Insight Into My Process ~ The Writing Process Blog Tour

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Hello again! Yes, I know, it’s been ages since I last posted. I’ve decided I’m going to stop trying to force myself into blogging and just do it the stress free way – Post whenever I feel like it!

You may be curious as to what this “Writing Process Blog Tour” is. Allow me to explain.
I’m in a writing group on Facebook that a writer friend of mine invited me to. I’m not very active on it, but when someone posted asking if any of their fellow members had a blog I had this vibe (my word for gut feelings) that I should comment on the post. I rarely say anything in there, but I went with it.
Not five minutes later I was contacted by Mrs. Kathryn Lang, who asked if I would like to join in on this endeavor that writer/bloggers are taking up as a community. (By writers, I mean novel writers, thus the distinction between blogger and writer.)
Being in my own little bubble, in my own little corner of the South, I was quite delighted to accept. As I journey further into my world of novel writing I am grasping at any chance I may get to join in on the writing community.
This little tour is made up of four simple questions, which I will try to answer simply, but also satisfactorily.

Before I get started I would like to once again mention Mrs. Lang. you can find her contribution to this blogging tour Here.
As I mentioned above, I met Mrs. Lang through a Facebook group. I’m not very familiar with her, or her work, but I do like what I see. Please take a few minutes to look at her site and books!

Now, to pass along the baton, I’ve selected two other writer/bloggers. They will be posting their answers to these same four questions on their blogs this upcoming Monday (June 2nd). Please take the time to read their posts, as I’m sure they will do marvelously!

First up, Miss Elizabeth Kaiser. She is the author of “The Jeweler’s Apprentice” (which I am currently reading, and enjoying!), and its sequel, “The Traitor’s Knife” You can find her blog Here. I am proud to say I call this sweet girl my friend. I met her through an online forum for homeschoolers and we got to know each other through our mutual love for weaving tales.

The second young lady I will be passing this fun along to is Miss Hazel West. You can find her blog Here. She is an accomplished indie author, having five self-published titles! “Freedom Come All Ye“, “Ballad of the Highwayman“, “On a Foreign Field“, “By Blood or By Bond“(along with it’s companion back-stories), and “A Case of Poisons“, the first book in her Anthony Maxwell mystery series. I have not gotten to read any of her works yet, but they look wonderful, and I hope to become better acquainted with her in the future! 

Without any further ado, here are the questions, and my answers!

 

1. What are you working on?

My current project is the first novel in a series.
These are the genres in which it fits: YA, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Adventure, Action, Suspense, and Thriller.

I have a few other projects I would like to work on in the future, but currently I’m trying to focus on this one. The next story I hope to work on will hopefully be series of fairy tale re-tellings. I have a Pinterest board I use to pin any inspiration I come across so I can focus my efforts on one project, but I still have what I need when the time comes to move on to the other stories.
Here is a little synopsis that I put together for the big (dystopian) project I’m working on (co-author and co-editor of synopsis, Hannah, my big sister):

Mira and Tess seem polar opposites, with one exception: loyalty to their families even at their own expense. Their home lies inside of what used to be known as the American republic. An autonomous “haven” in the deep-south, sealed off from the chaos and destruction of the surrounding world. It’s a militaristic society fueled by competition and full of constrictions and scrutiny.
They are unexpectedly drafted for a special-ops team whose sole purpose is to be sent into the outside world for an important mission: Find a legendary war hero who they learn isn’t a hero at all before the rebels that they’ve only just leaned exist do. Sent along with the team on their journey is an embedded news crew to report to the masses back home.
They’ve been told their entire lives to look out for themselves, but now the girls must learn to work as a cohesive team with eight others, all barely adults.
Both sides need this man for their own end-game. If the rebels win, the civilization the girls have known their entire lives could come crumbling down around them.
On a mission for their country and their families, they must learn what they believe: About right and wrong, the people around them, when to listen to your own voice and when to listen to another’s, and the line between staying true to yourself and knowing when to change and grow.

Alright, there’s what I’m working on! I’m not sure how long it will be until it’s finished, but I’m just taking this one chapter at a time and hoping something comes out of it. :)

 

2. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I recruited my sister to write this list for me so that it’s accurate (INTJs don’t mess around with this kind of thing).

– Romance is practically non-existent in the first book. (No promises for future books, though. ;))
– It’s set in Louisiana and there is no paranormal element to it.
– Though being dystopian/post apocalyptic the city isn’t in complete ruins and there is a great deal of nature.
– A unique sense of humor. Each character has their own distinctive style.
– There are more shades of gray within characters than there is black and white.
– Dual POVs (Point of view).
– The culture and feel of the world are unique in that it has a subtle mix of various time periods. It has splashes of modern and advanced technologies where old fashioned meets futuristic.

