Saturday, 22 March 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop!

I was tagged by Jimena Novaro in the Writing Process Blog Hop!

1) What am I working on?

I'm juggling several projects! I'm writing the (very rough) first draft of a YA urban fantasy, revising a YA post-apocalyptic, and plotting another urban fantasy to draft during Camp NaNoWriMo next month. :)

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

I like to take an idea which has been done before and put a new spin on it! For instance, in the Darkworld series, I wrote a version of demons I'd never read before, while Beneath the Waves, the novel I'm querying, deals with a different take on merpeople, vampires and curses. I don't believe there's such a thing as true originality, but everyone has their own unique voice.

Mostly, I try to write about magic and powers with real consequences. Magic isn't all fun and games, and usually comes with major backlash. For example, in Darkness Watching, Ash learns pretty quickly that using magic makes her a beacon for supernatural monsters; and in Beneath the Waves and my post-apocalyptic fantasy WIP, magic is responsible for some seriously devastating effects on the world. As a fantasy writer, of course, I love magic, but I like to make my protagonists fairly ordinary, or if they do have special powers, they come with a major downside.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write YA and fantasy because it's what I love to read. There are no limits to what you can do! :)

4) How does my writing process work?

When I have an idea I think is novel-worthy, I do a lot of brainstorming, trying to figure out what kind of story it is, who the characters should be, etc., until I have enough material to start planning a novel. I then write a 1-sentence summary, a la Snowflake method, and then a blurb. Meanwhile, I'll be brainstorming ideas about setting, world-building, magic (most of my books involve magic!) and who the main players are. Then I'll get a notebook (or a Scrivener document, as I'm using now) and start getting all this information into some kind of order.

Generally I'll get the blurb down first, and then write story arc summaries for each of the main characters. Then I'll focus my attention on sorting the world-building -often the most time-consuming part, depending on how much research is involved! Then I write a synopsis, around 1/2 a page long. By this time I'll know if the idea's strong enough or if it's going to be a series or not, so I'll go into more depth. Character profiles, setting profiles, and a deeper outline using beat sheets and plot worksheets. Then I'll break the outline into chapters, and figure out the opening scene. I can't start a book unless I have the opening scene figured out - strange but true! But once I have it, I can start drafting right away, or add it to the waiting list until I finish whatever project I'm already working on!

The first draft generally takes me 1-3 months fast-drafting, but revising and editing takes much longer. I do one intense self-edit before sending to a few critique partners/beta readers, get feedback, revise again, send it out again, etc. I tend to get around the waiting by having several projects on the go at once (for instance, right now I'm adding 1000-2000 words daily to my current draft and working on an outline in between, while waiting for feedback on a different draft I sent my critique partners).  But my crazy method's definitely not for everyone!

And I tagged:

Tori Centanni 

Julie Dao



  1. Ack! My comment got eaten.

    Anyhow, I really want to read Darkness Watching but I'm banned from demon books until I finish my own. The minute I write "the end" though I am totally going and buying all of the books I've been denying myself.

    I love your process. It's awesome that you start with a concept and blurb and move out from there.

    1. Ah, I know what you mean about not wanting to read books too similar to yours while drafting!

      Thanks! :) I've not met many people who use a method like mine, but I find it saves time later on if I know the concept's solid before I start drafting. Doesn't always work, but I try!

  2. Wow, Emma, your writing process is so... so sensical! And structured! I admire you! I love having several projects at once, too, so I have something to write between revision. And I totally agree about magic having real consequences!

  3. I like putting new spins on things, too. And I totally agree about everyone having their own unique voice. That's how you make things stand out. Every time I think I've run into a story I've never seen before, someone else will come along and compare it to something I've never heard of. It's our voice and our take on things that make our work stand out as different.

    I so wish I could multitask projects like you. It's awe-inspiring. ^_^