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.
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:
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 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/
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
Book Updates/Newsletter: http://bit.ly/10NrfMw
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?
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