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Mystery & Drama

The Writing Process Blog Hop

WritingProcess

It’s My Turn

I looked all over for a picture that would capture the essence of this post and settled on this one of Stephen King “at work” rapping out another novel.  Stephen has sold over 350 million copies of his works. I have a way to go catch up with him, but this isn’t a race. It’s a conversation. This blog hop is on the topic of how we go about writing.  We answer the same four questions that others before us have answered, and others after us will answer too.  I was invited to join The Writing Process Blog Hop by AK Andrew. Kathy posted to her blog last week, and introduced me and two others who are posting this week. Next week, my three teammates will post.

A.K. AndrewKathy R Hat & Scarf

Kathy was born in England, where she worked as a schoolteacher before becoming a Community Arts photographer and screen-printer in London. In the ensuing twenty years, San Francisco became her home, and in its atmosphere of breaking boundaries and creative expression, A.K. became a painter and ultimately a writer. During a spell of living back in the UK, she completed a Creative Writing Certificate at the University of Sussex, Brighton in 2010.

Her current novel, in its final draft stage, is Under The Bed. Set during the Vietnam era in NYC, two women, a generation apart, each burdened by guilt regarding the death of a sibling, find their own lives in danger, when the older woman’s brush with McCarthyism emerges during their collaboration on her autobiography. A.K. Andrew now lives in Northern California. You can connect with A.K. and her social sites via her website and blog A Writer’s Notebook.

Last week, Kathy had this to say about her writing process:  AK Andrew Writing Process Post

My Writing Process

What am I working on?

 Frankly, I’m all over the place.  It’s not pretty.  I’m mulling over my next big project which will be a novelization of a full length play that I wrote several years ago called Transit of Venus.  I submitted the play to several venues and got a few readings, a couple of critiques and audience feedback sessions that have served me in the same way that beta readers would. It’s a subject that just sticks in my craw, and won’t let go. It’s based on true events that took place in New Jersey back in the late fifties. A fifteen year old girl was murdered. The perp is a brilliant but profoundly flawed novelist who was convicted and sentenced to die in the electric chair.  He wrote his own appeal briefs, and with the help of a prominent writer/philosopher got himself released from prison when his sentence was reduced. I’ve studied the case from pillar to post, gathered books and articles, and have found myself thinking about my approach to the material many an early morning.  It’s taking me a while to get going on this. Showing it here pushes the urgency up a notch or two.

The deadlines for short play festivals and contests keep popping up, and I can’t resist them. I’ve submitted new short plays to the Maine Playwrights Festival, The Samuel French OOB Festival, the Pint Sized Play Competition in the UK in the last year and a half. The ten minute play format is an excellent gymnasium for exercising your brain, honing your dialogue skills, and working out methods for shaping material into compelling stories.

I keep tweaking my collection of short stories and plays called Baghdad on the Wabash and Other Plays and Stories that I’ve put up on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. I find myself constantly going back over the plays and stories, finding something about them that needs fixing. I’ve revised it on Amazon at least five times.  No more of that.

Then, there’s the blog and Twitter and Facebook and…  Enough.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m very much aware of the conventions of genre as they pertain to the things I’ve written, but unfortunately they often have come into my consciousness only after I’d already completed the work.  A case in point is a thriller novel of mine  A Bridge to Treachery that I published in 2010 with Brighton Publishing, a subsidy publisher. I wouldn’t have called it a real thriller. It’s more like a mash-up of thriller, action and suspense, and literary fiction with a dash of romance. Brighton urged me to settle on the thriller genre. I’ve considered completely revamping it to conform to the heavy duty thriller genre as I have come to know it but for now and at least the next week or two, I’m just going to leave it alone and go on to other stuff, unless I change my mind again. My collection of stories (Baghdad) mixes prose and play scripts, so it absolutely does not conform to anything.  Having said all this, I must add that I’m really trying to tell good stories, and not just flipping around the countryside doing my thing.

Why do I write what I do?

All of my story telling is an attempt to reveal myself to readers I guess.  I often consider my story writing to be an experiment in arriving at what I think about my subject matter, thrashing it all out in story form.  This applies some discipline to my thought process because if it doesn’t hold up and create a plausible, compelling story, it can’t be right and true. I like writing plays because I think plays are immediate. They require the writer to present a story without relating the thought process of the characters. The characters say in effect: What I say and what I physically do right before your eyes is the story.

 How does your writing process work?

