Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Writing Process Blog Tour: More Fun Than It Sounds, I Promise

The beautiful and talented Jenny Kaczorowski (I like to suck up to people who are nice to me; she's also the author of fun YA Contemporary The Art of Falling) tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Tour, which sounds rather clinical and not very fun, but I enjoyed reading her post, so it's obviously much more fun than it sounds (as per my title).

This is me.
Once upon a time, I took a whole series of weird photos and am using them for my blog.
They entertain me, and I like to think others mildly enjoy them as well.
Please, don't disillusion me.

1) What am I working on?

I'm writing the first(ish) draft of a YA sci-fi that I am desperately trying to pull back from the Dystopian pitfall (b/c I love Dystopian and there's something very fascinating about a society on the verge of collapse, but as Authoress pointed out, they're a hard sell in publishing these days. So I figure anything I can do to make my novel a little different will help it in the long run.)

(Photo credit to Don)

It's setting is a sort of sci-fi Narnia with robotic talking animals and mutant type forest dwellers. Although right now most of the action takes place in the military run city (which is modeled on the Dredd-esque mega cities).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

(Photo credit to Andreas Levers)

Ugh. I hate comparing my work to others. Plus, it's really hard because you always have some commonalities (you know, like things that make you part of a genre) but somewhere deep down you want to think of your own work as uniquely yours.

This is also the hardest part of a query letter for me. I write desperate emails to my CP's asking what on earth they think I can compare my work to (without sounding like a pretentious little twerp.)

I like to think my works are different because I consciously use a variety of influences, include diversity, and avoid stereotypes (at least those are my goals).

(Photo credit to Antonio Cinotti)

Some of my influences include older sci-fi books. For example, in a MG book I wrote, one character's powers were based on the Reverend Mothers of Dune.

And did you know that people make "movies" that record the entire storyline of video games? Here's Bioshock Infinite - if you wanna spend 3.5 hrs. I was watching some of these before starting work on my latest book.

I try to keep my influences varied to make something that's just a little bit different.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write YA (and MG) partially because it's what I love to read. And, like Jenny said, the teenage years (and childhood years) play a huge role in determining the adult you will become. You make a lot of choices and learn a lot in those years, and because of that, characters of the YA/MG age are just fascinating to write about.

(Photo credit to cishore)

Honestly, typical adults are boring. Kids are the ones with the active imaginations who believe that anything is possible.

And I write fantasy/sci-fi because in those worlds, anything truly is possible. If I can imagine it, I can write it.

4) How does my writing process work?

Lately it's been a pain in the butt!

For some reason, with brain storming, I like the act of physically writing stuff down. My house has pieces of paper filled with my writing scattered throughout it (I'm not the neatest person). I write down ideas I have about the characters and the world and the plot.

Once I've gotten enough ideas gathered together, I start outlining something. My outlining skills aren't the greatest because for the last two books, I wrote a half a first draft (say 30,000 words). At that point, I thought to myself, "This is kinda boring. I'm not doing my ideas any justice." Then I abandoned the project. A few months later, with the idea still nagging at my brain, I wrote a new (and much better) outline and then I started writing the book again from scratch.

This is not a very efficient way of writing, but it does help pare things down to essential plot.

The Tagging Part

Now I'm supposed to tag other writers to take part in this blog tour, but I'm limited in writerly friends, and the ones I have are rather busy, so I make no promises. But here are thevery enjoyable blogs of two of these writerly types:

Jillian Karger - Her Blog is titled "Velocirapter Hands" which is pretty darn cool. And perhaps a little frightening if you're XKCD. (He actually has a large number of Velociraptor-fearing comics, but I linked to a nice, simple starter point). And now for her bio:

Jillian Karger majored in English and minored in Dramatic Literature: a silly and wonderful mishmash of acting, film, and theater history. She once wrote a persuasive essay about the fact (yes, fact) that Fight Club is the best movie in all existence. Jillian has been writing novels since she was fourteen and is sure she'll keep doing it whether someone pays her for them or not. But the money part would be nice.

This is Abe Lincoln on a Velociraptor!
(Photo credit to Andrew Becraft)

Miriam Joy - a multi-talented British writer, who also happens to actually fit into the YA demographic due to age (not that this has stopped any of the rest of us from reading YA)

She's actually from London, where I would like to visit one day.
(Photo credit to Doug Wheller)

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