Wendy Karasin (Musings of a Boomer) invited me to participate in this tour about my writing process. There are four questions to answer, so let’s get started.
1. What am I working on?
That depends on when you ask! Today, it’s this blog piece. I have a novel in progress, Wishing On A Star, and am working on my final edit. It’s a story about love won and lost; of joy and heartbreak; of learning the difference between who people really are rather than who we want them to be. Ultimately, it’s about the challenges and rewards in finding our way to an enduring love.
2. How does my writing differ from others of its genre?
Always the tough questions! I find myself thinking the same thing Wendy did: I’m not sure it does. Romance novels are a broad category with many sub-genres. Mine falls somewhere on the “soft” side. Every writer has a voice, a style all their own, and a well of personal experiences to draw from. Writers are also observers–we can’t help it, we’re just wired that way! All of this goes into our writing. While I may write about universal themes I strive to make my writing authentic, to reflect my voice. To tell a story that keeps the reader engaged. It’s what we bring to our writing, as individuals, that makes it stand out.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Writing is the only way I know to stop time, to seize a particularly vivid moment and explore what makes it unique, as well as how it relates to life as a whole. When I write, particularly my blog pieces, I visualize my words as pebbles dropped into the pond of human experience; as the ripples expand outward they touch other lives, and we connect. We become one. This is writing at its best and, for me, the definition of success.
4. How does your writing process work?
I’m not a planner; I don’t work from an outline. I know writers who generate spreadsheets and flow charts and while I admire that, it’s definitely not for me! My blog pieces are simple; I like the discipline of shorter pieces. With a novel, the process is different. I have a bad habit of reading the ending of a book first, so when I begin, I usually know how it’s going to end. Endings can-and often do–change. Characters have their own ideas. I argue with them; sometimes they win, sometimes I do. It’s part of the writing process only another writer can understand, the way a fictional character can grab the plot and try to lead it in another direction. I write scenes as they come to me, then figure out where they fit, filling in the gaps as needed. It’s like working a puzzle or making a patchwork quilt–the end result is the sum of its separate parts.
I’m new to blogging, so I don’t have anyone to introduce on the tour. I started my blog in 2011 as a way to showcase my photography, then abandoned it. When I came back to it at the beginning of this year, my old photos no longer represented where I was in my artistic process, but I still liked what I’d written. I established a goal to write once a week and so far, I’ve done that. I’m grateful and thrilled when someone likes what I’ve written, and takes the time to tell me why. Feedback–even if it’s negative–is so important to writers; it helps us grow.
Whatever your writing goal, I encourage you to follow your heart and keep writing. I’m glad I did.