Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Writing Process

Alright, guns are coming out. I got tagged by the fantastic Hannah Hunt to participate in a blog tour "event" of sorts hosted by EM Castellan (or so I've heard). This event is called "My Writing Process," in which the people tagged simply answer a few questions that *gasp* relate to their writing process.

In a gif, this is my writing process:

writing gif photo: the writing process writing_process.gif

Disturbing, right? Imagine what I really look like while trying to pound out 75+ thousand words and then turn them into something cohesive. But I think ya'll want something a bit more substantial. So, without further ado:

What am I currently working on?

Currently, I am working on not losing my mind to college, but I don't think that answer counts.

I'm working on finishing the 2.5 draft (yes, you can have half a draft) of my YA speculative fiction, THE HOLLOW MEN. It follows Moe, a thief, and Ronnie, a bionic super-soldier, as they maneuver what will eventually become a war between the four cities of Theta, Iota, Rho, and Epsilon. The fun of it is that there really is nobody you can trust, because every character has their own motives, and their own missions. Which means that everyone has their own agendas.

It's a pretty fun time, if you ask me.

How does my work differ from the others of its genre?

Well...this is loaded. I think my work differs from others of the same genre because it focuses a lot more on the individual than the environment; on top of that, there's no immediate love interest.

To stay on the topic that's more important to me, though: when I write (particularly when I write THM), I'm trying to focus on every character as an individual instead of a group. Sure, many of them are working together toward a common goal, but are they really? My characters all have their own pasts and their own motives, and it's their decisions that ultimately change the fate of everyone around them and drive the plot forward. So it doesn't matter that they're a "team," what matters is that they are ultimately their own people who might accidentally put themselves before the others.

This means secrets, ulterior motives, and twists and turns that even I don't see coming.

Why do I write what I write?

I enjoy the profound. I also enjoy the complicated. Life today seems to be so simple that people (myself, included) tend to forget how many webs we weave on a daily basis; we tend to enjoy the veil we see the world through, pretending that everything is easy and that everybody is exactly who we think they are.

Well, that's not true, is it? There's always that one secret we haven't told anyone, that one person we're secretly hoping will fall on their face, and that one dream that we have that nobody else can know about. Instead, we work around the people, and try to achieve our own goals, and then we mistakenly make ripples that affect everybody we know and love and even complete strangers.

I also enjoy the now. That might be a little strange to say, considering everything I write takes place in a futuristic environment, but hear me out. Many of my characters aren't concerned about where they'll be in a month, a year, or five years. Instead, they're just trying to survive another day. They don't have any goals for themselves besides "don't get killed" and maybe "figure out who the hell you are."

So that's why I write about wars, and about experiments, and about friends who might be friends but are also enemies on certain fronts. Working together is only a means to satisfy their own desires: a search for identity, for answers, for safety, for revenge.

And every now and again, there's that one person who really just wants to do good, but sometimes that diamond is hard to find, and when you do uncover it, it'll be in the most unlikeliest of places.

How does my writing process work?

I pants everything. Like, I rarely outline. In my head I have a few major points and the general order they go in, and I also have a general story line like, "two extremely different girls become friends and allies through a bunch of unorthodox methods and realize that they have to rely on each other if they want to survive the war looming on the horizon."

And then I look at a blank word document, wave my fingers and tell myself, "Okay...go!"

If it's a good idea (like, it meshes well with my consciousness), then everything just flows, the characters come as they are, and I can crank out a first draft in about a month. As I do this, I'll be able to figure out more details and more of what I call the "gaps" between major events, and the connections, and at the end of the document I'm working on I'll write it out in bold. This acts as a road map and it's as close to outlining as I'll ever get.

Then I finish the first draft.

Then I take a break of a few weeks, and go back, and really start fleshing out what works and what doesn't. I'll write another draft where I cement the plot. Then, in the next draft, I'll work on making sure my characters and their personalities and details are natural. The last draft is where I'll double check my setting and world-building. And, of course, these are all things that I'll work on through every draft.

But every draft will be just a bit more better than the last one.

And I Tag...

Now's where I tag a friend to continue with this awesome blog tour, and my choice is Sarah Price, who I've lovingly called Icee for the past year or so. She's sweet, fun, and has all sorts of crazy ideas that she manages to get down on paper.

Tweet It:

Individualism and living in the "now." @Rae_Slater explains her writing process (Click to Tweet)

Thanks to the profound and complicated, @Rae_Slater can't take the easy way out when it comes to her #writingprocess (Click to Tweet)


  1. Your WIP sounds super intriguing! And I so wish I could bang out a first draft in a month, so go you! Maybe one day. =)

    1. Thanks so much! Hopefully one day it'll be interesting enough to hit the public ;) And despite getting out a first draft in only a month, it's not near as polished as it could be. Pros and cons. Good luck with your own!