These two aren’t unique to my writing, but Hannah says they are strong suits.
– Girls have minds of their own, but there is still a respect for men.
– Strong, diverse, and varied characters.

 

3. Why do you write what you write?

Firstly, while my current WIP(work in progress) may be a specific type of genre, I do not plan on sticking with this genre for the rest of my writing days. I plan to write whatever story needs to be told. I write what I feel needs to be said, I write to encourage people and to hopefully help others through struggles I’ve been through. There are books that helped me realize I wasn’t alone in my situations, however dark and difficult those situations may have been, or are, I could feel that others understood. They gave me somewhere I could go when I needed a break from the heartache of life. My hope is that someday I can give someone else that refuge, that hope. The knowledge that they aren’t alone and that they always have a place that they can go and feel safe with characters that feel real and familiar. If I can do that for even one person, then all of my work will have been worth it. I may be shooting for the stars, but I’d rather shoot for the stars and fail than tell myself it’ll never happen and not even try.

 

4. How does your writing process work?

My writing process is “flying by the seat of my pants.” and “I’ll figure it out as I go.”
When I started my first draft of this novel I had no information aside from character names and personalities. I used my first draft as a tool to discover my world and the story that is trying so hard to be told. The second draft was very different from the first. I had a semblance of a plot and more of an idea of the world but it still wasn’t quite there. I am now preparing to begin my fourth draft. I look back to where I started and am in awe. My writing process is so scatter brained I wonder how I got anywhere at all! It works though, so I don’t question it. I find it to be quite fun actually. I just write as I go. Scene by scene. I have no idea how this series will end, and I’m happy with that. Many writers plot and plan most every scene, then just fill in the little gaps with description and dialogue and give it life. I go from scene to scene, with a vague idea of what needs to happen, but for me it has to evolve. If I try to set up anything strict I become stressed because I feel I have to work toward something set in stone.
An example: I’ve tried to do NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month, the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November) two years in a row now and have failed miserably and ended up quitting both times. It isn’t the fact that I’m incapable, because I wrote over 100,000 words in under a month without any problem just this last March. I work in a very loose manner, letting things grow as I go. I don’t like deadlines and strict “You must write this many words a day to accomplish this goal!” It’s too much pressure, and if there is one thing to know about me; it’s that I do not like pressure.

When I get an idea it’s a very vague thing. I got the idea for one story I plan to work on in the future by listening to “Long Live” by Taylor Swift while driving through a neighborhood in Louisiana with some lovely old doors. The inspiration for this series I am currently working on came from reading the first and second books in the “Divergent” trilogy by Veronica Roth.
The story has progressed by leaps and bounds since it began and is now becoming its own, unique story.
When it comes to my ideas I don’t know what I have until I sit down and write the story. After I wrote the first draft and figured a lot out, Hannah and I sat down with dry erase boards, notebooks, and a plethora of pens to brainstorm. We sit down and use whatever method is necessary, be it serenading a bathroom floor mat, or covering a wall in post-it notes. I think for any writer the best tool is an open-minded brain storming partner. Someone who sees no idea as crazy or impossible. Because that has been my biggest help through it all, someone I could talk anything out with and didn’t have to worry about getting weird looks or having my ideas shot down without being fully considered.
On the outside my writing process looks disorganized(which I’m sure it is to an extent), chaotic, and downright befuddling. The point to it all isn’t how it looks, but how it works, and work it most definitely does!

That does it then! I hope I haven’t bored you to tears with all of this, but I have never been know as one to use few words. I’m excited to see how my process adjusts the further I get with this and how I’ll handle the hardcore editing stages.
I will try and update the blog when I can and keep any readers I have up to date with what’s going on with my life. Thank you for taking the time to read this and as I requested before, please take a few minutes to check out the other women I mentioned in this post!

Blessings!

5 comments

  1. Kathryn C Lang says:

    WOW! So glad you spoke up in the Facebook group and even more thrilled that you jumped on in. You have a wonderful voice, and some very interesting ideas (but what else should I expect from another great Southerner ;) ) and I look forward to reading more of your work.

    • Caroline says:

      Aw, thank you so much! That means a lot, especially since this is the first time I’ve discussed my ideas online in any form! :) Thank you!

  2. Hazel West says:

    Thanks again for tagging me for this, Caroline! I’m excited to get my post up Monday :) The stories you’re working on sound interesting. I can appreciate your problems with NaNo too, this last year is the first time I’ve actually completed it. It always seems to come at the wrong time of year for me, but I wrote my entire novel last Nov and it was really fun :)

    • Caroline says:

      Thank *you* for accepting! I’m really excited to see what you have to say! Thank you! I know! I feel like they could place it at a better time, but the month with Thanksgiving, with Christmas just the next month? They were really desperate to make NaNoWriMo work. :P Well congratulations! That is quite a feat, especially at that time of year!

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