, fills in the blanks. You can't fix it on paper when your mind is fixing it for you without your permission.
And that's it. I hope my answers were enlightening for you!
The blogger that I've chosen to carry on the mission is my oldest writerly friend Daniel Kaye. No, he's not old, he's just the first writer friend I made when I jumped online, after finishing my first novel, wondering if they made such a things as "internet writer communities." It's funny how naive I was then. He must have sensed how inexperienced I was in the new online writerly world, but he never let me know he thought I was silly.
Daniel Kaye grew up in London but now works and lives in Co. Cork, Ireland. He has been writing for a number of years and has been published in numerous anthologies both in Ireland and the USA, he has also published The Eleventh Hour, a collection of his short stories. Daniel's first novel I, Vladimir is due for release from Gentry Publishing in autumn 2014. He is currently working on his second novel, Anonymous Jack. http://daniel-kaye.blogspot.ie/
He'll be posting on May 5, so be sure to check it out.