Monday, April 7, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

My friend, Jaimey Grant, tagged me and asked me to join in the MyWriting Process Blog Tour. Basically I answer four questions and tag some writing friends. :)

1) What am I working on?

Currently I am editing, plotting, and writing.

Editing - The King of Anavrea (Second Book of the Theodoric Saga), Honor (Second Novel of Rhynan), and Isbeth's Redemeption are all on my editing plate. The King and Isbeth are in the last stages before publishing. Beta readers have gone over them, the cover is finished (mostly), and I am just fixing the last bits that need attention before formatting and release. Honor  is being prepared for my husband to read it, the last stage of editing.

Plotting - Faith (Third Novel of Rhynan) is on my plotting plate. I know my characters, sort of. Willard Naron lives his life by his father's mantra, money and power above all else. However, he can't help doubting the truth. There must be something more to life than gathering wealth and political strength.

Constance has lived her life supporting her father. He needs someone practical to keep him function and complete his commissions, painting portraits of the noble and wealthy. Despite this weight on her shoulders, she gathers others around her who need her help and support. Poor, powerless, and at the beShe lives a life the antithesis of Willard's.

I am still working out the plot at this point.

Writing - I am working on "Forging Friendships," the second short story in The Making of a Man: the Molding of Simon Cordale (working title). The progress is slow, but I have high hopes to be finishing the story in a month or so.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I write a mash-up of different genres. My preferred setting is fantasy (kingdoms and worlds that don't exist), but the books do not contain supernatural elements. They feel like medieval history. My plots are usually a mixture of adventure, mystery and/or politics, and a large measure of romance. Sword fights, wars, and action occur frequently, but so do dialogue, friendships, romantic moments, and other relationships. My characters tend toward honor, integrity, and other virtues, but they are also flawed. My husband says I have a hero complex. Who am I to argue. ;)

3) Why do I write what I write?

I love both history and writing so I try to meld them. However, I have never been good at remembering dates, times, or details. As a mother of three, I don't have the time or patience for the depth of research I would require of myself to write strictly historical novels. The solution became to write my own version of history for a world similar to Europe and a time period that has always interested me. So, I started writing medieval fantasy.

The romance bit comes from my love of people, romances, and happily ever afters. Not much of a surprise there. :)

4) How does my writing process work?

Each project usually begins with an idea. Someone says something, I see a scene playing out that I want to rewrite, a book I am reading, an event in history, a television/movie scene, or just a simple "What if...?" moment. The idea sticks in the deep places of my mind and keeps reappearing to nag me. When I have the spare time, I take it out and play with it. Add and take away characters, plots, relationship ideas, world ideas, and play around with it until it gathers enough extra pieces to begin developing it in earnest.

This is when I give it a working title, fit it into an existing world of my creation or make it a world all of its own, and figure out what more I need to do to get it to the writing point. This is also when I start writing things down. Ideas, characters, names, places, plot ideas, etc are collected into a single Word document. The process continues until I am confident I am ready to write.

The writing process can take months, one or two devoted months for a short story or almost a year for a novel. My fastest writing production was Honor, which was 89,790 words in eight months. During this time I try to write 300 to 3,000 words a day and take breaks to plot. The focus is to write a decent first draft that will not need a great deal of deep editing.

Then, when the final word of the rough draft is on the screen, I set it aside. A month or two later, I will pick it up, read it, preliminary edit it, and then send it out to beta readers. After they finish with it and I have made changes, I read it once more before handing it over to my husband for the final edit. After he is finished, I start the publishing process to get it into my readers' hands.

I would like to tag Alicia A. Willis and Rachel Heffington because I would very much like to read about their writing process.


Alicia A. Willis said...

Lovely! Looking into your writing processes was most enjoyable.

Shanna Hatfield said...

So awesome to read about your processes, Rachel! It has been a fun blog hop! :)