Monday, June 9, 2014

My Writing Process

Today I'm participating in the My Writing Process Blog Tour and would like to thank NYT and USA Today Bestselling author, David Farland for inviting me on this tour. I met Dave in 2011 at his Professional Writer's Workshop. He used to be a writing teacher at BYU and is the mastermind of The Rune Lords as well as a host of other fantasy and science-fiction novels. If you haven't visited his site, you can find his writing process post HERE

Follow Dave's twitter handle: @DavidFarland.

We writers share these things, but informally during workshops and at conferences (and, for a handful of established writers, in printed interviews), but not so much through our open-forum blogs. With the hashtag #MyWritingProcess, you can learn how writers all over the world answer the same four questions. How long it takes one to write a novel, why romance is a fitting genre for another, how one's playlist grows as the draft grows, why one's poems are often sparked by distress over news headlines or oddball facts learned on Facebook... 

So, participating authors have been asked to answer the following four questions:

  1) What am I working on?

Presently I have a number of projects on the front burner, which I try not to do, but it just happened that way this month! I am editing a novella that comes out in August. I am plotting and starting to write book three in my 2015 series, Highland Dynasty. I am working on final edits for Rescued by the Celtic Warrior which will be released in October...and I just finished "fixing" Celtic Maid, which is scheduled for a December release.

*swipes head with back of hand* It's hard to keep all these heroes and heroines straight!

  2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I've read a ton of books in my genre, and I think mine have a bit more action and adventure. Also, I don't sugarcoat the brutality of the eras in which I write. The Renaissance produced some of the most brutal and savage torture devices known to man. I would be doing history a disservice if I ignored that part of society.

  3) Why do I write what I do?

Firstly, I LOVE Scotland. It's in my blood, and I LOVE history. I have always enjoyed reading romance and historical novels. It only makes sense that I would put it all together and write Scottish historical romance.

  4) How does my writing process work?

Holy moly, this is a loaded question and one I can't answer in one sentence...
  • 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. If I'm building a new world, I might research for a month or more.
  • 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 use a psychology book to 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

Next up are three talented authors:

Jen Greyson writes award-winning and bestselling NA romances, including fantastical time travel and steamy contemporaries. When she's not writing her own stories, she ghostwrites them for a USA Today Bestselling NA author and a local celebrity. She is a voracious reader and longs for books that entrap her for hours and transport her to other worlds (mostly so she doesn't have to vacuum) and is always eager for a recommendation.

A recovering horse addict, she grew up with hay in her hair and manure on her shoes. Now a suburban housewife and mom, she's taken her competitive sportsmanship to the water and is learning how to wakeboard without any more trips to the ER.

Visit her site to see how she answers the #MyWritingProcess questions:


Katherine Givens is a museum employee with a secret. Few know the truth of her greatest passion, but those closest to her know she loves to write historical romances… Alright, maybe more than a few people know she is a writer. Anyone who will listen to her can glean this from a conversation.

So, Katherine Givens is a museum employee who wishes she had a devilish secret or a jaw-dropping double life, but the characters in her manuscripts often do. From the withdrawn duke mesmerized by his quiet maid or the savage viking eager to ravish a Christian girl, her heroes are always bound to have a secret or two. It is often up to the headstrong heroine to unravel the mysteries surrounding the man that has captured her heart.

Katherine's Twitter handle: KatherineGiven3

Katherine's blog:

Victoria Barbour lives on the island of Newfoundland, and is fiercely proud of her home. She can imagine no better setting for her Heart’s Ease contemporary romance series, and hopes that her readers will one day come to witness Newfoundland and Labrador's rustic beauty for themselves. 
She was born in St. John's, and raised above her family's fish and chips restaurant. She has traveled and lived in other parts of Canada, but chose to make her home where her heart has long resided. Victoria has a degree in History from Memorial University of Newfoundland, with a minor in Newfoundland Studies. The only thing that stands between her and a Master's degree in History from Simon Fraser University in British Columbia is her thesis. She has a background in broadcast journalism, advertising, and marketing. She is a proud member of both the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and their affiliate chapter, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada (RWAC). 


And I can't sign off without doing a plug for my new release, Beauty and the Barbarian. Have you got your copy yet? :-) Or you can enter the Goodreads contest at the top of the blog for a chance to win one of five signed copies!

Born with the mark of the devil, Merrin has been hidden on the islet of Eilean Fladda for near twenty years. When the body of a Highlander washes ashore, the innocent lass presumes him dead. Brushing the hair from the rugged warrior’s face, her fingers connect with warm flesh. Warm.

Ian MacLeod wakes to a woman so radiant, he believes her an angel. But when the lass recoils from him, he fears she knows of his evil deeds. While he heals, Ian is stunned when he exposes her witch’s mark, yet he’s spellbound by Merrin’s allure. He’d do anything to erase his haunting past and earn her love.

But there’s a henchman after Ian’s head, and when that man learns the Highlander is still alive, the couple is forced to flee Merrin’s sheltered world. Fighting for survival, destiny demands they each face their demons, but doing so may forever ruin them both.

1 comment:

  1. Love the idea of a notebook for each book! I still write longhand in first drafts and end up with many notebooks...
    Who could resist a Scottish historical? :-)
    I do wish I could get that motivated by editing, though...