Hello from social media fast land! I’ve been off of social media for about a week now and have been feeling free and much clearer. I’ve had this post scheduled for weeks now and couldn’t wait to get it out for you guys. I’ve been seeing many others writing on this and wanted to jump in for some time. I hope you enjoy reading about my process. I will tag some people to continue the blog tour when I am back on social media at the end of this week.
1. What am I working on now? I am working on two inspirational romance stories that I am putting into contests to receive feedback on before submitting. The first, Pleasure’s Payne, I have been working on the idea for off and on for nearly ten years. I finally started seriously writing it during So You Think You Can Write last year. After some advice on twitter and other social media from the Love Inspired line editors, I decided to revise the beginning. I love this story. A young woman who recently lost her father is trying to overcome her grief and retain the presidency of her father’s company in the face of opposition from the executive board and the underhanded tactics of her father’s second in command. The hero is a disgraced doctor trying to start fresh in a new town. Through mistaken deliveries and divine intervention, these two wounded souls meet and begin to heal each other.
The second story, #LoveThyEnemy, is the story of a man attempting to move on from a tragic past who runs into a woman he greatly wronged. He sees the meeting as divine intervention, a way for him to atone for some of his past misdeeds; she sees it as the death kneel of her dreams for a new start in a new town free of her past. She wants nothing from him but to be left alone and to finally be rid of her attraction to him, but he’s determined to earn her forgiveness and keep a lid on his attraction to her.
2. How does my writing differ from others of its genre? I would have to say that my writing has greatly benefitted from my life experiences, which no other book in my genre has. For example, I drew on my experiences dealing with my stepfather’s passing to shape the heroine’s grief in Pleasure’s Payne. I drew on a failure of mine that cost me my academic career to frame the hero’s journey in that story. In #LoveThyEnemy, the tragic past the hero and heroine share is centered around an incident that I have personally experienced and draws on that experience and the experiences of close family.
My inspirational stories tend to deal a lot with redemption, forgiveness, and trust. I like to turn stubborn hearts and minds, to give them faith, hope, and love. For my non-inspirational stories, I tend to deal a lot with identity, w ho someone really is, what they are hiding of themselves, and how who they are and what they do affects those they love. None of these concepts are new, but I try to present them in a new light. I love to take a trope and find new twists to add to them. I hope my voice is fresh and adds a new spin on things.
3. Why do I write what I do? A lot of my writing comes from things I’m trying to work through in my own life. I love that finding ways to get my characters to their happily ever after shows me possibilities and ways to move forward in my own life. I write what I like to read. I love love. I like how love can inspire us to grow and change and make painful decisions that need to be made, all for someone else. I love how love is daring and accepts the possibility that the other person may not return their affections. I am endlessly fascinated with people, and how two wounded, frightened, doubting creatures can find something that can transform them. I believe the Bible is the greatest love story ever told, and I like to create stories that show a tiny bit of what love does for us on a smaller scale amongst ourselves, with a little help from God.
4. How does your writing process work? Gah! Do I have to answer this question? I don’t really have a process. I’ve already talked about my non-process for revisions here. An image, line of dialogue or a concept usually gets stuck in my head. I take this very ordinary thing and play the “what if” game with it until I have something I can turn into a full story. I come up with some characters and play around with them in my head until I have a basic plot. I write a basic outline that has the status quo, what changes, a few plot points that I feel have to be included, and possible fixes to plot points that might be an issue. I will also identify possible first lines, climax and a possible resolution, but these change from time to time. Then I begin putting words on the page.
As for my writing routine, I try to get up at 5am each morning (some mornings more successfully than others), spend a few minutes reading the most recent words to get the flow, consult my outline, and get writing. I print out my morning’s words and proofread them at lunch or after work. I may input the corrections to the document that night or the next morning before continuing with new words. I’ve been off my routine recently, writing whenever I can in between revisions as I am preparing pages for contest entries, but I’m hoping to be back on track again soon.
I’ll select someone to continue the blog tour and update this entry tomorrow morning. If you would like to participate and haven’t been asked yet, let me know.