Four Secrets to my Writing Process

The following four questions come to be by way of Drew Gerken, who was himself included in the Writing Process Blog Hop. I have only one person to pass this on to, though if anyone wants to do it, my goodness, feel free to and let me know so I can link to it.

I’m not entirely certain if these are really secrets so much as just questions intended to be writing prompts. At any rate, let’s peel back some of the onion layers, shall we?

Question 1:  What are you working on?

Funny you should ask! I am working on four different projects right now. Or maybe five. Six? I can stop any time, honest. Just one more idea! In no particular order, with the phase in parenthesis:

1. The Greatest Sin #2 (revision)  – as of yet, it has only a working title. In this installment, we watch Chavali get her feet under her and learn to be an agent of the Fallen. She faces madmen and conspiracies and more people to be disdainful of.

2. Shadow & Spice (revision) – a short story I intend to publish later this month. Set in the same world as Damsel In Distress, it follows Shadow, Connor’s familiar, as he prowls the city of Rennsen for a night of mischief.

3. Chowndie (first draft)- a standalone science fiction novel. I’ve been working on this one for some time. It sits in the back of my brain and stews, coming out every so often and demanding I pay it some attention. It’s the story of a bounty hunter for a peculiar type of prey: people infected by a nanovirus that slowly turns them into robots. Until they’re fully turned, they’re infectious, and once they reach the end, they’re used for dangerous and drudge jobs.

4. The Howling Coyotes Mercenary Company: Miren (first draft) – a potential series opener in the same world as Damsel In Distress. The book follows the titular character, Miren, as she flees her life to join the Howling Coyotes Mercenary company. Readers of the blog will recognize the Company name – Miren is Countess Aine’s little sister.

5. Viking Defenders (first draft) – a standalone science fiction novel about an Army Ranger plucked out of the Iraq war to help man a keep in the middle of nowhere, Norway, to help defend the world from an ongoing, relentless assault by aliens. As you might guess, the group calls themselves Vikings.

6. The Baker of Brennan (ongoing) – the story I write here! This thing doesn’t get revised or edited (much). It’s a serial story about the title character, Rose, who would much rather not find herself falling in love, yet seems to be doing so despite her best efforts. I have no idea where it will end.

Question 2: How does your work differ from others in the genre?

The ‘fantasy’ and ‘science fiction’ genres cover a lot of territory. I can’t say my stuff is unique in the sense that there is, as a certain bard pointed out hundreds of years ago, nothing new under the sun. What I can say is that I enjoy writing it, and I’ve heard that other people like reading it. Mine is different for no reason other than it came from my brain, which is a strange, strange place.

For example, last night, I dreamt that the sun expanded out to eat Venus, then shrank back down to about a quarter of its real size and turned blue. This caused the Earth to spawn blue lava, which I jumped into, because it would suck to starve to death, and I fell into Betsy’s body (the main character of Damsel In Distress) on some other planet. Along with Connor, we searched for Gandalf in a Jeep Wrangler and took him to a IcthyMuseum (a museum of fish) to find a MacGuffin. Past the beaded jewelry in the gift shop, Betsy/I found the thing we were looking for. The museum got attacked by a wave of regular lava and started to burn down. With my special powers, I created a hole in the fire through which Gandalf, Connor, and I fled the building to find the rest of the cast of Damsel in Distress in a bike trailer (regular bike sized – clown cars come to mind) hitched to the Jeep. I had to fix the tires of the Jeep since they’d exploded from the heat, and then we drove away.

There’s more, but I’ll leave it at that. As you can see, I live in a strange, strange place, and I’m not talking about Worcester.

Question 3: Why do you write what you write?

I get cranky when I don’t write. My brain has lots of stuff going on. If I didn’t write, I’d do regrettable things with the stuff in here. As to why I write the specific things I do… I started reading fantasy and sci-fi when I was young and then played D&D, and it kind of went from there. Some of us have that kind of imagination. It’s not better than anyone else’s, it’s just different.

Question 4: How does your writing process work?

There are tiny elves inside my fingers. They push the keys and make the words come out on the screen. I communicate with them telepathically.

What I do is follow the advice I give to anyone else who asks me how to be a writer: Write words. Lots of words. Sometimes I have a plan, sometimes I sit down and it just comes out. Sometimes I know the character beforehand, sometimes I get to know them along the way. It’s a real improvisational thing going on over here.

The Hop

I…don’t really know a lot of bloggers. I’m picking on Dana, my writing group buddy, because I know she won’t object and might even find it helpful. 🙂

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