When I launched my new career as a professional writer, I had no idea how many new and interesting people I would meet along the way, including the lovely and talented Jo Beckford. So when my British-South African-Dutch friend tagged me for a MondayBlog on My Writing Process and I was happy to oblige.
If we’ve not met before, I am a speculative fiction author with two titles to my name and a third coming in the next week, all of which I shamelessly promote as I answer the four magical blog questions below.
And, now…on with the show!
What am I working on at the moment?
Right now is a very busy (and productive) time for me. My goal for the year is to release all four books in my series The Dream Guild Chronicles. Book One, called Irradiance, was released in early March. Book Two, entitled Sight, launches this Thursday, May 29th! It’s very gratifying to watch readership grow from book to book.
In the midst of planning the launch for Sight, I am (trying) to write Book Three. The goal is to have the manuscript to my editor by mid-June and release it in early September. I think I’ll make my own deadline, but we’ll see how the next week goes.
Also, I just published a novella called The Collector, which is available on my website and from NoiseTrade. (Side note: if you’re not familiar with NoiseTrade, David Gaughran wrote a great post on it last week. Well worth reading for authors.)
On the side, I am working with a friend on a story concept for a military thriller. He retired from the Navy after 20 years in the intelligence community, so he can really add a sense of realism to this kind of story. I’m pretty excited about this one as I’ve always wanted to try a writing collaboration. If we go ahead with the project, I’d want to release it in early 2014.
How does my work differ from others in the same genre?
I’d say I have a genre problem. My stories do not fit neatly into either sci-fi or fantasy, they seem to dance across the line quite a bit. I don’t really pay attention to genre when I write, I let the story go where it wants to.
As an example, in Irradiance, the main story is set on an alien planet peopled by a dystopian society called the Community. They have telepathy and space elevators and deep-space travel technology. Pretty clearly sci-fi. In Sight, one of the main characters is adopted by an indigenous tribe of hunter-gatherers on another planet and the story reads more like Clan of the Cave Bear than Star Trek.
Why do I write what I do?
The Dream Guild Chronicles series grew out of reviews I received for The Dream Guild. The consistent message from readers was: love your writing, but we want more! Build out the world you’ve created and give me a bigger story. I realized that my first book started in the middle of the series. If I wanted to do it right, I needed to go back to the beginning, and tell the origin story of the Dream Guild.
That said, I’m a fan of story, regardless of genre. I wrote The Collector after I saw a lecture on Zooniverse and the speaker expressed reservations about the use of data mining. That one turned into a Twilight Zone-esque horror story.
How does my writing process work?
I tend to be a very goal-oriented person, so daily word counts are important to me. When I am writing a first draft, my goal is at least 2000 wpd. I try to write every day and I don’t do any editing of the first draft until it is complete. My best time for writing tends to be the morning, for editing the afternoon (don’t really understand this but that’s how it seems to work best).
I use an outline as a guide and allow the story to take me where it wants to go. I’m happy to rewrite the outline as much as needed, but I always force myself to take the narrative all the way to the end. If you’ve read the book, 2K to 10K, by Rachel Aaron, she makes the point that having an outline allows you to write faster and more consistently—very true.
And that, as they say, is that.
Our next MondayBlogger is my friend Roderick Davidson from the Pacific Northwest. Rick is the author of the fantasy series Pallitine’s Path, a story of a female knight. I had the pleasure of reading Pallitine Rising, book one of the series, and am eagerly waiting my beta copy of book two.