First, I want to say how fun it has been to be involved in this “blog hop”. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s posts and working on my own. So, thank you Kate Sparkes for inviting me. I met Kate on a fantastic Facebook group page called Indie Author Group, which is a promotion-free site where indie authors can connect and get plenty of helpful tips and advice. Through this group I have purchased and read some amazing stories by other authors. Actually, I am now reading Bound by Kate Sparkes, and it is a great story and is very well written. So, be sure to check out Kate and her novel, Bound.
Now, on to my writing process! I am four and a half months into the indie author world. My first novel, Hades Sent, was published in May of this year. I began writing in April of 2012 and my main focus was on the writing. I had no clue what being an indie author would entail….BUT, that is a whole different story for another time. 🙂
MY WRITING PROCESS – THE BEGINNING
So, loving to read and write, I have always wanted to be an author, but never imagined it was possible. In an attempt to escape from my life (which isn’t all bad, but at the time was very stressful because I was dealing with a difficult situation at work), I just started putting ideas down on paper. Fortunately, I have a very active and creative imagination so this part wasn’t hard for me. I have TONS of ideas for books I want to write. 🙂 I don’t understand when you ask someone, “what are you thinking?” and their answer is, “nothing”. How is that possible? For me it is not.
In just a couple days, with a lot of sitting around and staring off blankly, I had a basic plot outlined in my head and partly on paper (aka….Microsoft Word). So the writing began. I wrote, I wrote and I wrote, researching as I went to add detail to areas I wasn’t familiar with. Because my novel is an urban fantasy about angels, demons and witchcraft, I had to do a quite a bit of research in order to keep it somewhat realistic and to stay true to my beliefs as a Christian as well. Even though it is strictly fiction, I didn’t want to compromise my beliefs to a point that I felt unhappy with my story. Eventually, I became more dedicated and wrote more frequently, and I had a rough draft finished after about nine months. Next came editing, rereading and publishing.
MY WRITING PROCESS – PRESENTLY
I am now working on my second novel, which follows Hades Sent and will be the second book in the Aria Matthews Series. I sort of just jumped into the indie author world with the first novel so I didn’t know all the secrets and tips that I have learned since publishing. I have met some great people, joined several social media sites and done a lot of marketing. Through this experience, my writing process has changed a bit. I have become more serious about writing and I want it to be more than an escape. Writing has made me happier than I have ever been and I feel like for the first time ever I am ME. I know who I am…and I am happy with who I am.
How has my writing process changed you might ask? Well, I definitely try to write more often and dedicate a lot of time and energy to it. I played out the plot in my head the same as before, but I am going about it a little differently.
First: I have assistance with my research. A good friend and family member is quite knowledgeable in the area of witchcraft which is a big part of my novels. So now I am using her knowledge and guidance in my writing. I tell her the direction I am heading with the book and she gives me ideas and details on how to make it happen and sound realistic but based on actual Wicca beliefs. Any other research I try to do on a specific day. While writing my first book I would research as I went, but that ended up taking up too much of my writing time. Now, I find it easier to research before I begin writing a particular scene.
Second: Instead of focusing on the editing as I go, I am just writing out the scenes and letting the editing go for now. I find that sometimes I get caught up in the sentence structure, the word choice and whether or not it’s grammatically correct, and before I know it I have spent three hours and only have a couple paragraphs written. Then the scene has lost meaning and emotion.
Third: I didn’t use an editor for my first novel. I know…big mistake!! I pride myself in doing well, especially in my ability to write, read, spell, etc. so I didn’t bother getting an editor. I read and reread my first novel after it was finished and had someone else read through it as well. We did catch several things and I corrected them. I was eager to get the book out there so I rushed the editing, reading, finalizing process. After a few friends purchased and read my book they pointed out a few grammatical errors. I was horrified, embarrassed, ashamed and even contemplated unpublishing my book and giving up on writing. Thankfully, I didn’t. Writing was my dream and I wasn’t going to let this bring me down. I was only published through Amazon Kindle at that time so I unpublished long enough to correct several issues with the book and then resubmitted it. I now feel confident in my first book, but also realize that even I can make mistakes. 🙂
MY WRITING PROCESS – THE ATMOSPHERE
I have found it hard at times to hold on to motivation and inspiration while I am writing. Sometimes a particular scene is so intriguing that I can’t stop until it’s finished, but with slower scenes I lose motivation and struggle to write. For me, I have found that if I have the right atmosphere and right motivators I can get in the mood to write.
I plan to write when I have the house to myself so I can control the noise, light and other surroundings. I need complete silence normally to write. My best writing happens when I am sitting alone in my house, usually in the evening or early morning. I typically sit back in my recliner with a cup of liquid fuel (coffee…black. 🙂 I am not into sugar and cream. It ruins coffee.) and I try to write half of a chapter at a time. That is my goal at least. It doesn’t always happen that way though. Sometimes I don’t get the house to myself. At times I have to write with kids (step-children) screaming and playing in the background or my husband noisily watching television. It is more difficult to get writing done with the noise, but I try to drown it out. Then, there is the cat. My 20 pound fur ball demands attention and it is hard to refuse when he is nudging me in the face when I am trying to write, and sometimes he lays on my laptop. 🙂
The best time of day for me has proven to be very early in the morning. However, I have a full-time, day job so this is not possible most of the time. Although, I must admit, that I do call in “sick” sometimes to write. 🙂 I am blessed with a terrific full-time job that is very flexible and allows me to take time away from work. I hope that one day writing will be my full-time day job, but… don’t all authors.
I would like you all to meet three fabulous authors who will be posting blogs about their own writing process next week on July 28th.
First, I want to introduce Carolina Lane, a wife, mother, Christian and romance author. Her first novel Home Sweet Home is available on Barnes and Noble for only 99¢. For more on Carolina, check out her website here.
Second, is the talented Kate Morris, author of the McClane apocalypse series. Kate blogs at katemorrisauthor.com and her novels are available in paperback and ebook formats. Visit her website for more information.
Lastly, I would like to introduce Christine M. Butler, author of The Ancients Series and The Awakening Trilogy. Christine writes 90% paranormal fantasy. For more information on Christine visit her here.