I do all of my writing on my desktop computer. Hate laptops. When I  started out, I wrote long hand. I gradually taught myself to type. Revisions were with gallons of “whiteout”, and literally cutting and pasting or scotch taping paragraphs. Most of my stories have some connection to my actual experience. I figure if these events have stuck around in my consciousness, they must have something going for them. I do depart mightily from the “true” event, but having a picture of the physical spot seems to oil my gears. Once I get into the story, the characters begin to dictate what happens. In the end, I think the characters need to resolve things in a way that fits their persona, and seems to flow with some sort of logic that comes out of the action.  In terms of time spent writing, revision constitutes at least 75% of my work.

 Coming up Next Week With Posts on Their Own Blogs Are:

 

        Maer Wilson

Maer Author

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while. Turns out she’s a writer. She’s always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard. When she’s not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, MythBehaving and writes for two gaming fansites. Maer lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle. .

Maer’s Links

Maer’s Website: http://maerwilson.com/

Maer on Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Maer-Wilson/e/B00CDX29YW/

Maer on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maer-Wilson-Author/149085628472833

Maer on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MaerWilson

Maer at Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7040319.Maer_Wilson

Maer at Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/maerw/boards/

 

Stacy ClaflinStacy Claflin

 

I have always been an avid reader and a writer. When I was a teenager, I would always be in the middle of at least five books. Not only could I keep up with each story line, but I also never needed a bookmark! I could grab any of the books that I was reading and remember what page I left off on! I don’t have that talent anymore, I’m lucky to remember what I went into the kitchen for when I get there!

I still love reading and writing. I am always in the middle of a ton of books to this day, but thankfully the kindle reader that I use remembers where I left off. I am also in the middle of writing a few novels, but I can really only focus on one at time.

There is more to me than writing and reading. I’m the mom of two amazing and adorable boys. I educate my boys from home. Oh, and I run a home daycare too. Some ask how I can get any writing done at all. That’s simple, I get up before 4:30 in the morning every weekday so that I can get my writing in!

I’m also a thyroid cancer survivor, I have been cancer free since 2008! Get your thyroid checked!

Read more: http://stacyclaflin.com/about/#ixzz2vcD6WjT6  I love writing, reading, and watching Young and New Adult Paranormal and Paranormal Romance. I’ve been writing and telling stories as long as I can remember. As a kid, my story telling would get me into trouble when I would try to convince other kids that my stories were real.

When I’m not busy writing, I spend a lot of time with my family. I run a preschool from home and homeschool my kids.

Connect with Stacy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacy.claflin.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/growwithstacy
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/growwithstacy
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6591338.Stacy_Claflin
Website/Blog: http://stacyclaflin.com/
Book Updates/Newsletter: http://bit.ly/10NrfMw

 

Belinda Buchanan

 

 

Belinda BW

 

Belinda G. Buchanan is a writer of edgy, women’s fiction & mystery romance.  Her books include, After All Is Said And Done – a novel about infidelity, healing and forgiveness, The Monster of Silver Creek, and her latest, Seasons of Darkness – a coming of age story about a young man struggling to live among the shattered remains of his family after his mother’s suicide.

Married to her soulmate of twenty-three years, and a mom to two boys – an eight-year-old who loves her unconditionally, and a teenager who loves who only when not in public, Belinda is a professional hamster wrangler, lover of cats, and a firm believer that Krazy Glue fixes everything.

I’d love to chat with you. Visit me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Belinda.G.Buchanan.author or my website to learn about my newest releases or giveaways: https://sites.google.com/site/belindagbuchanan

If you’re a writer, what is your process like? If a reader, what kinds of novels do you like?

Come join the discussion, and please share this post on your favorite social media. 

Many Thanks!

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26 Comments

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  1. Thanks so much for participating in this bloghop Larry. You really are working on a lot of things. Fantastic that you are writing a novel of a play. I’d not particularly come across that form until I read the novel of the Danish series “The Killing”. It worked very well. I really enjoy the idea of the process being different from the norm. Which is not to say I’m a radical writer, but I find it exciting to hear others working on a different take. Greta to get to know you better Larry & thanks for the post.:-)
    A.K.Andrew recently posted..Blog Hop On the Writing ProcessMy Profile

    1. Thanks for inviting me to participate, AK.. It’s always interesting to hear how others approach the process. Most of the writing I’ve done up to this point is in the form of plays long and short. I still like playwrighting, but it’s a very steep hill to climb to get a full production of any play longer than 10 minutes or so.
      Larry Crane recently posted..The Writing Process Blog HopMy Profile

  2. Your conversions with plays to prose is an interesting method. In a way it is like a reversal on a screenplay adapted from a novel. Do you find you have to change much when you do the adaptation?
    Jon Jefferson recently posted..Sometimes Even a Yankee can CookMy Profile

