Monday, May 5, 2014

My Writing Process

Happy Monday! 
I was tagged by the lovely Laura Rueckert in the "My Writing Process" Blog Tour. What this means. You're going to get the low down on how my writing comes together. I know your psyched, right???
 I personally love this idea, because I enjoy reading how everyone else goes about their creative process.  Laura's (see above) is pretty great and you can read all about her writing process HERE.

As for me...

What am I working on?

I am working on a novel (title currently up in the air) about a girl who is dying to get out of her old farm town and away from her parents corn field. There is something magical about this field, but she could care less. Until she finds a boy wandering through it speckled with blood and out of his mind. Weird things happen when it comes to the corn, so she writes it off with ease. But the mass murder they discover the next day in the same field can't so easily be forgotten....
Yeah, I know it's sucky as far as pitch-worthy, but lucky for me, I'm not trying to pitch it at the moment, I'm just trying to get it out of my head.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I wish I could give some fabulous answer here. That I write like no other, but the truth is, there are a kabillion writers in this world and many of them are fabulous! I can only hope that I can write the kind of book that I love to read...a page turner that leaves you guessing until the end. One thing I am finding with my books, is that I always like to have a touch of crazy in there some where. What's that say about me? Hmmm....

Why do I write what I do?

Writing for me is cathartic. When I sit down at a keyboard I imagine I'm like a pianist sitting down to compose. I love the feeling of putting my heart and soul into something whether it be through a new world and characters, or if I'm just writing a letter that my kids can read in the future. I love to write. Period. That's why I do it. If I add the fact that people may read it and actually be transported into a world that I find so captivating myself, that they too may actually enjoy it, well, it's the ultimate high!

How does my writing process work?

Oh the elusive writing process. For me, I have to be inspired by something in the beginning. Be it a picture, an old house I drive by, or a person that catches my eye when I people watch. Yes, I love to watch people. You can learn so much about a person that way. Is that stalkerish? Whoops.

After the inspiration, I build on that, create an idea, build on that, and so on and so forth until I have a pretty firm story in my head. Marinating like this takes some time and while I'm doing that, I begin researching things, places, people, fantastical options and routes I might want to take. 

Next, I begin plotting. I love Blake Snyder's Save the Cat for screenwriting, but they have also adapted his idea for the novel writer as well. Another great plotting book is Martha Alderson's Plot Whisperer. She has a You Tube series on this that is fantastic!

Once I have beat that sucker out, I write the first draft. There are so many red squiggly lines and comments throughout the first draft that I can't imagine how a person could think I am an actual writer if they were to read it. My goal with the first draft is to just get it out of my head. I can pretty it up later. 

The second draft is spend beefing up and dealing with my comments and the read squiggly lines from draft one. 

The third is a kind of read through with a lot of repeating what I do in the second draft. 

If I feel good enough at the third go round, I send it off to beta readers to hack through and I repeat the above steps until I feel it's ready to send to my agent. 

It isn't a pretty process, but it's mine and I love it!
These fabulous ladies are up next on the tour! Check out their Writing Process next Monday.

My Photo
 Emily R King
I love stories, eccentrics, gummy bears, and eccentric stories about gummy bears. I live on an island in the Pacific Northwest with my hubby and four minions.
Follow her blog HERE 
Follow her on Twitter HERE 
My PhotoStephanie Scott
Young Adult writer represented by Sarah LaPolla of Bradford Literary. I write contemporary YA and wrote a 1960s-set YA romance. Member of Windy City RWA and the YA-RWA chapter. Library Superfan, Award-winning TV-Binger, and your cat's new best friend. I love celebrating other writer's successes!
Follow her blog HERE
Follow her on Twitter HERE


Angela CothranAngela Cothran
I LOVE books of all kinds and in just the last few years I've discovered I also LOVE to write. I'm currently working on creating a compelling story: a little romance,a little betrayal, a well placed twist, and if a few people die-well it was bound to happen :)
Follow her blog HERE

What about you? If you're a writer, what's your writing process like?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Summer on the Short Bus

Lucky me recently got the opportunity to read Bethany Crandell's debut novel, Summer on the Short Bus in exchange for a review. Now, being a writer and all, I understand the hard work that goes into writing a book. The pages are like your children...or your pet if you don't have children...and you want others to love and accept them as much as you do. Because of that, when I review a book I don't like to trash it even if it isn't my favorite. I can always find something in a book that I enjoy. And anyone can tear down a book if they try, right? We see it happen all the time.

