I was recently tagged by the talented K.A. Reynolds to be up next in The Writing Process Blog Tour. Kristin writes literary magical realism (among other things) and her prose is beautiful. If you aren’t keeping an eye on her already, you should start, because she’s going places.
Here we go!
What are you working on right now?
Right now, I’m working on staying sane until my kids go back to school in a few weeks. Oh, you mean with writing? Well, in that case, I’m working on a YA Fantasy inspired by ancient Indian mythology. It’s been so much fun to write and I’m really excited about it.
How does your work differ from others in your genre?
That’s a tricky question to answer since I’m not sure writers ever see our work objectively in this regard. The short version is that nothing else in my genre was written by me and I hope my voice makes the story unique. Also, it’s set outside the typical European milieu of many fantasy novels and I think that makes it stand out. (No bedrolls or daily ablutions here.)
Why do you write what you write?
First, why do I write at all? Writing is the closest thing to magic that exists in the real world—it’s amazing when you think about it. An author can tell a story that only exists in her mind and then through the power of the written word, a child can pick up a book a hundred years later and experience the world through that author’s eyes. Writing is time travel and living forever and becoming someone completely different for three hundred pages. Magic.
As for why I write YA? It’s because that time of life fascinates me—that precipice right between childhood and adulthood. So much discovery about who we are and who we’re becoming happens at that age. I think that’s why adults enjoy reading YA too. We can all relate to those experiences. Plus, a lot of the best storytelling is happening in YA right now—YA is nearly always more tightly written and faster paced than other types of fiction, which makes for some great books.
How does your writing process work?
Writers often talk about either being “plotters” (those who outline a story before they write) and “pantsers” (those who make it up as they go along.) The truth is, a lot of writers don’t fit neatly into one category or the other. I tend to be a blend of the two. When I start a new story, I like to know the beginning, the ending, and several turning points along the way, but other than that I discover the story as I go along.
When I’m drafting, I aim for 2000 words per day, though I probably come closer to an average of 1000-1500. I edit as I go—I’ve tried the fast drafting method and I just can’t turn off my internal editor long enough to make it work for me. The book can suck as I write it, but I can’t know that it sucks, so I spend a lot of time reaching for the exact right word or image. It makes it go more slowly than if I just pushed forward, but it’s what works for me.
Each day before I start writing, I edit the work from the day before. It helps me ease into the day and get me up to speed on where I left things during my last session.
Once a first draft is done, it’s pretty clean typo and grammar-wise, but I always have to edit for plot arc, characterization, etc. and that can take several months. From idea to final draft, I’d say the entire process takes about 9 months to a year.
Well, that’s about it. Next up on the blog tour is my writing friend, Bekah Berge. Take it away, Bekah.