Monday, November 25, 2013

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Judy Cullen, a friend of mine from high school (no, I can't remember how long ago that was) invited me to join the My Writing Process Blog Tour. She rocks, of course, because she went to Stadium HS in Tacoma, WA...
Stadium High School-The Old Brown Castle, Tacoma WA--From the Stadium web site

You can get to know Judy here: Visit Judy's Blog...Judith Cullen is a theatre artist from the Pacific Northwest with over 25 years of experience as a designer, production manager, administrator, and producer for theatre and opera. Since 2008 she has worked as a volunteer presenting literature live in the online metaverse of Second Life ©, logging in over 500 hours to benefit a variety of charities including War Child North America, Project Children, and Habitat for Humanity. Ms. Cullen has recently profoundly expanded her skill sets, transforming her professional theatre experience, combined with her work as a virtual storyteller, into a refreshed career as a narrator, voice artist, and author
~ Direct quote from Judith Cullen's Blogspot

I do have cool friends, huh?

About the Blog Tour...I'm to answer a few questions about my writing process...

What am I working on?
  • I'm just finishing up a Scottish historical romance that takes place in the 15th century and is based on legend. 
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
  • Though I write romance, my Scottish historicals don't gloss over the brutality of life. Of course they are sizzling hot, but things were rough. I've spent a lot of time learning about the period in which I write, and strive to show it as realistically as possible.
Why do I write what I do?
  • I read widely, and love to write adventure novels that sizzle. I adore history and as a child I often pictured myself in another time. 
What is my writing process?

  • I build a notebook for every book. It starts with research. I usually find an event in history, or someone who sparks my interest. I learn everything I can about them and use that as a framework for my outline.
  • Once I'm ready to write.
  • Start with a premise statement.
  • Write a 2-3 page general outline of the book/sequence of events.
  • Develop my characters--I identify their personality type, then I use a character profile sheet to make them into a real person and write their back stories.
  • I then use an Excel spreadsheet to plot each scene. I use a numbering system that allows me to insert scenes, because once I start writing, the gloves come off and my characters start taking over. Inevitably, the outline changes as the story comes alive.
  • Of course I then edit the hell out of it...that has become my favorite part.

Some of my writing tools

Bottom line? I do a ton of homework up front, which makes the back end easier to edit. 

My romantic suspense, VIRTUE, will be released next week. I hope you can stop by my Facebook party. I'm planning a ton of fun and giveaways. Heck, we might even get around to talking about books. VIRTUE FACEBOOK PARTY Would love to see you there!

NEXT UP...Another of my cool friends...Visit Jen Greyson's Blog to see her writing process on December 2nd:

From the moment she decided on a degree in Equestrian Studies, Jen Greyson’s life has been one unscripted adventure after another. Leaving the cowboy state of Wyoming to train show horses in France, Switzerland, and Germany, she’s lived life without much of a plan, but always a book in her suitcase. Now a wife and mom to two young boys, she relies on her adventurous, passionate characters to be the risk- takers.

Jen also ghost writes billionaire legacies and romance novellas when she’s not enjoying the wilds of the west via wakeboard or snowmobile.

She's a mama writer, unleashing stories.


  1. That's a high school? How awesome is that? I really need to get The Emotion Thesaurus, I've heard so much good stuff about it.

    1. I know, in addition to being a castle, it had an unbelievable view of Puget Sound. And yes. The Emotion Thesaurus is a MUST!!

  2. Amen to both of Leandra's comments. (Emotional Thesaurus and HS) I'd show up for class just to see the building! Your writing process is amazing. As a pantser I am in awe. :0)

    1. I never could be a pantser. Funny how we're all different :-)