My Writing Process Blog Hop

Blank paper with pen, glasses, watch and a cup of teaI was recently asked by author Carol Malone to join in the writing process blog hop and couldn’t be more excited and honored to participate.

I love reading how other authors “make the magic happen.” It’s always fascinating to me how a blank page becomes a book, and reading each author’s post is inspiring. You never know what may speak to you and help your own writing process grow.

To find out more about the wonderful author who passed the baton to me, please visit her website and other links below:

Author Carol MaloneCarol Malone has successfully combined her three passions – romance, sports, and writing in her 5-Star rated eBook “Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night,”  and became the first woman to climb under the ropes of the boxing ring to punch her way into the all-male dominated genre of the pulp Fight Card series. Her story is a genre mash-up of kick-in-the-pants, fist-pounding action and happily ever after.

Carol’s books entice readers to scramble into a front row seat for a power-packed thrill-ride or swoon to stories of tender, sweet passion. If not hammering out new tales, Carol’s reading, watching sports on TV, or hanging with her sci-fi author husband on the coast of California. Her next story is a sweet contemporary romance between a hunky fireman and a strong, determined nurse.

On her website, Twitter or Facebook, Carol’s always ready to talk sports and amour, and tell you about her latest book releases.

Twitter:  @CarolAnneMalone

For me, I’ve honed my writing process over  many years of trial and error, and think I have it down now, but I know I’m still learning. Each book is a new experience.

I consider my writing process to be an evolving endeavor, much like the creative process itself. No two books are alike, so the process to write them isn’t one hundred percent the same either, but there are some things I always do.

What am I currently working on?

I’m currently working on a few things. I tend to have several pots on the stove at once, so I can switch things up day to day and keep it interesting. 😀

In my current queue are Book 2 of my Soul Mates series, a Soul Mates novella that will be free to my newsletter subscribers this summer, and the revision on a young adult suspense novel I finished last year, tentatively titled Swings and Pendulums. (Details on the book-length projects can be found on my Works in Progress page.)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I primarily write young adult romance with paranormal twists. The Soul Mates series is a time travel romance series.

I would say it differs from others in its genre because of the pop music subjects and the time periods. Soul Mates focuses on post-WWII periods (the Fifties, the Seventies, and I’m mulling over the idea of adding an Eighties installment) rather than Victorian, Renaissance or Medieval times, which I’ve seen used in other young adult time travel books.

Why do I write what I do?

I love popular music, especially oldies and classic hits, which is what gave me the idea for the first book in the Soul Mates series, Wishing You Were Here. This story takes place in 1957, when teenagers were breaking away from their parents tastes in everything–clothing, cars, and especially music.

The next book in the series takes us back to the early Seventies, another period of interesting music and changes in the entertainment world, Now you had the influence of television and major money to be made from tie-in merchandising.

How does your writing process work?

Earlier this year I gave a few details about how I work in my two posts about how I use Scrivener as part of my writing process, (see Part 1 and Part 2),

Basically, I start with an idea, and just as I teach in my online workshop Avoid the Rough, I expand from there by asking questions about who the characters are, why they want certain things, etc. I may write out a scene I see in my head immediately when the idea comes to me, but usually I start by making a lot of notes, feeling out the story a bit, and making sure it has enough to sustain a whole book.

When I first started writing, these musings might have been jotted down in a notebook or on sticky notes I slapped on the wall, or even on scraps of paper I collected in a folder, Nowadays, Scrivener helps me keep all this information organized on the computer in one place. I love it!

I don’t do extensive character charts or plotting worksheets anymore. I used to, but then I discovered that it took the fun of discovery out of the process and I usually grew too bored with the project to finish it. So now, I go with skeletal notes, try to build a basic framework so my story has direction, and then I start writing the scenes as they come to me.

I do not write linearly, meaning I don’t start at Chapter 1 and move forward. I jump around. I write scenes that are strongest in my mind and then organize them later into a cohesive timeline.

When I approach a new scene, I tend to start with dialogue first, because usually when a scene jumps into my head its between two people and they’re hashing out something. So I get the words down first, then I go back over it and layer in setting and sensory details, action, etc.

Once the first draft is done, then I sometimes take a more analytical approach and use some spreadsheets to track the scenes for point-of-view balance, for pacing and things like that. Charts and worksheets at this point don’t bother me because the text of the story is written, discovery has been done. Now it’s time to polish.

How many times I go through a manuscript before I turn it into my editor varies on the complexity of the project, and the deadline, but usually there are a couple passes before I send it to my critique partners for feedback and then a couple more passes to incorporate their feedback before it goes to the editor, and then at least one more revision based on editor notes.

Who’s Next?

Now, it’s time for me to pass the baton along to two of my fellow writers who are eager to share their writing process with you. Their writing process blog posts will appear next Monday, May 26.

Author Gina ArditoGina Ardito is a multi-published author, freelance editor, mentor, and houseplant killer. Her lighthearted contemporary romances are available in hardcover, digital, and paperback editions. She also writes sweeping historical romances under the pen name, Katherine Brandon. Over the years, she has worked with a NY house, small-press publisher, and now explores the challenging world of indie publishing. In fact, her first indie-pubbed work, Eternally Yours, Book I of her Afterlife Series, was a 2013 Kindle Book Review Finalist for Best Book of the Year in the Romance Category.

Twitter: @GinaArdito

Author Carolyn HugheyCarolyn Hughey (who also writes mysteries under the name K.T. Roberts) has been a hair stylist, an executive legal secretary, a chef, and of course, a writer. She brings together her culinary experience and her love of writing in Dishing Up Romance and its sequel, One Recipe at a Time. When not practicing one of her many talents, she enjoys oil painting, jewelry making, and cake decorating. Hughey lives with her family in Arizona.

Twitter: @ScribblingDiva