I was tagged twice for this blog hop, first by Rachel Starr Thomson (click her name and it will link you to her great post!), to whom I must extend my apologies because in the midst of planning for a family vacation, I totally forgot to do my post! (So sorry, Rachel!)
But *great save* I was tagged again by my good friend Carla Laureano. (click her name for a link to her post!) The instructions given were to answer a few short questions about my personal writing process. So... here goes!
Basically, my writing process can be summed up like this:
Yep. That's pretty much how I do it.
1. What am I writing right now?
I am currently suffering through the first draft of The Sunken Realm, which is the second book in the Seahorse Legacy set and the fourth book in the Eyes of E'veria series. Confused yet?
This book picks up where book 3, The Seahorse Legacy left off and introduces a dark new character who is poised to inflict more trouble upon Cazien and Erielle (who suffered quite enough, one would think, in the first book of this set!) After making haste to his home on Eachan Isle to recover from injuries sustained in the previous book, Cazien and Erielle set sail for the Island Realm of Nirista where they hope to discover clues that will lead them to the hundreds of children who were stolen from neighboring kingdoms, and perhaps even participate in the famous Tournament of the Twelve. If he can make her stop throwing daggers at his head. She's a little angry with him at the moment. *wink*
For those who felt emotionally spent, or those who felt as if they were left hanging a bit at the end of The Seahorse Legacy, I am pleased to report there is still quite a bit of suffering ahead for both Erielle and Cazien in The Sunken Realm. But I have fallen in love with E'veria and its people (the pirates, in particular!) and I am really excited to see how Caz and Erielle's story will come full circle over the course of the next several months and revisions.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I think my books are different from others in their genre because, while they are epic fantasies, they are epic fantasies written with romance readers, specifically YA romance readers, in mind.
My style of writing puts a lot of emphasis on dialogue and on developing the relational elements of the story (friendships, as well as familial and romantic relationships), but I don't spend as much time describing the geography and politics of a world as many of the other epic fantasy authors out there. For me as a reader--and maybe as a person, too--, when the future of a relationship is at stake, that has more potential for pain and joy and bonding with the character than the threat of death. Death-schmeth. If I may quote that most quote-worthy of romances, The Princess Bride, "Death cannot stop true love."
Give me a good kiss, baby, and I'm yours. I'm weird like that, I guess. But when fantasy authors spend pages and pages describing geography, topography, politics, and machines, they lose me to boredom. Just being honest here. If I was on scene with them (which clearly, my reader-ADD will not allow), I might say, "Yes, dear. The mountain is scary and the sword is cool, but would someone please just kiss somebody already?"
At heart, I guess I'm a sucker for good old fashioned romance and magical happy ever afters.
And pirates. Yeah, I'm a big sucker for pirates.
As epic fantasies go, I think the Eyes of E'veria books are a little more accessible to those who might shy away from epic fantasy novels due to the size of said novels when compared to other genres. The thick tomes of which we fantasy authors are so fond can intimidate those who just want to pour some bubblies in the tubbly, melt into a story, and float away. (Another reason I love Kindle books. I can sneak my big ol' fantasy novels on your Kindle without you even noticing, muah-hahahahah!) Yes, my (paperback) books are rather thick, and each story takes two of those thick books to tell, but since they come with dashing knights, cheeky pirates, feisty heroines, and a fair amount of relational focus, I hope readers can float away in them, bubblies or nah.
Oh, wow. I just said, "or nah." Clearly I hang around teens too much!
3. Why do I write what I do?
Fantasy is a great genre to work a fairy tale into, but even my upcoming contemporary paranormal series has a bit of that "fairy tale" feeling. I can't imagine writing a story that doesn't have a romance thread or at least a little bit of a feeling of a fairy tale. I do so love a happy-ever-after!
4. How does my writing process work?
See above photo collage.
But, seriously? In the first question, I mentioned that I was "suffering through" the first draft. I'm not exaggerating. For me, as soon as the short-lived fever known as "New Story Euphoria" wears off, reality crashes in and I realize I have no freaking idea
what to do with all these fictional people who are counting on me to torture them on their way to their Happy Ever After. Writing the first draft of ANYTHING is something I dread.
Good news, though: I'm a much better re-writer. I love the editing process of subsequent drafts. But that first one? Ugh. So, yes. I am suffering through the writing of this book at present, trying to make this story come the tiniest bit alive in the hope that a few months down the road I will have crafted a final draft that will catch a favorable wind and sail into readers' hearts.
For the most part, I am a seat-of-the-pants, organic, "I have no idea what is going to happen next" author. That being said, desperation (and reader expectation!) has led me to consult a lot of books on writing craft, like James Scott Bell's Write Your Novel From the Middle, which led me to try my hand at outlining *gasp* The Sunken Realm. It's not the best or most complete outline, and it certainly isn't concrete, because, let's face it, I'm a pantser. If Caz and Erielle want to go a different way a few weeks from now, chances are, I'll let them.
Hush now. They're real to me.
Still, I spent most of June simply outlining the story and brainstorming scene ideas. I didn't dig into the actual writing of the book until mid-July. As of this post date, I'm about 50,000 words in, but I also know at least 20,000 of those words will be trashed before sending the *gasp* completed 120,000+ word first draft to my developmental editor on September 30.
That's two months from now. That's 64 days. To write about 90,000 more words. Oh. My.
*grabs paper bag in which to hyperventilate*
Hmmm. This scenario seems really familiar.
Could it be because I was in almost the same situation this time last year with The Seahorse Legacy?
Yep, this pantser is really thankful for that outline, even though I know it is both incomplete and subject to change. This go-round I just really felt like I needed to have a better road map for where these characters were going than some vague idea that ended in: "a sassy happy-ever-after, after they've been through some scary bad stuff and a couple of good kisses." Therefore I'm leaning on that outline to give me direction.
As with every other book I've written, the beginning few chapters are giving me fits, so this time, thanks to that outline, I'm able to jump forward to the heart of the action and camp out there for a while. At this particular moment, I am planning to write my pivotal, outlined scenes first and then fill in the cracks before I come back and figure out how to speed up the beginning.
Or, y'know, what ev. (That's the pantser in me chiming in. Just can't seem to shut her up.)
But even with that outline to lean on, since all this has to happen by September 30 I'm starting to get a little nervous. Good thing I thrive best under tight deadlines! And speaking of deadlines... I should probably get back after it!
!! GIVEAWAY !!
|The Seahorse Legacy|
by Serena Chase
|Write Your Novel From the Middle|
by James Scott Bell
is available at Amazon
Thanks for stopping by and reading about my crazy writing process!
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Hip-hop dancer image credit: Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_feedough'>feedough / 123RF Stock Photo</a>