Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Process This.

So!  Last week, Liz Blocker tagged me for the writing process meme.  Little did she know that giving me a chance to talk about myself and about my writing at the same time is one of the few ways guaranteed to get me rambling at length and depth.  Let's get started, shall we?

What am I working on now?
In June, I'll start the query process for THE ACCIDENTAL WARLOCK, a story about a young woman who discovers she was prepared before birth to serve as the body for an extremely powerful demon.  I've been polishing this book for months, and I'm eager to see how it does once I start querying.  I also have three or four plots in various stages of development, one of which I've had all kinds of success with over the past nine days.  No details about those, because I have no idea which will actually become books.

How does my book differ from others within its genre?
Both the heroines are gay, and the main couple is an interracial one.  Sad to say, those are going to be the major differences people see if TAW gets published.  I really wish both of those were more common in the fantasy genre, where in theory books could feature all kinds of people and worlds and situations never before seen, but the idea that heroes have to be straight, white, and male is still far too prevalent.  -_-

Why do I write what I do?
Because it's in my head and needs to come out.  Seriously.  I came up with Abraxas, the world TAW takes place in, back in 2003, and my only first published story took place in that world.  I have over a dozen documents developing the place, some of which I deliberately ignored when writing TAW because they didn't fit the story.  I've also been writing Shiloh and Alexi, the two heroines, in various forms since 2002; they've appeared in about half of the books I've written.  I love these two, and this world, and would like nothing more than to start my writing career bringing them to the rest of the world.

How does my writing process work?
Before I begin writing, I take a shot of liquor (usually rum) and eat a little bit of chocolate.  Alcohol loosens up the brain, and has proven to affect the language centers, while sugar has always been fuel for my writing.  (I used to eat lumps of brown sugar before writing when I was a teenager.  Don't judge.)  I then play the song I've chosen for the book - every book gets one - and pace about my apartment, mentally preparing myself.  Then, I put on a CD - every book gets one of those too - and pull on my headphones.  By then, the first sentence for the night's work has usually come to me, so I write that, and then I'm off and running.

Most of the time, what I'm writing flows out of my head without too much trouble.  Not bragging, it's just the truth.  And much of that stuff that flows so easily gets the hell beaten out of it with the editing stick.  My editing process is lengthy and intensive, but it's totally worth it.

Music is an absolutely essential part of my writing process.  I can write without it, but it just plain doesn't feel right.  I am thankful to be able to drop a CD into my computer, though.  Way back in high school, the stereo at my dad's house was around the corner from the study where the computer was.  That computer was a DOS machine with 640K of RAM and an amber monitor.  So I had to put a CD in the stereo, crank it way the hell up, then hurry to the study and start writing.  Many times, my dad came home from work to find me in the study, pounding away at the keyboard with seven fingers since I didn't know how to touch-type yet, with Meat Loaf's "Bat out of Hell II" cranked up to eleven.  Sorry, Dad.

So now I need to tag some other people for this thing, hmm?  Let's see...  I'll tag Rena, because she and I have had more than a few rambling back-and-forth conversations about our processes before, and I'll tag Anna, who said she liked hearing about others' processes.  ^_^  Have at it!

Next entry: what's in a name?  Or, for some characters, What the hell is your name?!


  1. I don't think this was long and rambling! I'm glad I tagged you, because this was a lot of fun to read :) I'm sure part of that is that I've been lucky enough to read and love TAW, so I get to feel cool and insider-y, but you also expressed it with charm and made it interesting. Plus, I'm so with you on the "why the heck are FANTASY novels so white and male and straight???" thing. Seriously, aren't we more imaginative than that??

    On a not as fun note, most of everything I've read about querying warns that a ton of agents go away over the summer, and their reading of the slush pile dwindles to close to nil. I'm sure there are exceptions to that, but my advice would be to start in June and then take a break in July and August, so that you don't end up at the computer, wondering why no one has gotten back to you. Trust me when I say you're already gonna feel like that; you don't need any outside circumstances making it worse!

    1. It was long and rambling for me - I try to keep my blog entries shortish and to the point. Couldn't do that with this one, and I cut out an entire paragraph. ^_^

      Thank you. It helps me more than I can say when people say they love my books. Seriously grinning like crazy over here. :P And yeah, it's something I never noticed until I thought about it, but seriously, fantasy heroes seem to be way too much the same sometimes. -_-

      And I didn't know about agents going away over the summer. Hmm. I'll have to check carefully on whomever I query, make sure they're not doing that. Grr. Arg.

  2. Thanks for the tag. Now I get to ramble about writing process! (I love talking about it, but feel like I ramble--because I DO!)

    1. We both do. That's why I tagged you. ^_^

  3. Serve as the body of a demon? Cool!
    Here...let me crank up the Meatloaf for you. :)

    1. I could have sworn I'd mentioned that before when talking about TAW... :P

      And that CD is still awesome. I've written some of my most epic stuff while listening to it, and I deliberately came up with an entire world just so I could get back to the stuff I wrote to that music. The things we writers do, eh?

  4. I'm totally on board with the music and cranking it, but not so much with the drinking. Chocolate, sure. BUT give me a plate of cheese too.

    1. Eh, it's not much of a drink. :P And I have to down my chocolate before I start - I can't eat and write, it slows me down.