A lot of people have participated in the My Writing Process Blog tour over the past few months, and I was honored when my writer friend Jennifer Baker asked me to join. Jenn is a great friend to have–she writes really great stuff, and she’s always super encouraging. Jenn’s excellent answers can be found at her blog, A Baker with an Appetite for Writing.

Without further adieu, here’s what I have to add:

What am I working on?

Right now, I’m hacking through the novel I wrote last year, tentatively titled THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES, and writing short stories and scripts on the side. I just started a script about an undercover operation that goes awry, and I was fortunate enough to receive an Honorable Mention in the Samuel L. Finley Humorous Writing Contest for this story.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m still determining exactly where THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES might fit on the YA shelf. So far, it’s a utopian dystopia, with some fantasy elements thrown in. The story is shaping a bit differently than it did in my first draft, so we’ll see where it wants to go. I’ve also been told that I write humor well, so I hope to strengthen that part of my craft. Books that are funny as well as dramatic tend to stick with me as a reader.

Why do I write what I do?

Mostly, I write what’s fun to play with. I love shaping unique worlds with unexpected elements in them. Some of my favorite series–Harry Potter and Discworld–do this very well. I also try to touch on resonating themes, which is why THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES is a theme-based title. My main character Priya gets ripped out of the idyllic city she grew up in, and is forced to see the world through new kind of “sight.” Eyes (in the literal sense) play a significant role in her story.

How does my writing process work?

When I get a new novel idea, I make an excel chart to keep track of characters, plot and thematic elements. The end result looks like a plate of hurl, but it helps keep everything together. I then do an overall plot outline, with pinpoints borrowed from Rock Your Plot, by Cathy Yardley, and draft using a NaNoWriMo chart for word count. Often, plot elements change halfway through, and I adjust my outlines to reflect these.

Editing is a bit trickier, and I’m still learning my process there. With THROUGH DIFFERENT EYES, I’m going chapter by chapter, deepening character motivations, getting rid of story flaws, and connecting established plot elements. I’ve learned (the hard way) that it’s not overly productive to make line edits at this stage, but if one pops out at me, and it’s a easy fix, I’ll change it. I also plan to incorporate longer trunking periods between novels in the hope of honing my process more.

So, that’s it! I am rather late to the #MyWritingProcess party, and as such, couldn’t find any takers to continue the chain. Feel free to comment if you’d like to be added. Otherwise, on Wednesday, I’ll be featuring debut picture book author Joanna Rowland.

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