My Writing Process: The Blog Tour

Okay, so I’ll start off by saying, I’m in the snauzer haus. Again. Ella (my good friend and co-author of Ghosts of Christmas Past) tagged me to participate in this writing process blog tour — wherein I’m supposed to answer four questions about my writing process — and although I did remember, I didn’t actually have time to get the entry up yesterday, when it was supposed to be up. So, snauzer haus. But I’m kind of used to that by now, so, on with the tour…

What am I working on?

Death Becomes Her 6 smallI’m working on a couple of things, because, well, when am I not working on at least a couple of things? (If I had a muse, she would definitely have ADD.) But the thing I’ll focus on is a novella called Death Becomes Her. It’s a supernatural suspense story, about a young woman who can see the ghost of a murdered girl that everyone else believes has simply run away from home. Because no one else knows the girl is dead, she can’t go to the police, so she decides to try to solve the murder herself. I’ve got the first draft almost finished – it’s just wanting for a few scenes that I’m not quite sure about yet. Once I fill those in, I’ll polish it, send it to my esteemed beta reader, then tweak it as necessary, get it edited and proofread, and get it out there to be read ASAP.

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

I’m not really sure how to answer this. Anything I can come up with sounds arrogant, disingenuous, self-deprecating, or some combination of all three, so I think I’ll leave it for now. If I come up with something better later I’ll come back and fill it in.

Why do I write what I do?

I write in several different genres (supernatural suspense, ghost stories, murder mysteries, horror, a bit of sci-fi, a bit of fantasy, a bit of erotica) but the reason I write what I do is because that’s what I feel compelled to write at any given time. When I wrote my half of Ghosts of Christmas Past, I wanted to write a story about finding a second chance at happiness. When I wrote Bitten, I got a brief scene stuck in my head, about a sexy vampire from a cheesy b-movie coming out of the movie screen and putting his sexy moves on a pissed-off theatre employee, who thinks he’s merely a hot fanboy who’s indulging his inner geek. It sounds silly when I put it like that, but I had an absolute blast writing it. Probably the most fun I’ve ever had writing anything.

How does my writing process work?

My writing process is still very much a work in progress. I suffer from Perfect-itis, and I’m also a procrastinator extraordinaire, so my process involves a Don’t Break The Chain calendar on the wall, and an Excel spreadsheet to track my word count, words/hour, and total hours spent. This keeps me honest, and the reward of putting an X through each little box on the calendar at the end of the day is enough to get me writing on most days, even when I don’t feel like it. I’ve also recently discovered — although I really should have known it already, given the whole Perfect-itis thing — that I’m most definitely a plotter. The longer a story is, the better I need to know the main plot, and if it’s a mystery, the plot-behind-the-plot, too.

So I guess that’s it. Hopefully Ella will forgive me for being a day late with this. If not, I can always remind her that Rock Hard isn’t going to write itself. 😀

When you don’t have anything interesting to say, give people something pretty to look at…

When screenwriters have boring exposition that they need to get into the story, and have no other way of spicing it up, they use a technique called The Pope In The Pool. Anyone familiar with Blake Snyder’s Save The Cat! will recognize the term. For those who aren’t familiar with it, what it boils down to is this: roll out the boring stuff while giving the audience something pretty or interesting to look at. The very best example of this I’ve ever seen is an episode of Castle, in which a not-so-amicably divorcing couple demolish each other’s possessions while Castle and Beckett run down the facts of the case for the audience and duck projectiles. Good stuff, that.

Today, I’m going to borrow the technique and use it for my own ends – namely, to distract from the fact that I don’t really have anything to say.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to my oh-so-pretty Killer B’s boys…

On the left is Vlad, my vampire boy, and on the right is Grady, my wolf boy. They’re so pretty, they make it hard to tear my eyes away. But, sadly, that’s not going to get Unleashed to a publishable state. It’s almost done – everything but the big finish, as it were – but writing sex is hard, damn it (no pun intended), so I’d better go. I’ll leave you to look at my pretty, pretty boys.