Given that, finding praise for Summer on a Short Bus was not a problem in the least. If I was starring this baby, I'd easily give it five!

Here's a little bit about the book:

Spoiled, Versace-clad Cricket Montgomery has seventeen years of pampering under her belt. So when her father decides to ship her off to a summer camp for disabled teens to help her learn some accountability, Cricket resigns herself to three weeks of handicapped hell.

Her sentence takes a bearable turn as she discovers the humor and likeability of the campers and grows close to fellow counselors. Now, if she can just convince a certain Zac Efron look-alike with amazing blue eyes that she finally realizes there's life after Gucci, this summer could turn out to be the best she's ever had.

Summer on the Short Bus is a very non-P.C., contemporary YA with a lot of attitude, tons of laughs, and a little life lesson along the way.

My thoughts:
From beginning to end, this book is the kind of read that had me squirming in my chair, not because it's bad, but because it digs deep, beyond the surface insecurities of a person and gets to what scares us all to the core....what we don't understand. Bethany is able to put it all out on the table, the good and the bad of being different and through it all, find the common ground that makes us all the same. The book touched my heart (yes, I did shed tears), and it hit my funny bone in a laugh out loud kind of way. This book is some kind of special. I highly suggest it, and thank Bethany for writing it in the process!

Want to find out more about Bethany and where to buy Summer on the Short Bus? Go HERE

Have you read, Summer on the Short Bus? If so, what did you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What I Learned During My LOOOOOOOONG Break

It's terribly hard to come back to this blog. I feel many things. Shame for staying away so long, excitement to get in touch with my old writing buddies. I've missed you! And eager to connect with those new writers starting out who are in the same place I was years ago, anxiously searching the web for advice on the next step to take on their writing journey.

I wish I had some major words of wisdom that I was able to pick up while I was on hiatus, but the truth is, I'm still the same person, struggling to learn more about myself, my writing and the industry.

I did, however, learn what works the best for me while revising that I'd love to share with you just in case you didn't already know.


1) Don't move to a different state two times in a year while under a revising deadline. Ever. I'm not kidding.

2) A- Learn to say no. You're a writer so it's okay to turn off the phone and sit on your butt to write. You're not being lazy. You're working.
    B- Don't listen to others when they tell you that writing isn't a job. It's simple. If you're serious about it, it is! If you listen to the naysayers and in so doing disobey rule 2A out of self-inflicted guilt, it won't be.

3) Don't be scared of the delete button. If you're afraid of writing crap, don't save it. Later, if you find it really is as horrible as you thought it might be, use the undo button. That button became my best friend.

4) If you're doing a major scene change it's okay to just get the idea out. Just pound that sucker out on the keyboard. You can always go back and polish it you did after your first draft.

5) If you're not super pumped to revise because you aren't sure the direction you want to go, just start. Those writing juices will kick in and before you know it, you won't want to stop.

6) If you find you're stuck on a paragraph for 4 hours....MOVE ON. You can always go back.

7) Don't crawl into a writing cave for so long that you're scared to come back into the light. Taking time away from social media while revising can be cathartic on many levels. But too long and you miss out on loads of wisdom (not to mention, cheering your writing buddies on in their successes). The writing world is always changing and ever evolving. When you finally decide to come back into the light, you may have to sprint to catch up, and I don't know about you, but I hate running.

Aside from my #1 are you sensing a theme here?


If you're revising, it's for a reason. You're manuscript needs tweaking. Meaning it's not perfect in the state it's in and you are allowed to change things up a bit. Don't be afraid, but always save the original version just in case you're so hopped up on caffeine one night while revising until 4 AM that you end up with pure gibberish. Yes that did happen to me more than once.

That's it folks. Wonderful wisdom imparted...of which I'm sure many of you already know and may have experienced yourself. So tell me about it. What have you had to learn the hard way about revising?