My wonderful friend Precy Larkins (who blogs here: one blog and two blog) was kind enough to tag me in a blog tour regarding the writing process. She's got a short story published in an anthology here: Winter's Regret: What Might Have Been. Her story is totally amazeballs, you should buy this book JUST FOR THAT! And she's represented by Julia A. Weber, who's obviously a genius for snapping this gem up.
I was thrilled for a few reasons. One, Precy is quite possibly the sweetest, most beautiful person ON THIS PLANET. I DO NOT EXAGGERATE. I AM INORDINATELY FOND OF CAPS RIGHT NOW! Also, I lurve learning about other writers and how they get from vague plot idea to full blown novel. It's fascinating and intriguing how different our paths are, and yet how similar we all tend to be. In addition, I've had absolutely no idea what to blog about lately, so this is a great help.
So, here we go. For this tour, I am required (lest Precy find me in my sleep and break my thumbs) to answer four questions.
1) What am I working on?
An entire bottle of chardonnay!
Oh wait, this is a writing tour. Fine, fine. I am working on edits (mostly line edits at this point) of my novel Imperfect Chemistry. Hopefully, it will be available on Amazon on May 4th. That's what I'm shooting for since it seems feasible and that's my husband's birthday. In addition to that, I'm outlining/drafting the second novel of the same series entitled: Imperfectly Legal. See the "What I'm working on" tab above for more info on those novels.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well. With Imperfect Chemistry, it's a New Adult novel that's also a romantic comedy. I haven't seen many comedies coming out of the NA genre. Most of what I've seen/read (and please, correct me if I'm wrong!) involves dark pasts and broken characters, guys that are tough and kind of slutty and/or controlling, and the girls who change them/fix them, etc. My novels are different because while the characters aren't perfect and they each have their own character arcs, I try to add a little more humor and awkwardness than what you might typically see in a NA Romance. In addition, I love reversing some of those gender stereotypes that seem prevalent in most romantic novels. I love to surprise my readers.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Imperfect Chemistry was the first romantic comedy I've ever written. Prior to this, I wrote mostly paranormal or fantasy type stories. But, this was an idea that had been following me around for awhile. I wanted to write a book about someone who didn't understand the concept of romance, and had to turn to someone of the opposite sex for help.
While mulling over that potential concept, I also started thinking of some of my good friends. You see, I have a few friends who are brilliantly smart. One who's a lawyer, speaks four languages, decided on a whim to take the LSATs when we were in college and scored in the 93rd percentile and...she also called me once when she was babysitting to ask how to make a tuna fish sandwich. "Do you have to cook it?!" she asked frantically.
I have another friend, who is now a heart surgeon or some crap, who took the math entrance exam for college and tested into calculus three. CALCULUS THREE which is what you need to get a minor in Mathematics! This same friend had a hard time pulling his crap together long enough for us to make simple plans to hang out. He was always making everything way more complicated than it needed to be.
It was with these things in mind that the plot for Imperfect Chemistry began to formulate. What if you had a heroine who was exceptionally scientifically smart, but was not too smart in some other area? She would have to learn more about it, and maybe have to solicit advice from someone who would, of course, be the romantic hero. It grew from there.
How does your writing process work?
I used to be a pantser. Alas, this did not work out well for me. I would have a concept or idea and just start writing...but then I would never finish. Or I would rewrite. And rewrite. And rewrite. And rewrite again and then throw it all away! It works for some people, but it took me WAY TOO LONG and about twenty half-written novels to figure out that I'm not one of those people.
I have a word doc labeled "idea file" where I put all my ideas, inspirations, characters, concepts, whatever, and I pull from there to outline. I pick whatever story appeals to me the most.
I outline fairly extensively. It's not one of those fancy schmancy outlines with roman numerals and junk. It's more like: Scene one - this happens, that needs to happen, maybe some dialogue, more thoughts, more dialogue, show this somehow, introduce this character etc. etc. occasionally, I'll write, "Ugh that sucks, think of something better!" and that actually works sometimes.
The outline for Imperfect Chemistry was 20 pages and it took me about a month and a half to finish it. Then I drafted fairly quickly. Imperfect Chemistry was my 2013 NaNo novel, so I wrote it in 30 days.
Then came the edits. Those take a little longer. It's difficult to separate yourself from your writing in order to look at it critically. This is why I am uber grateful for beta readers like Precy. I spent about two months editing, then sent it off to my readers and edited some more based on their feedback. And seriously, I love feedback. I really do. ANYTHING to make my work stronger! And I am TRULY blessed with some brilliant friends who are able to give constructive feedback that's not uber critical or snarky, it's just plain brilliant.
Phew, that's all done. Now I have to tag three other writers to participate in this lovely little tour.
Without further ado, I bring you:
Jennifer Wayne! Watch out world, this girl is hot hot hot! Her paranormal romance trilogy, THE CHOSEN is coming to an ebook near you (hopefully soon. Get on it sister!) She's fairly new to the writing world, but she's SUPER sweet and her books are sexy, sassy, and she's got that THING, I can't even explain it, but I've read enough new writers to know that this one is going somewhere. Fast. Keep yer eye out, matey! (I have no idea where the pirate talk came from, just let it happen.)
Jennifer Prescott. What can I say about my lovely Jenny Phresh-face? She's brilliant. Like, literally genius-worthy brilliant, and if you don't believe me, just check out her fantastic mid-grade fantasy THE HUNDRED. The world building will make you piss your pants and karate chop your furniture! You should also read every last thing on her blog. You will laugh so hard your innards will implode from sheer humor.
Joyce Alton. Ah, Joyce, This lady is super sweet and talented and her blog is chockablock FULL of amazing usefulness so go follow it now! She's written a barrel-full of novels and is published in the non-fiction world under a different name (she's sneaky-sneaky like that). She also moderates a speculative fiction group on Agent Query Connect. In short, she's amazeballs.
Jenn Marie Thorne. I have this thing with Jennifer's. I don't know what it is. THIS Jennifer has been a beta reader of mine for (hold on while I check my e-mail account here) August 2010! So, about four years, and I have to say, it has been absolutely wonderful watching her grow as a writer. Her book, which is currently listed on Goodreads as SPIN (the title is changing and I don't know if I can share that and...aca-awkward) you SHOULD READ IT AND ADD IT TO YOUR LISTS AND KISS HER FEET. Ahem. Let's just say, I went from beta reader to fan-girl on this one, and you would be wise to follow suit! She doesn't currently have a blog, but she's working on it (this is why she is merely mentioned honorably rather than tagged), and I will let you lovely blog readers know when she's ready to face the world!
That's it! Thanks for getting this far if you're still reading (this blog post literally took me a week and a half to write, phew!). Catch ya on the flip side.