Blog Hop Extravaganza

Blog Hop Extravaganza

I’ve been tagged by the lovely E.M. Wynter to participate in a blog hop! Hurray! It’s my first time, so I hope I’ve formatted everything properly. Hop on over to E’s blog and check her out (cuz she’s awesome)!

The questions are a great mix of things I’ve touched on before and new topics so without further ado… *ahem*

1. What are you writing?
My current WIP goes by the name of Crossroads of Frozen Eternity. It’s the sequel to Island of Lost Forevers (which you can read sample chapters of here), the book I’m hoping will become my first published work sometime next year. I haven’t mentioned it yet, so this is something of a big reveal. It takes place eight years after the events of Island of Lost Forevers, following the characters on the next chapter of their lives. It’s an urban fantasy novel with elements of romance.

2. How does it differ from your last work?
The Mystic Island series leans more heavily toward romance than most of my work. Romance isn’t my typical genre. Not that I have anything against romance (I don’t), it just isn’t usually the focus of my plot. I tend to believe every story contains varying degrees of romance, and I like it that way. In the case of the Mystic Island trilogy, the romance and its obstacles play a central role in the characters lives.

By contrast, my previous work was a space opera. As is typical of space operas, it took place on a vast, interplanetary stage with a touch of mysticism and a sprinkle of romance (much less than you’d find in my current WIP). It was a largely science fiction work. The center focus was a generations-long war and it’s effects on the various denizens of the galaxy.

3. Why do you Write?
I’ve touched on this in bits and pieces since I started blogging, but never more than here. As far back as I can remember, I’ve doodled stories in notebooks. I write because I can’t stop. In high school, I got in trouble for hiding an extra notebook underneath the one I took notes in so that I could write stories and poems between note-taking. I can’t properly describe my love of writing. It’s a part of me. Neil Gaiman’s fond of saying most people love ‘having written’ but I’m one of those people who loves the actual writing bit. I love the process of putting words on the page, crafting worlds and stories, getting to know the people who live in them. I’m sure some writers want to send deep messages with their work, I’m just not one of them. My main goal is to entertain. I want to write stories people will love and enjoy enough to re-read. It’s my sincere hope to one day write well enough to pay the bills with it.

4. What is your process?
I always start with an outline. I used to be a seat of the pants writer, sitting down and letting the story take control. Unfortunately, it proved a nightmare to edit my work. I ended up with so many discrepancies, I basically had to re-write most of the second draft. Now I use an outline to get my thoughts in order and have some idea of what happens when and to who.

The best thing about an outline is that it can grow and shift as the story does. I use a text document to keep track of my thoughts, but I’ve known people who use timelines or post-it-notes to keep track. As my plot grows or changes, I update my outline to reflect it. I usually cross out things I’ve decided to discard or change and write beside it the new plans, so I can trace the evolution of my thoughts.

Once I have an idea of the entire plot, I sit down to write the first draft. I try not to edit as I go, unless I make a major plot change. I try to get all the way through the plot one time. I find that’s the only way to determine what’s important to the plot and what’s superfluous. When I’ve written the whole thing once, I can see my holes and my embellishments.

After I complete my first draft, I set it aside for awhile. I move on to other things. Usually I try to write another first draft or edit a different manuscript all the way through before coming back to what I’ve just written. I find that time and distance allows me to approach everything from a new angle. The distance also lets me cut things that really need to be cut, things I’m probably too attached to when the writing is fresh.

When I’m sure I can look at it with fresh eyes, I dig in. I try to polish my writing and revise my plot all in one go the first time around (it’s like giving my manuscript a makeover). Of course it needs several passes worth of editing before it’s polished enough to be seen by others. When I finally reach that point, I send it off to my betas.

If you’d like to read in more detail about my process, I’ve written a more in depth version here, continued here.

Now we’ve come to the best part! The part where I tag other writers and you get to read all about their work. Here are the wonderful writers I’m passing the ball to, check out their blogs!

The fabulous Katy Huth Jones of Life is a Four-Letter Word.

The magnificent Beth Alvarez whose blog you can find here.

And don’t forget to check out the wonderful E.M. Wynter and her blog!

Thanks for the invitation to the blog hop. I enjoyed myself and I hope all of you enjoyed it as well ;)

7 Replies to “Blog Hop Extravaganza”

    1. Fitting the pieces together and deciding how things work is one of my favorite parts about writing! :D Especially when I feel like I’ve come up with something really grand. I have just pages and pages of notes on societies and cities and species. One time I created an alien race of giant floating jellyfish. My husband laughed at me while I was doing it but he was impressed by the results. Most importantly, I had tons of fun!

  1. Love this post! I think your subjects are very cool and I identify with treating romance as a part of the plot. Must be challenging to make it central but I’m sure you can do it. Is your material adult or YA? Also, we have a similar process. I started writing without an outline and I don’t know if I ever want to go back – too confusing! Thanks again for doing this blog hop with me. It was really fun and the best part was getting to know you better!

    1. Thanks again for inviting me! :D

      The opening song for the Broadway show Aida claims: “Every story, tale or memoir, every saga or romance, all are tales of human failing. All are tales of love, at heart.” That’s always stayed with me because I truly believe it. Love (or lack of it) is in everyone’s life somewhere. So I’ve never shied away from romance happening within a grander story. But making romance THE story has proven a bit more challenging ^^;;

      My material is written as adult (I guess because the characters are adults), but I recall reading ‘adult’ fiction when I was a teen so I really consider it all ages non-child, or at least hope all ages can enjoy it :)

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