Last week, my friend and fellow author Tricia Drammeh tagged me in the My Writing Process blog hop, so that’s what I’ll be talking about today. I’ll try not to bore you all to tears, but no promises.
I kid. I won’t bore you. I hope. 😀
What are you currently working on?
I’m currently in the midst of rewriting The Lokana Chronicles. I think this is Official Rewrite No. 3, but since I’ve been working on this series for the better part of a decade, it’s hard to tell – I’ve decided that keeping track of all the revisions this thing has undergone is impossible, and I gave up trying a long time ago. Once I finish revising the first book, I’ll be heading back to the query trenches with it, and this time, I hope I’ll have better luck. I feel like the story is much stronger now than it was the first time I queried, and I hope to find someone who agrees with me.
I also have a short story in the works called The Colony, which is about a group of people sent to colonize Mars. The colony experiment is funded by a group known only as the Company and was inspired by the Mars One project. If you haven’t heard of it, Google it (or just go here) – it’s fascinating. But then, space exploration has always appealed to me.
How does your work differ from others in its genre?
Well, I write fantasy, but there are no orcs or elves or trolls or dwarves, or really anything all that fantastical. Except there’s this portal that connects Lokana to an alternate dimension (or reality or world or whatever else you want to call it) called Arkona, which is our own modern world. Lokana has a medieval feel to it; much of the population relies on dreams and superstition to guide them, and religion is an integral part of their society, despite the efforts of kings to eliminate it. Arkona, meanwhile, is analogous to contemporary Iowa, where the people are hard-working and stoic (at least in my story, anyway).
I’m told this portal feels tacked on, that it sticks out and jars the reader. As part of my rewrite, I’m working to make it feel more natural, which requires delving into Lokani history as the thing is quite ancient and had been forgotten for centuries by the time it appears in the story. When I started writing these books, I didn’t want to follow in Tolkien’s footsteps, as it seemed so many others were doing at the time. I wanted to forge my own path, but I hadn’t exactly figured out how to do it and was blinded to the faults in my work for a long time. Lucky for me, I stumbled into the online writing community – my work has greatly improved since my first timid posting on authonomy.
At least, I hope it has.
Why do I write what I write?
Simply put, I write what I want to read. I want romance and adventure and a break from the everyday; I want well-constructed plotlines and thoughtful, engaging characters. I hope I’m able to cram all that into a satisfying book; I’ve been trying for nearly twenty years to do so, and as I listed my wants in a book just now, snippets of old stories surfaced from the depths of my memory. My earlier efforts contained plenty of romance and adventure and escapes from the everyday, but they were all heavily influenced by the steady diet of daytime soap operas I consumed as a teenager. And yes, they were all quite cringe-inducing.
How does your writing process work?
I’m something of a pantser, so usually when I get an idea, I just run with it and edit the crap out of it when I’m done. This makes for many and lengthy revisions, though, so I’ve shifted to synopsizing, meaning when I get a story idea, I write a synopsis up. Once I have an idea of what I want to happen, I can expand my synopsis into a full-fledged story.
I blame my pantser ways on a mile-wide stubborn streak and an ex-boyfriend who insisted that the only way to write a publishable story was to outline the thing to within an inch of its life. I set out to prove him wrong, but I’m not sure I ever did. Meanwhile, even with my synopsizing, I still don’t generally have a clue how a story is going to end until I get to the end myself. At least my synopsis helps me decide which way I want the story to go, so when I get to the end, it doesn’t feel forced. Er, I hope it doesn’t feel forced anyway.
And now, to nominate some others to participate! How about Jenni Sweet and Roger Lawrence? I hope you have as much fun answering these questions as I did, and I hope everyone else has fun reading them!
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