The talented and lovely Liz Hedgecock asked me to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. You can read her post over here and see the writer I nominate to take part at the end of this post.
What am I working on?
I’ve just used Camp Nanowrimo to work on the novel(s) I started last year during Nanowrimo. Although I finished Nanowrimo, the story got a bit away from me and turned out to be bigger than I first thought. I still try to write a flash piece every Friday for Flash!Friday (and these can be read on this blog or over here) and I also write two or three guest posts or articles every week.
These articles range from opinions on current affairs to tips and hacks, so every week is a challenge – which I adore. The other fiction pieces I’m working on are all short stories or flash stories. Like most of my other work, these are also speculative fiction and some also link with the Nanowrimo story.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I can’t brag with starting a new sub-genre of speculative fiction, but I have had good feedback about my stories and the worlds I create. I have been told that most of my stories are bittersweet, and it does seem like I don’t often write a piece that’s all light and laughter. My stories tend to focus on how one or two people act within a given set of circumstances.
A theme that I have noticed is remembering or losing memories. For instance, both stories published over at Every Day Fiction have to do memory. My characters in my flash pieces also often don’t have a definite gender – the viewpoint could be male or female, depending on how it is read. I have to admit that I don’t set out doing this, but find that the problem/struggle is in those cases more important for me than having to set the character(s) in stone.
Why do I write what I write?
I’ve always been more attracted to speculative fiction. When I really started writing and not just making up bits and pieces of worlds in my head, I immediately started writing fantasy without really thinking about it. There’s something about the freedom of SFF that I can’t find when writing in the “real world”. You get to ask “what if” and don’t need to be constrained by this world’s countries and history and politics. In a secondary world you can create something beautiful through which you can explore life and I can work through my own questions. It’s much easier for me to write in a different world. And I adore worldbuilding.
How does my writing process work?
My process does depend some on the project. For my weekly flash pieces, I tend to brainstorm before work or during lunch (depending on how busy I am at the office and whether I can take lunch….). A song can often trigger a story or set a mood. As random ideas, sentences or stories pop into my head during the day I’ll jot them down – I always have a notebook with me. Once I sit down to write, I usually make a note or two and then start writing straight away. I’m much more of a pantser than an outliner and often have no idea where the characters or story are going.
One thing I always do, however, is listen to music while I work. I have an eclectic taste in music, so, while I may make a playlist for a specific character, I sometimes just feel like listening to Early Music, Classical music, Pop, Alternative, or everything just shuffled together.
Once I’m done I’ll put the story aside a bit before reading it again and giving it to a friend or writing group to read. I also try to write more by hand and get away from the screen a bit, so many times flash pieces will be written by hand and edited by hand. Writing by hand can sometimes also be more therapeutic than typing.
For the next stop on the blog tour…
Dana Bell is another fantasy writer, whom I met through the Sandboxers Anonymous writing group. She not only has a great imagination, but is also very prolific in her output; as you will see if you visit her blog over here or her brand new one over here.