Welcome to a Blog Tour where authors answer questions about their writing. I’ve been tagged by my author friend, Kandie Delley whom I had the privilege of becoming acquainted with a little over a year ago. In her blog post last week, we got to see the many-sides-of-Kandie, a woman with talents that extend beyond writing. She is a sweet and smart lady I am proud to call fellow author and friend.
WHAT AM I CURRENTLY WORKING ON? I’m always working on something. I have files and files of half written manuscripts and short stories saved here and there, patiently waiting their turn to shine in the spotlight. In between time-pressing projects, I find myself whittling out another section of one of my novels to be. My brain never ceases to create, as most writers will attest. And therefore, I MUST WRITE. So I do. Constantly.
Currently, the spotlight is on Breeder, a Young Adult Christian Dystopia which made its appearance in January. Since its publication, I have been furiously working on its sequel, The Archer, tentatively planned for release by the end of the year. Once completed, I will spend the rest of 2014 diligently working with my editor to revise and polish the final draft of the novel. It’s been such a fun story to create, and I anticipate that this is going to be a GREAT year of writing because I get to spend it with Kate and the Boys of Eden.
HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE? I desire to keep my characters somewhat innocent. There has been an influx lately of more mature YA novels– and a demand for them–but my characters oftentimes are unaware of their own identity and/or how they fit into this world. I choose to highlight their insecurities and their growth as individuals on their journey to maturity. If there is a love story, my characters stumble into it along the way. But always, the element of innocence, even in love, remains. After all, when you’re the writer, you can tell any story you want, and it comes true.
Writing is art, and I work very hard to portray a unique artistry that is noticeable in my works. Because of it, I’m a different kind of writer. I attempt to weave the story into the main character rather than weaving the character into the story line. Every emotion, every event, even the most intricate detail matters to give the story life. A drop of rain on a leaf, the quiet breathing of the boy next to you, a whisper, a crash of thunder on a dark, summer night; it all matters to create a mood that captivates the audience. It is my goal to provide an experience, not just a story. I want readers to feel as though they’ve lived it. The pacing of my novels is often slower than others in that I take the time to explore along the way. I never, ever rush an ending. And when the final page is turned, I want my readers to sigh with satisfaction because of my attention to emotional detail. And all of my novels, intentional or otherwise, will hold an element of spirituality and a moral backdrop that represents my faith in Jesus.
WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO? I love fiction. I love teenagers. I love post-apocalyptic and dystopian stories. I love superpowers. I love characters with strong, moral convictions who overcome the odds. I love dreaming of the impossible. And that’s it in a nutshell.
HOW DOES YOUR WRITING PROCESS WORK? Once upon a time, I just wrote. I created a skeleton plot and called it good. Until . . . an editor changed my mind. Said I needed to add “meat” to my skeleton. To give the story some muscle and some fat and make it breathe. And then, I discovered myself as a writer.
And so, I never begin with plot. I don’t follow an outline. I usually have only an idea of what the story is about. I know that sounds crazy, but bear with me. See, the first thing I do is meet my main character. She’s always a girl, and usually won’t leave me alone until I agree to tell her story. So she nags at me, takes over my mind, my life, until I begin to figure her out.
So . . . my writing process begins in my head. I have full conversations with my characters. I eavesdrop on intimate moments. I walk myself through scenarios. I feel emotions. I quote lines aloud. Through the eyes of my main character, I see her world. And then–when this world and the people in it come into clear focus in my brain–then and only then, do I sit down at my computer. Otherwise, my writing is a mess. So I spend hours and days and sometimes months just thinking, creating, producing, planning before one word is typed. And it’s an ongoing process. I stop writing often just so I can “think out” the next segment of my story for a while.
And always, I concentrate on character–on developing well-rounded, fleshed-out, real people. For me, the writing process begins and ends with giving life to the characters. There is a kind of beauty in creating moments for them to sit back and feel what is happening to them . . . and to contemplate why. When I take the time to do this, the story tells itself, and I just follow the character to the next experience. And pretty soon, the plot comes along side us, and I have a book on my hands. It’s probably not the conventional way to write, but it works for me.
Thank you for taking this tour through the Writing Process. And now, it’s my turn to pass the torch to two more fantastic authors. Look for their blogs next Monday, March 31, 2014, as the Blog Tour continues.
Daughter of a Malaysian nuclear physicist father and an Australian doctor mother, Lauren Nicolle Taylor was expected to follow the science career path. And she did, for a while, completing a Health Science degree with Honors in obstetrics and gynecology. But there was always a niggling need to create which led to many artistic adventures. She is now Best-Selling Author of The Woodlands Series.
Award-winning author, Kimberly Pauley wanted to grow up to be Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, or Edgar Allen Poe, but has since settled for being herself and writing her own brand of quirky. Born in California, she has lived everywhere from Florida to Chicago and has now gone international to live in London with her husband (a numbers man) and the cutest little boy in the world (The Max). Her first book, Sucks to Be Me made the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list.
THANK YOU BOTH FOR AGREEING TO TAKE THIS RIDE. ENJOY IT!