Monday, June 2, 2014

Writers on writing

My CP Melanie Stanford tagged me in a "Writers on Writing" blog chain that asks writers about their different writing processes. So here we go.

What Are You Working On?
As I've mentioned before, I have a bad habit of starting many things but only finishing few of them. Right now I am revising a project called STARRY NIGHT (working title) about four friends who are going to prom. I am also drafting a new adult novel about a Congressman's daughter who finds herself in a scandal and has to revamp her image through community service. There's also a hot reporter, because duh, new adult.

I am also working on getting copyright permissions for an old project. (Shhh, more information on that one to come.)

What Makes Your Work Different?

I'm not sure this makes me different, per se, but what I want more than anything is to make readers laugh. Whether I'm writing a romance, contemporary, or that thriller that's been on the back burner for ages, my main goal is to make someone who is reading my book laugh in public. 

Why Do You Write What You Do?
Little known fact about me: I write mainstream and LDS fiction. When I was 12, I got my first Jack Weyland book and my mind was blown that there were books about Mormon kids. I tore through every book the LDS fiction market had to offer. Was there a lot of cheese? Oh my, yes. SO MUCH CHEESE. But I loved the idea of writing for a market that never sees themselves reflected in pop culture unless it's on South Park. (Not that I don't love South Park.)

So my goal with LDS fiction is to write something that is realistic (read: not cheesy), but still solidly PG rated. Trust me, if you have a gift for the potty mouth (which I do), it's a lot harder than it looks.

And then on the mainstream side of things? I just worry about writing a good story, and good stories about regular people usually involve swearing and sex and sometimes violence. But I still have a vague idea about what does and doesn't fly for me. I don't write gratuitous violence, mostly because it is almost never necessary, and also because I don't see the point of making the world (even a fictional part of the world) more depressing than it already is. And a full-blown, euphemisms-for-anatomical-parts sex scene? Not going to happen in one of my stories, I am afraid. (PG-13 references? That's fine.) And for the record, that rule is less about general prude-ishness, and more about being risk-averse. I personally find that 90% of the time, explicit sex scenes in fiction are more awkward than sexy, and those are odds I don't want to gamble on. FADE TO BLACK FOR THE WIN.

Gratuitous swearing, though? That's fine, as a long as it's funny. (See above, goal of making people laugh at inopportune moments.)

What's Your Writing Process?
I tend to write in bursts, like 4,000 words in a day. Then I can't help but tinker with those words, and then probably let a week go by when I can't think of what comes next. However, I have started a new trick that has helped immensely -- when I get stuck, I just leave a blank and skip to the next part where I know what happens. I'm a loose outliner, but I tend to pants beginnings and then go back and figure out what ought to happen.

Basically, my system isn't great, but it's the only one I've got ;)

Who am tagging to post next? Why, all of you lovely writers out there, of course.


  1. I'm with you on LDS fiction having a major cheese-factor. I'm LDS too, but I don't really enjoy LDS fiction for that reason! So that's exciting that you're tackling it to take out the cheese. ;) I love how you've established your own standards for the content in your stories, it's something I'm still trying to figure out (because my stuff sometimes tends toward the violent end and I'm not sure I want it to!), but I'm also with you on the gratuitous and mainly awkward sex scenes--most of them are totally unnecessary! Anyway, this was fun to read your honesty and your writing process! And I love your goal of making people laugh. :)

    1. Thanks for the comment! And thanks for reading :)