I was invited by my little sister doing big things, author and entrepreneur, Ms. Tiffany Christina Lewis, to take part in this blog hop! I’ve never blog hopped before, so this should be interesting! :D Today’s hot topic is: What is your writing process?
Let’s dive right in, shall we?
What are you currently writing?
Homework. Yes, homework. I’m taking a class on writing, of course! Just because I have published a book and written a gaggle of short stories and poems, doesn’t mean I have mastered the skill of writing. I can always learn more! Since I like the class, it doesn’t feel like a dreaded task (like algebra), it’s fun and I’m getting a lot out of it!
What makes your work different?
This is going to sound a little corny, but I think my work is different because I don’t just write a poem or story to tell you what happened. I write to make you feel and relate to the character or situation. It’s not as deliberate as it sounds. I don’t say, “Today, I shall write about anguish!” My stories, are usually driven by questions like, “what would you do if ‘xyz’ happened,” or, “I wonder what ‘xyz’ person would do in this situation.” I find inspiration in life stories from the news and documentaries, and turn them into the answers of my ‘what if’ questions. For example, my short story Douglass, was inspired by a man who used to stand across the street from my house. He struck me as a less than savory fellow. He wasn’t homeless, as far as I knew, but he looked the part. He could have been a millionaire for all I knew. But I wrote the story from his point of view. Readers had great responses to this story! They related well to the main characters and considered how they might or should react in a similar situation.
Why do you write what you do?
I have no idea! :D The truth is, I don’t write with a genre or specific style in mind. When I write poetry, I tend not to write in rhyme because I’m too darn lazy to put straight forward thoughts into rhyming couplets! If I find a rhythm in what I’m writing, I go for it. It it happens to rhyme, I consider it a bonus!
When it comes to the short stories, again, I start with the questions. It may turn into dramatic fiction, or something with a paranormal twist, like my story The Rotten Courtier. My friend and fellow writer Don Miskel hit me with a “what if” and I ran with it!
What is your writing process?
I don’t have a formal process, but I probably need something more structured so I can do more writing! But, as any writer will tell you, story ideas will come to you at THE most inconvenient times, like when you are just getting into REM sleep. For this reason, my bed is my office! No lie. Pens, notebook, pencils, cell phone are within a few inches of my bed. The Evernote app is my friend! So is the Dragon Dictation app. Without those two tools, so many great ideas would have been lost to the Sandman forever! There have been many evenings when I have been awakened by a great story idea or poem, and recorded those thoughts in Dragon and copied them into Evernote or a new document on my phone, to finish when I’m not so sleepy. If you are a writer and you don’t have those tools, go get them! I’m telling you the truth, they are LIFE CHANGING! I also have several books of writing prompts that I refer to for inspiration. Those books are priceless when I’m having an “idea drought.” Between the books, and interrupted sleep patterns, I usually have something to put on the page or a blog post.
When it comes to putting words on the page, I don’t outline…at first. I just write. I tend to think in scenes – interactions between characters. I don’t worry too much about how that scene came to be. I fill those detail in later. The previous details, the back story, is where I usually get stuck, so that is where I begin to outline! This is the method I used to write Spreading Ashes. This story was inspired by a documentary on forgiveness. My questions were “How do you forgive a parent for leaving you? Is it possible to welcome them back into your life as an adult and if so, how?” I wrote “the answers” to those question and discovered how the main character felt about both of her parents. Then I outlined the back story of her parent’s relationship, and a little on other family dynamics to pulled it all together.
As a process, it’s a little backwards, but it’s what works for me. It takes me a while to produce a finished product, because I get so hung up on little details, but I aim to produce something realistic and relatable that readers will enjoy and hopefully, share with others!
And there you have it – my writing process in a nutshell!
Up next on this blog hop is my other sister of The Mighty Pen, Ms. Katrina Gurl!! She is a MASTER networker! She is the owner of Steamy Trails Publishing. She always has something brewing and is always willing to help an up-and-comer get published! Keep your eyes peeled for her post about her writing process! I know I’ll be taking notes!
To my little sister of The Mighty Pen…you said I’m a “writing mother”…..awww! I just know you are going to be a smashing success! Love you, sis and thank you for choosing me as your next! It was an honor! <3