Special blog post today as part of a blog tour for various authors talking about their writing process in a bit of detail. Be sure to stop by newly published author Kory Shrum’s blog for last week’s edition. A huge thanks to Kory for inviting me to share some thoughts, an honour indeed. For those very few curious about my writing and how my writing process works can read through. For those who don’t, well, read another blog post? There are lots. I think. It should be noted that the lion’s share of my writing gets done during the annual NaNoWriMo. Answers apply during that time as much as they do any other time.
What am I working on?
Revisions, and lots of them. My first manuscript is being find tuned and finalized before I send it out for a second – okay third – round of submissions to agents. I was in the middle of working on the follow up book to this one but some great peer feedback put that on pause. There are some story elements to expand on and others to dynamite out of the book completely. Many people think it’s hard to put words to paper en mass and easier to proof, but I find the opposite is true. It’s easy to get 2500 in a day but a real struggle just to revise or proof a chapter a day.
How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Considering all the traditional elements of high fantasy, what makes the biggest difference is likely what it doesn’t have. The Kings of Carnin doesn’t feature a lot of the magic or fantastical creatures we’ve come to expect from high fantasy. It’s fairly strait forward in this regard actually. What it does have is a mysterious element of supernatural abilities that a very, very select few have. Unlike most books where the magic and skill can be taught, in Carnin if you’re not one of the 7 kings, or one replacing them, you simply do not have the abilities. Nothing you can do will train you for them.
Why do I write what I do?
Because if I didn’t all these stories would start clogging up my brain space. Many of the elements for this, and others, story comes from a very active imagination. I’ve probably lived in this world thousands of times in the past which is why writing about it is so easy. Essentially it’s retelling something I’ve observed. Writing has become a way for me to immortalize the whimsical adventures of my mind.
How does your writing process work?
It starts with an idea, as all things often do. From the story in my mind I chart out an outline with characters, places and basic plot elements. This really is for my own benefit more than anything. Without this basic foundation the writing would turn into pages upon pages of babble and run on sentences. Not unlike this blog actually. From there the writing just starts. Usually there is a flat words per day goal I have in mind and I just let the words pour from me without reading them. At this point I’m not too concerned about editing of proofing what’s being written. Nobody has read any of these raw manuscripts – which is probably a good thing – but they would question my literacy if they ever did. Following the outline I created I basically move from point to point fleshing out each of the elements. The outline itself isn’t carved into stone, however. Just recently I modified both book’s outlines to add story elements and, to the second, prepare the way for future books along the same vein. Yeah, like that’ll happen! After a while, or a month if it’s NaNoWriMo, the first manuscript is finished and it’s on to proofing.
I thoroughly hate proofing. Sitting in the dentist chair hate it. I tried coercing several people to get them to proof my manuscript for me in my sheer lack of desire. Sadly, my writing friends proved far too aware and wisely saw through my sweet toothed pleading, politely turning down the offer. Because of my quantity over quality approach to writing, things change a lot during the first proofing pass. A lot of writing mechanics get fixed but more are created as entire sections often get re-written; apparently my mind knew where it was going by my fingers didn’t keep up. A second pass, what I’m in the middle of now, usually comes after some people have read the first rough copy and provided feedback. After this it’s basically rinse, lather and repeat!
Thanks for taking the interesting in all things writing, be sure to watch for some more exciting things around the Kings of Carnin coming early next week!