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Bookish. Publisher at Louise Walters Books. Reader, writer, and editor.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

My Writing Process meme

Thank you to writer Rebecca Mascull, author of The Visitors for tagging me in this meme. At the end of this post I've tagged other writers who have agreed to take part. 

1. What am I working on?

I'm working on a novel that I hope will be my second published novel. But as there are no guarantees in publishing, I'm trying very hard to think of it as a project with no real expectations. It's actually the third novel I've attempted.  I'm trying to write it in the same capacity as I wrote Mrs Sinclair's Suitcase... because I enjoy it and I want to see if I can do it. It's very much a document on my laptop at the moment, not a book. 

2.       How does my work differ from others?

I'm not sure that it does. As we're all unique I think our writing is also unique, but I don't feel that my writing stands out as dramatically different from others. I think I sit somewhere on the literary/commercial boundary, with a foot in both camps. I actually love reading that kind of novel so it's natural for me to write in that style I suppose.  

3.       Why do I write what I do?

As above, it's the kind of writing I enjoy reading. I do enjoy the occasional foray into sci-fi or horror, and thrillers. But most of the time I'm reading authors of literary/commercial fiction. Or children's books, especially old favourites. I write because I just love it, making up characters and worlds and seeing what happens. It's so much fun.

The actual (Mrs Sinclair's) Suitcase

4.       How does my writing process work?

It starts with a character, a moment, a conversation, a letter, a suitcase... something concrete to peg the novel on. I have to spend a lot of time thinking about my characters. I try to understand how they might feel about a news story, or where they would go to eat out, what kind of books they would read, if any. I love getting to know my characters inside out. They have to become real to me and part of the writing process is me getting to know them. I edit a lot as I write, because my characters change. I don't plan much in advance, but I do scribble ideas down as they occur to me. I research a little at the first draft stage, but I prefer to get the story down on paper/screen, then do more serious research. To me the story is more important than historical accuracy... but I don't want huge, obvious errors so I do check things. I like to do the minimum though. I try to avoid my research showing in the novel, as there's nothing that jars me out of a story more than obviously research-fuelled writing.  I try to write my stories to somebody who already knows about my world, or inhabits it. I write the synopsis last, otherwise I'd be forever changing that as well as the novel. I write short, with my finished first draft tending to come in at around 60,000 words. My editing involves putting in as well as taking out - and it can be a struggle to get to 80,000 words. Thank goodness for dialogue!

I'm now tagging Hannah - http://www.hannahbeckerman.com/ and Ruth - http://letsrfhuntworld.tumblr.com/  I hope they enjoy this meme as much as I have.

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