The wonderful YA/ NA fiction writer Rhiann Wynn-Nolet has invited me to share the magic that is my writing process. Follow her on Twitter @RhiannWynnNolet. She’s a fellow artist turned writer! What could be better! Go visit her blog, http://rhiannwynnnoletblog.wordpress.com/ read her post and wave!
Ten years ago at the age of 31 with two toddlers, I asked my hubs for a laptop so I could write a book. Crazy! I know! So I did. And I had found my passion, the job I am meant to have. I have seven manuscripts sitting inside the twisted innards of my computer. First drafts, second… tenth drafts all waiting for their turn for a final read through, for their chance at entering the querying world. They have to wait their turns. I am a stay-at-home-mom of two kids. Now at 13 and 12, they need less and less from me, but I am still in charge of getting them everywhere, of conversing with them, and making sure they are emotionally okay.
My writing and the creative process has changed considerably in the ten years I have been setting words to page (or screen). As I grow as a writer, so it does. On to the questions!
What am I currently working on?
I am gearing up to tackle the final revision of my YA fantasy DOORS. I wrote this ms years and years ago when a simple idea entered my mind… what if you could go anywhere in the universe, what if there was a door. When I read the first chapter at my writers’ group years ago, it wasn’t right. So I set it aside, but I didn’t forget about it. So last year, I brought it out again thinking that I knew how to fix it. I read again at group. Almost… but through the comments I knew what to do. Revisions, revisions, CP comments, revisions, more readers’ comments, and revisions have lead me here to a final read through then off to pitchwars it goes.
I am also working on edits for my two stories that were chosen to be published in the Reuts anthology of twisted fairy tales.
I will also be writing a short story for Pen and Muse blog, who are calling for shorts featuring a haunted house. If that appeals to you, go sign up to participate. Should be FUN!
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I dislike this question. Mostly because I’m afraid it isn’t different, that it won’t stand out again the piles of YA fantasy out there. But it won’t be like the others, because I wrote it, using my strange view of the world, my odd way of stringing words together, my fascination with everything weird and scary. Can my work co-exist happily beside the works of Neal Shusterman and Holly Black? Yes because I offer my unique view.
Why do I write what I write?
Because those are the stories that appear in my brain and in my heart. Because writing from a place of love is the only way to go. I write for teens (for kids) because they still believe, because they stare out at the world wondering where they fit, hoping to add their magic.
How does my writing process work?
Weeeeelllll, I am not a plotter. I tried outlines and they ended up frustrating me more than helping. I find now that a calendar works best. I draw a timeline and add the scenes, moving them when necessary.
My characters talk to me. I have notebooks full of people, of what they look like, what they love to do, how they think. I learned to call this a character bible at the Midwest Writers’ Workshop. Whenever I can’t remember so-and-so’s eye color, I can look it up. I will show them to you, but they end up a crumpled, scribbled mess. Writing is not neat and orderly here in the land of Kathy.
Then I write it from beginning to end.
I have to write the entire thing with no edits or I will get trapped forever editing and never finishing. Believe me, I get caught in the revising trap after its done, so I don’t need to fall in that pit too early.
I LOVE CPs! I LOVE comments! I LOVE making it better, solving the problems (even when it means pulling my hair out and beating my head against the wall). Relaxing, not dwelling on problems, taking a moment to do nothing will unlock all the answers. I do not believe in writers’ block. The more we try to pry open the box holding the answers, the more locks appear. So no worries, the answers will come when they will.
Now to pass the baton to a few friends.
I met Sarah Carson on Twitter, follow her @QueSeraSarah10. Uplifting and fabulous, she is always willing to help and even read Doors for me even though fantasy is not her cup of tea. In return I was honored to read her ms and was blown away. I can’t even wait for her words to find a home, to be published so everyone can read them. http://secarson.weebly.com/
I also met Kris Holt on Twitter, follow him @KrisHolt1. He is from far, far away across the ocean. *waves* Always willing to join in funny conversations and keep the laughs rolling, I want to know more about him so invited him. http://4thousandwords.blogspot.com/
I recently attended the Midwest Writers’ Workshop and met tons of people. I have invited a new friend from the conference to join me on this magical tour. Julie Artz, follow her @julieartz. I loved her business card… written on demand for any who wanted them! I should have thought of that. She was one of the many brave souls to pitch to an agent at the conference! http://www.terminalverbosity.com/
Go forth, dear readers, and follow the tour, get insights into how our minds work… it’s fascinating and a bit scary.