Tuesday, May 6, 2014

#Mywritingprocess Blog Tour

My friend Dan Koboldt asked me to answer four questions as a part of the #Mywritingprocess Blog Tour.  You can check out his answers on his site at dankoboldt.com  Dan writes fantasy and science fiction, he works as a research scientist in the field of human genetics and genomics, and he shoots things with a giant bow Katniss style.  Obviously, I said yes right away. 

So here are my answers.  They will rock your world. 

What Am I Working On?
I’m in a super awkward place at the moment.  I feel disconnected from my most recently finished work but not yet connected with my next project.  I’ve started a few stories, gotten a few thousand words into each and stopped.  For me, I have to be really seduced by a story idea before I can fully commit to writing an entire book.  The characters become friends or extensions of myself.  Without that passion for telling their stories, it’s easy to lose interest.  The concept I’m exploring currently is what I like to call Pretty Woman if Gillian Flynn wrote it.  It feels like an idea I could get into, but I’m still gut checking all the themes I want to explore in it to be sure it’s a fully realized concept and not just a lark.

How Does My Work Differ from Others of Its Genre?
Sometimes I worry it differs a little too much at times.  I’ve written YA novels to date.  My first one was pure indulgence on my part, pulling inspiration from some of my favorite stories, books, and movies.  Ultimately, it may have been too many genres at once.  I want to read and write stories that have a little of everything I love in them.  I try to find humor in situations and don’t let my characters take themselves too seriously all the time.  Some YA stories tend to skew toward the melodramatic.  I want the drama in my writing to feel natural, not manufactured.  That usually comes from nurturing a connection between the reader and the characters.

Why Do I Write What I Do?
I find myself having the best time writing when I’m exploring a side of myself that doesn’t get much free rein in the real world.  I think we all have multiple facets to our personalities and only a few of those sides ever get to see the light of day.  It’s also cathartic to research something you wouldn’t necessarily do yourself but that you need to write intelligently about one of your characters doing.  I love to write as an outlet for my creative side.  Writing is a great way to create and share and invent and hopefully inspire.  It can be lonely work at times, but ultimately, the idea is for my work to connect with others.  That’s when I know I’ve written something worthwhile.

How Does My Writing Process Work?
I’ve experimented with different techniques and I think the story I’m writing dictates what method I use.  It starts with an idea, obviously: Some concept you want to inflict on a fictional character to find out what happens to them.  That usually requires some unconscious inspiration.  Once I have that, I work on deciding what kind of story could best explore that concept.  Where would it take place, who would be involved, and most importantly, why do I care about it?  After fleshing out the basic mechanics of the story, I look for opportunities for little twists.  I love something unexpected in the stories I read.  A balance of “I never saw that coming!” and “Of course that had to happen!”  I usually do a chapter outline and try to get the basic pacing laid out, but that is heavily altered as the story is written, and then completely butchered once it’s edited.  Typically, the best parts of my stories are never in the outline, they come about naturally as I discover my characters and understand what they would do in a given situation.     

Tune back in later this week when I'll post the authors I'm passing the baton to in the tour.  This is no way a stalling tactic and was planned all along.  This is to build suspense, not buy me time because I'm way behind on ... well, everything.