Thanks to Lara Dunning for tagging me in a Writing Process Blog Tour. The deal is I got to answer these four questions…
1) What am I working on?
Right now I’m making the push to finish a solid second (slash-ten-thousandth) draft of my YA novel Zero High. Set in a school with a tragic past, a small group of girls–a secret sorority, if you will–keep watch on the student body to make sure there will be no repeat of the Tragedy, no more shootings, no more suicides, no more death. Their goal: everyone gets out of high school alive. That’s it. That’s all. But three days into the new school year, one of the guidance counselors is found murdered on campus. And the police don’t have a clue. (There is absolutely no paranormality in the story.)
I also have a new SF screenplay called Drones & Drivers (drones controlled by techno-telepathy that messes with their “driver’s” head) and some flash pieces under construction.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t know.
3) Why do I write what I do?
Uh, what else would I write? Okay, I’ll try to answer this for real. My number one goal is to engage and entertain. I want to make a place where readers can come and have an awesome time. That’s all. So I write things that reader-me wants to read. I like stories that make me laugh and make me think and make me feel. Genre is less important to me than having a blast and engaging with a story and its characters. That’s true for me as a reader and a writer. When people talk about character-driven versus plot-driven, I shrug. In stuff I love, these two aren’t separate or divisible.
4) How does my writing process work?
I pretty much deploy all the tools. I do exploratory drafting, outlining, character work, scene carding. I look at the structure from multiple models. I write a lot, and I hack out a lot. I give myself permission to stink. (Literally; sometimes if I’m in the space I forget to shower or change clothes in the morning. Probably you didn’t want to know that, though. Apologies.) I go to the senses when I get stuck/bored–I inhabit. That is, I drop myself into the life of the character and forget everything about what’s supposed to happen, just taste whatever the air is like, feel the carpet under my toes. I couldn’t really tell you if any of this works. But I’m definitely not an either-or type of writer in terms of outlining or not. Not into that binary.
The other part of my process is a deadline. I don’t write every day through discipline — but through obsession, yeah sure.
Tag you’re it:
Gloria Harrison is a writer whose work has been featured on The Nervous Breakdown, Fictionaut, and This American Life. Thanks for letting me pass this torch!
Dale Ivan Smith writes speculative fiction and stretches its boundaries every-which-way, and I am humbled by his work ethic. Thanks Dale for joining this Pacific Northwest Blog Tour.