Friday, 21 March 2014

Blog Hop - Writing Processes, et al...

I got tagged by my writer pal S.A Check to participate in this blog hop about writing processes and what it takes to shape and produce a book. Oh, boy! Where does one start with a question like that, right? Let's start with some simple questions first...

What am I working on?
At the moment, I'm trying to finish up #7 in the short stories series for To Catch A Marlin, (which was a full-length sci-fi, action-adventure story). Of course, I'm afflicted with numerous distractions and also that proverbial block that keeps smacking me in the head. So, aside from imaginary concussions and wandering-mind-syndrome, I'm plodding along. Hopefully I'll be done before the end of the month. Since this series is also about solving a mystery, sometimes I have to bend my mind and think like a criminal and make sure all the little loose ends are tied up and 'solve the mystery' in a nice, neat package. It's harder than it sounds. So, what's the distraction I'm suffering from? There's another huge full-length novel that I'm trying to finish up. While its 'completed' there's still a lot more work that it needs. It's a monstrosity that I've been working on for the last 3 years. My goal is to finish it by summer.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Uhm, good question. To date, I've written four novels and various short stories, all of which have been fortunate enough to be accepted by publishers who actually wanted to publish them. I'm still kinda wondering how I did that...but they must've seen something worth publishing, right? Going by reviews and reader comments and what editors have told me, they've all agreed that my stories are strongly character-driven and my action scenes written effortlessly. Wow. But, it's true in a sense. I'm enamoured with my characters, enough that I want to tell their stories and make it all about them. Just like I love reading stories about characters with incredible stories to tell, who are unforgettable, I want to offer the same to my readers. While I like to read tech-stuff -- especially if it's a science fiction tale -- I don't like it so much when it goes overboard. I try to keep my tech-stuff toned down. My stories are about the people, their adventure, the tech just helps them along the way.

How does your writing process work?
I blow thought bubbles that float about that pop and sprinkle story-dust inside my head. Nah... Ideas just come and smack me in the face, or worm their way into my head, or join up from other ideas and merge and fester until a new story emerges. Once the idea is there and I like it enough, I'll write a few outline notes and think on it some more. Since I like things done in chronological order, I usually need to see a clear beginning, a middle, and an end in my notes. If I don't 'see' it, then I get frustrated and shelve the idea for a while. Lately, what I've been doing, as a test or something like an experiment, is diving straight in and just writing. It's a different way for me (pantsing, is what it's called, as opposed to plotting), but it's not unpleasant. I think, with a little more practice, I can smoothly incorporate the two methods. What doesn't help in the writing process is that same thing called distractions. Right now, I've got about three stories ideas, one of which is clearly outline and which I'm itching to start. Soon.

So that's about it really. Since my job now is to tag someone else, I'm grabbing T.M. Hunter, whose numerous science fiction tales of Aston West has entertained me countless times. Check out his site right HERE

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