Maybe you've heard about the My Writing Process (Blog) Tour, maybe you haven't. If not consider this your intro. The tour's been going on for a few months and I'm delighted to have been asked to join in by my writer buddy overseas Laura Rueckert, whose answers on her process you'll find at www.laurarueckert.com. And here's my contribution to this fine tour we have going on:
What am I working on?
Lots. My baby, so to speak, is a linked anthology about an interracial family that spans several decades and three generations. This collection has been my "White Whale" in a way in that I've been working on it for several years and it's gone through a complete metamorphosis making me a much better writer over the course of the process.
Last fall I started drafting a contemporary YA suspense. And I have a few flash fiction pieces and essays that I am either refining or drafting as well. I tell you, there is simply not enough time in the day.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Short answer would be the diversity aspect as it is, unfortunately, not numerous in the literary realm (in all genres). I don't necessarily focus on race and racial tension as a person of color, but I think there is a need for literature to reflect reality and reality is quite diverse. My whole world has been an amalgam of various races, people, sexualities and such that my prose will always reflect that. I am also a very character-driven writer and I like to mix it up in terms of elements. I like to focus on people, psychology, and sometimes a slight twist on our reality and history. It's fun to rethink history and create it anew, for better or worse.
Why do I write what I do?
I wrote very bad poetry in high school and undergrad. It didn't fit me. I'm a bit long-winded at times, but the short form (and long form) is something I very much enjoy. Point blank: I like making things up. I also like detailing what I see, hear, and feel. So fiction and nonfiction/journalistic fits more for me because I feel like I have more space to truly expose, or explore, what and who is around me.
How does my writing process work?
My process is to sit down and do it. It's usually a burst when it comes to the drafting/writing phase. Just get words down on paper/screen, is my focus initially. And I can sit down for hours in a comfy chair with my laptop writing. This past Christmas while visiting my grandmother, she consistently passed the room. I had sat in a La-Z-Boy for up to seven hours with my laptop on my lap writing. "You okay?" she asked a few times. "Yup!" I shouted. When I'm in the zone I get stuff done.
Molding and refining my work is what I do after the fact. I keep every draft I write (I date each one), sometimes it helps to go back and see what I did earlier in the process or see what may or may not be salvaged. But yeah, (1) write like a fiend, (2) refine like the fiend you were previously, (3) get feedback, because invariably there's always something that needs more work than you thought.
That is my process, in a nutshell.
I've invited (or tagged) the following writers whose work I admire and enjoy to also participate and I'm glad they're up for it! You can see their posts on their process next week.
I present . . .
Megan Cooley Peterson is a writing-reading-pizza-coffee addict from the frozen tundra, aka Minnesota. She has written a YA contemporary, a YA romantic thriller, and an upmarket women’s fiction manuscript. She is currently drafting a manuscript about witchcraft that she can’t stop obsessing over. When not working on fiction, Megan writes and edits children’s nonfiction books about topics ranging from gross animal facts to urban legends. She lives with her husband and darling daughter.
Megan and I met via Twitter and she is one of the sweetest and supportive, and most dedicated writers I have ever engaged with. And after reading one of her manuscripts I can attest she's going to be a force to be reckoned with in the publishing world.
Karen McCoy first got the writing bug when she read The Babysitters Club series at age eight, but almost gave up after a bad grade during a creative writing class in college. Fast forward years later, to an HR training for her librarian job in 2008. She got out a pen and started her first novel, in her head, ever since that first writing class. She's currently studying for her MFA in creative writing at Northern Arizona University. She not only blogs at her site Writer Librarian, but also contributes to Operation Awesome on Mondays.
Karen and I met at the GlenWest Conference in New Mexico a couple years ago and her tenacity and excitement for writing inspire me all the time.
Thanks again Karen & Megan for joining in and I look forward to hearing more about your process(es)!
If you've done a post for the My Writing Process blog tour lemme know so I can read it. :-)