Author Blog Hop: My Writing Process

3:02 PM

I'm (once again) trying to catch up on things and figured I should do this one first. I've been tagged by the lovely Mrs. Healthy Ever After, aka Nikki Roberti Miller, for this blog hop.


WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

Right now I have two work-in-progresses. I’ve been editing my YA Contemporary MISSING with Katelyn Stark of Stark Contrast Editing for the past six months or so, chapter by chapter, line by line. It's been an incredible process because somehow I never realized just how much WORK it is to edit and revise, or "re-envision". Katelyn is so wonderful and patient to work with. I definitely start out with the dry bones when I'm writing. I get all on paper that I want to get there, I've just never really combed back through it before. This time around, adding so much more to it with guidance has been a real treat almost. I mean, it's really hard, but it's a lot of fun, too. I can see such a difference with my writing. Annnnyway, this piece is about 16-year-old Annie who finds out her best friend has gone missing. Then, years later, her friend's remains are found. We grow with Annie through the process of trying to move on from this defining moment in her life, and go with her as she tries to uncover the truth of what happened.

My other work-in-progress is a NA piece. I haven't quite figured out if I should call it a collection of short stories or if it's just broken up chapters. It's called Married in College-- a fictionalized account of when my husband and I were first married. We eloped when we were 18, so you can imagine there's a lot to share in there!

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS IN ITS GENRE?

MISSING is different to me because I don't think I've really found something quite like it. I've read a few YA that deal with missing friends or losing friends to drunk driving, but never one that goes down deep to the bones of the issue. My best friend went missing when I was 16, so I drew from that to write this book. It wasn't an easy process at all, but I think my experience of going through having a missing friend myself really brings this story to life in a new way. In the end, it's not necessarily figuring out what happened to the friend, but how to live with it.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?

I started writing YA and NA because when I was younger I actually disliked reading contemporary writing. You'd find me reading Jane Austen and Shakespeare over books like Where the Red Fern Grows. I think the first contemporary story I started getting into was Harry Potter (go figure). One of the only reasons it was actually exciting was because my parents weren't too keen on me reading it, and then my best friend in fifth grade bought me the first two for my birthday.


HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?

I work differently with every project. No lie. I started working on MISSING in college, and then had to take quite a break from it because I was writing it too close to home. When I got the motivation to start working on it again, I actually wrote a chapter that's in the middle of the book now. I just needed to get something on paper. THEN I made an outline of chapters, which was very vague. It basically just had a thing or two written down that I knew what I wanted to happen. Even now I've gone back and changed it so much from what it was originally thought out to be like, but that makes me so happy because I think it's better than I first imagined. I really think I have Nikki and Katelyn to thank for that. I work best bouncing ideas off of people and I'm really open to feedback/suggestions (after a few nudges, that is).

With Married in College, it started as a column for REALITY Check Girl Magazine, an online magazine I worked for in college. Now, with Nikki insisting it must be a book, I just sat down one day with the motivation and wrote out the first chapter. Now I'm combing over the chapter again and again until it's where I want it to be, which is so different than MISSING.

When it comes to plotter vs. pantser, I'm definitely a combination. I like to get something down on paper, writing until I know I've really got something in the making. Then I go back and start listing everything I want to happen-- stories I know I want to share, characters I want to introduce, drama I want to unfold, etc; however, that doesn't mean it will all happen. MISSING was initially going to be written from two characters' point-of-views, and then I changed my mind because I loved my MC too much.

Basically I'm all over the place and, really, I don't have a concise writing process.



And that’s me! Thank you for tagging me, Nikki. If anyone else would like to join, please comment below and then tag me when you share your writing process!

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