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Writing Process Blog Hop

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Thank you Kate Lansing for inviting me to this Blog Hop! I thought it was such a good idea, giving writers a chance to share their projects and a chance to connect with each other. And you benefit because you learn more about me and how I work around having Chronic Migraine to pursue my dream of writing novels 🙂
1) What are you working on?

I have two projects rolling at the moment. The first is a YA sci-fi called 12 (great for Uglies fans!) I’m currently querying. I talk in-depth about it on my Book in Progress page here.

The second is a New Adult sci-fi. It takes place way, waaay in the future, and is about a young man who discovers a spaceship. His find not only changes what he knew about his tribe, but plants him right in the middle of a war. While 12 leans toward horror, this project is more a traditional sci-fi.

2) How does your work differ from others in its genre?
Because much of my life is defined by the limitations of my body, I gravitate toward characters who deal with pain (whether physical, emotional, psychological, whatever) and/or are very aware of the physical nature of their bodies. Body modification always seeps into my stories, whether I intend it to or not.

3) Why do you write what you do?
It’s like cookie dough ice cream. Cookie dough PLUS ice cream? In one bowl???

Get out.

I love science, especially when neurology’s involved because I like knowing what’s going on in my brain. And I’m curious. And I actually like research. (Nerd-alert.)

I also love space. It’s HUGE and beautiful and amazing and blows my mind when I think about it.

So, naturally, space + science = too good to be true.

Besides, I’ll steal Kate Lansing’s words for this: I write what I love to read.

4) How does your writing process work?
A. Idea Gestation: My initial idea has to pass 3 tests, otherwise it’s not worth my time.

  • Abby test–keeps me excited for the long haul
  • Younger sibling test–my target audience is intrigued
  • Randy test–I capture my ADHD husband’s attention long enough he forgets about the bag of cookies I’m dangling in front of his face

B. Planning and 1st Draft: Due to my migraines, I only have a short period of time a day I can actually write. This means I can’t waste time with useless words, which, unfortunately, is part of writing.

To cut back on wasted time, I use The Snowflake Method of writing a novel developed by Randy Ingermanson. This method really works for me. This way, the majority of my time is spent thinking, so that when I do sit down to write, I know exactly where I’m headed.

I use Scrivener to pound out that first draft. I can make notes and move around scenes without any effort and without losing my rhythm. It helps me keep track of what’s going on in the bigger picture.

C. Editing Subsequent Drafts: This is tricky as reading can aggravate my pain levels (though we’re going to try having someone read aloud to me this round and see how that goes.) Solution?

I aim to work in 10K batches and highlight each aspect of the text with a different color as per Margie Lawson‘s EDITS system.

Blue = narration. Green = description. Pink = visceral responses, ect.

This gives me a good visual of what’s on the page and what’s missing. Better yet, what’s missing. As I do this, I’m also keeping track of various aspects of character growth, plot developments, ect.

By this point, I’m usually ready to hook up a chocolate IV straight into my arm.

D. Critique Partners: Love them 🙂 At this point, the manuscript goes to my CPs and gets hacked by them. Then I rework various aspects.

Once that’s to my liking, then I go over the whole thing on a sentence by sentence level (10K batches again) to make sure all the words are exactly as I want them. Scrub it ’till it shines.

Did I mention I’m a little neurotic?

Thanks again to Kate for including me!

Kate_LasingI’m Kate Lansing, and I write Cozy Mysteries and Young Adult Novels. The common thread to my stories is a love for setting, to feel like you’re experiencing a whole new world whether it’s a deadly take on the modern day office or the fantastical at the bottom of the ocean.

I grew up in the Rocky Mountains where I shared my backyard with black bears, mountain lions, and herds of elk (although usually not at the same time). After graduating from CU Boulder with an Applied Math degree, I worked as a statistician for five years before giving it up to pursue my dream.

I currently live in Denver, Colorado with my husband and our chair-napping tabby cat named Maple.

Be sure to give love and support to these talented writers who’re posting next Monday during the Blog Hop:

JM_LedwellJM Ledwell writes fiction set against the sweep of history. She loves history so much, she would love to travel back through time; if she looked well in the costumes; if she didn’t end up in the middle of revolution and if she was born on the right side of the blanket where the castle is warmer than the fields.
She grew up with a penchant for epics a la Thorn Birds and James Michener novels. She drew on research skills acquired during her graduate studies, delved into the hidden world that proved powerfully erotic, and discovered the legendary Japanese courtesan, igniting her imagination and a story that burned to be told.

Elsie_ElmoreOn a small patch of North Carolina land just outside the city limits, Elsie Elmore lives with her husband, two kids, and two dogs.

She’s a science nerd with creative tendencies. And the stories she writes come to her from life’s experiences after her mind has warped them almost beyond recognition. Her first YA PNR romance is due out this year from Curiosity Quills.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for participating in this Blog Hop, Abby! I loved reading about what you’re working on and about your writing process, especially considering the challenges and time limitations you face due to migraines (ouch!). I’m intrigued by the tips you mentioned, and am definitely going to check out Margie Lawson‘s EDITS system. Best of luck querying your novel, 12! 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kate! It was fun to do 🙂 I never realized how extensive my process was until now, lol. Margie has A TON of great stuff- worth spending money on if you got the cash. Thanks again 🙂

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