Monday, 26 May 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

The lovely Elizabeth Dunn has tagged me to take part in the My Writing Process Blog Hop.

Liz is an MG/YA writer, journalist ,reader, teacher, lovely critiquer, barking mad Kiwi mum of thousands, and lucky enough to live in Venice. You can find her post here.

And so for the Blog Hop questions;

What am I working on? I've just finished the first draft - what I call my Vomit draft- of a full length ChickLit story. To date, the Women's Fiction I've written has been short stories between 650 words and 7000 words, so I wanted to see if I could actually spin out 100k words. And so I am letting that rest for a week or two before I start to strip it into something resembling a first draft and then we'll see if it has any scope to take further. In the meantime, I'm plotting something else, also Women's Fiction. So the cork-board is out and the index cards are charged and ready. I'm also considering trying this project out using Scrivener. Any tips anyone?
How does my work differ from others in the genre?  Ha! I don't know that it does, on the basis that I haven't read every book in the whole genre. What I have is my own voice and the way I see things. I can only really write the story I have, in the way that I have. I've tried projects before where I was deliberately trying to write the opposite to everything else I'd read and it tied me up in knots.
Why do I write what I do?  This one is difficult for me, as in my head I'm new to Women's Fiction. I started out writing for Children, then onto YA. As a side-line I write grown-up short travel stories which for some reason I didn't link with my bigger dream of writing novels.  Then I won a place in Belinda Jones' Sunlounger Anthology on a whim submission (full story here)
and it was only then that I thought that maybe this was where my writing voice is suited to. I'm still working it out, so we'll wait and see.     As to why I write, the answer is simple; I have all these little voices nattering in my head and I have to get them out. I love the dialogues and then I have to find settings for them. Batty but true.
How does my writing process work?  Yeah, still trying to work that one out too. I wrote a 75k word YA story, then promptly forgot how I did it, which had me floundering for a while. Now I write side notes on what I am doing, so I'll remember another time. Daft, yes, but forgetting is awful.
Currently, having recently acknowledged that I am a Planner not a Pantster, it looks roughly like this;
1)    Have the idea. Write it in notebook. Chat to myself about it in my daily entry in This should go on for some days if the idea is really going to get its claws in.
2)     Keep writing about the idea. This is more of a discussion with myself about how it could work, and brainstorming lots of ideas. I am not allowed to write dialogue at this point (some always slides in, but I tell myself I'm just illustrating a point, Ba-ha-ha!) because I am supposed to be working towards The Plot.
3)    Force myself to do an extra couple of days of The Brainstorming, as it still throws up more stuff and whittles out more.
4)    Get the board and the index cards out and stick a load up there. Then I see that there are loads of gaps, and I need more Chat. I go back to points 2/3. I try to add at least 2 cards a day to the board, until I have about 38ish. (This is all in Blake Snyder's Save the Cat, by the way)
5)    Don the writing boots on, and write every day, following The Path of The Plot. This is currently working at 2k a day. I get time off at the weekend to write other stuff, but only if I have reached my quota of 10k a week. I start using the site, so I know I have to pitch up and write the first load of words and once I am in it, the remaining words just get bashed out. If I am faffing, I set the timer for 45 minutes, because it doesn’t sound as long as an hour and I am easily deluded.
That's it. That's My Writing Process. At the moment.
 Oh and I write wearing a pink plastic tiara, but everyone does that, right?

I'm tagging my Lovely Critique Partner Fairview for next week's blog hop post.

She writes US-based YA contemporary romance and award winning short stories. We met some three years ago via Maggie Stiefvater's Critiquing Love Connection, clicked and have have never looked back.

Catch her here  or at on the next stage of the Blog hop next Monday. 


  1. I want to know all about Scrivener. Do you think a pink plastic tiara might help me understand? Off to stare at now becasue 2k a day is simply too amazing for words:) Liz

  2. I'll let you know how my free 30-day trial goes. I just want the spawn to go back to school before I start on it so i can give it my full attention. I think it is going to need it...
    I think there might be actual scientific data somewhere on t'internet about the benefits of tiaras. When I went intot he real world to work, there were days that I knew were going to be difficult, but having donned the tiara they never turned out as bad as I expected. You do the math there.. And they have soothing properties for hangovers. They should be available on the NHS.
    I know that 750words doesn't work for everyone, but it does get bums on seats and fingers on keyboards.