    1. Hi Jon – Most of the adaptation from plays to prose for me has resulted in a fuller rendition of the story. Exposition in a play just doesn’t work and slows the play down almost to a standstill. In prose as you go into more detail in the thought processes of characters, the geography, and descriptions of the actions of characters you come out with a very different story than you started with in the play.
      Larry Crane recently posted..The Writing Process Blog HopMy Profile

  3. I too am working on many things at once, largely because I’ve felt I had to learn everything I know all over again in the process of writing my first novel. I can really relate to what you wrote above about the study of genre. Many writers will say it doesn’t matter, but when it comes to effectively being able to market work, it really does. As always, I am in awe of your play writing prowess.
    Jeri recently posted..How to Find a #Critique Partner and Set Ground RulesMy Profile

    1. Hi Jeri – I feel that it’s ridiculous to isolate yourself and ignore the new directions that novels are taking these days. All the rules are out the window. But within genres, it’s pretty clear that you need to pay attention to what works and doesn’t work. In the thriller genre, there is a lot of latitude to create a story that conforms to the latest thinking about pace, point of view, etc but also allows for a distinctive voice and an inventive approach to the way the story is presented. I’ve watched with interest what you have done with your blog. It’s very engaging now, and you get lots of comments. I sort of feel like urging you to put down some of the stuff you’re doing that takes you away from your novel, but I won’t. Your editing work is an important part of what interests you, and it does bring in money.
      Larry Crane recently posted..The Writing Process Blog HopMy Profile

      1. Thanks for sharing your technique with us Larry. Your dedication to have your work flawless is commendable.

        1. Hi Belinda – I think my “dedication” is more an obession. If there’s something amiss, a word or anything at all that can be considered an error, I can’t live it. Not since I know I can fix it in Amazon.
          Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  4. Love the term “mash up” and glad I dont have the exclusive on it. Writing process is a little different this week. Disk crash and shortage of good techs in rural Nova Scotie led me to drive to nearest town with a library, queue up for my allotted 2 hours on computer and bang out a one-and-done post before expiry. Didnt think I could type that fast and seeing all the typos realize I can’t !
    Paul Graham recently posted..The Friday 13 thoughts on 13#My Profile

    1. Hi Paul – Drive to library to log a post — Is that dedication ow what! Well, I’ll just have to dash to your post and comment.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  5. Hi there Larry. I love these writing process blog hops because I learn so much about how others, such as yourself, go about this writing thing and I get to meet some great new writers/bloggers too.

    I think it’s so cool that you experiment by writing about a subject matter, all to arrive at a conclusion in story form. In a way, I kinda do the same thing with my stories. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted..Artichoke and Bell Pepper Salad: #RecipeMy Profile

    1. Hi Susan – So much of writing in any form is experimentation, isn’t it? We put it down on the page, fool with it until we think it works, then release it for someone else to see, hoping the experiment works.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  6. I read the writing by Stephen King and I love his brutal honesty. It was a great read! You all inspire me because you are going after your passion! Cheers to inspiration! 🙂

    1. Hi Crystal – I went over to your blog, and enjoyed the post about the 40’s, and just had to leave a comment with my own take on it.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  7. Hello; Thanks for sharing your blog hop contribution on the group site. I will b taking part in a few weeks and am wanting to learn more about the process and benefits of participating. Its great to get to know you and find out more about the why and how behind your writing. best of luck with the manuscript entries. take care, Max
    maxwell ivey recently posted..Blessed to be featured on two prominent websitesMy Profile

    1. Hello Max – Thanks for your comments.I look forward to your contribution to the writing process conversation.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  8. Thanks Larry. I love to hear about the history back then. I like your honesty. 🙂

    1. Thanks for your interest, Crystal.l

  9. I always enjoy hearing about how other writers approach the writing process. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thanks for your comments, Dana.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  10. Thanks for sharing your writing process with us. When I read other peoples work I always think of the possibilities that were taking to reach the final product. This is one of the best post like this that I have read.
    Jay recently posted..The Lasting EffectMy Profile

    1. Hi Jay – I zipped over to your blog to sort of check you out. I have to say, I’m with the old school on raising children. It isn’t like they’re day lilies or something. Children can and will learn what advice and correction they need to internalize. They are entitled to a good life, and so are you as a parent.
      Larry Crane recently posted..How I Got My Scar ContestMy Profile

  11. Hello there! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Going through this post reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He constantly kept preaching about this. I am going to send this article to him.

    Pretty sure he’s going to have a good read. Many thanks for
    sharing!

    Here is my site: google
    google recently posted..googleMy Profile

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