First, let me take this opportunity to give a loud shout out to one my dearest pals, Wendy C. Williford, for dragging me… er, allowing me to play. You can check out other writer’s blogs and follow the tour on Facebook at #mywritingprocess and on Twitter at #mywritingprocess
I may sound gauche to say but I find writing process really interesting. I love reading about the way people write. I read “On Writing” by Stephen King even though I’ve had to struggle through reading his books. Sound stupid? Maybe, but Not to me… He’s a wildly successful writer (I’m a huge fan of his stories – love a lot of the movies about his books) so why shouldn’t I want to know HOW he writes? I’ve also read a number of books that some of my local writing compatriots feel is antiquated or ‘hippy’ (shrugs). I really just love to see how others tap into the creative well of their minds/souls.
Forgive the ‘clunky’ transitions, but I’m just going to lead in with the ‘questions’ –
1) What am I working on?
I guess I have a two-pronged approach right now.
a) I’m working on short stories for anthologies and magazines – I love writing for ‘prompts’ and definitely looking at working in different genres and building up publishing credits and an audience.
b) I’m working on novel length works. While I plan on writing shorter works for the rest of my life, I would also like to be published in a longer form as many of the ideas in my head don’t quite fit ‘shorter’ formats.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? 3) Why do I write what I do? (combining these two)
There is no way for me to answer this. I’m me. For better for worse, for whatever… especially because I do write for different genres. I love Steampunk. I love Westerns. I love many different genres and hope to write for many of them during my life. So, forgive the flippant answer but I write what I write, I feel like different stories are fed from different parts of the well. Even within a genre there are different feels to stories. Some Westerns to me are grit and some are about freedom and exploration. Some Westerns are about clashes between cultures or classes and some about internal struggles. Westerns can be rough and tumble or shot through with paranormal intrigue. I love to play with them all. What is writing if not a constant excuse for experimenting and discovery?
4) How does your writing process work?
A couple of things that have worked for me –
-The empty page syndrome- Never let the white stare at you… it’s too much expectation… too much ‘space’ and it can be a daunting thing to fill. Sometimes just even typing the prompt or a short blurb about the idea is a good way to break the page up and get things going.
-Strike while the Iron is Hot-
I write what’s in my head. It could just be a line of dialogue, a couple of lines… the ending line… I try to record what it is that inspires me. Sometimes the inspiration happens to me while I’m writing something else. That, by the way, is Creativity’s cruel joke. I know I’m not the only one who is smacked around by a new idea when they’re in the middle of working on something else. One of the things I need to work on is finding a way to keep track of those little ideas/interruptions. Sometimes I find an old file in a strange folder on my computer and open it up… huh? oh! I remember you!
-When things start to slow-
I try to write things from start to finish, but sometimes you get to a point that things feel… off… forced… scratching along, I tend to jump ahead in time. Give myself the get out of timeline card and just jump to a part I want to write. Not big on discipline? I dunno… I look at it as though I’m not about to punish myself for not knowing exactly what is next. That’s for editing process.
-What I hate-
revisions… but I also love them. I hate having to reread and evaluate. I mean, who doesn’t want stories to jump from our heads in full form… like Athena from Zeus… but it’s mostly a messier affair. Sometimes needing quite the bit of red ink… sometimes not as much bloodletting. Still, there are those times when once you’ve stitched up the open wounds and grafted on the right pieces… it can end up a highly satisfactory end.
-Reading and Writing-
I spend a lot of time reading… old books… history books… writing books… It’s all of interest to me. I’m a pack-mule at used book sales. I look for the history or special interest books. Anything that grabs my eye due to title or subject. Fantastic stuff. Amazing stuff. Feeding the furnace.
Anything to feed the voices…
Now, to introduce you to the next writer on the tour. I first met D. Alan Lewis in the capacity of his work as an editor. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to also know his work as a writer. Extremely talented in both avenues of the writing craft, I am looking forward to finding out what his writing process is like…
His post will be up next week – D. Alan Lewis