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What's Your Writing Process?

'Ello, loves! 

We're the next stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour! Thanks for swinging by! If you've clicked a link on Karin Beery's website and found A Little Red Ink, then you know all about the tour already. If not, I'm joining other writers and editors to chat about my writing process. So often, what we do here is related to helping you in your own writing process, since you're thinking about hiring an editor. But both Erynn and I are writers first, editors second. So let's talk about how I do things in my own writing.

First, What am I working on? I am currently seeking an agent for the first novel in my series Afraid to Dance, while I plug along finishing the second. It's more than halfway done, and the third is fully outlined. I don't usually enjoy using an outline, but I found it necessary to bring all the pieces together for the third. Who wants to drop an important thread or forget to address something that readers are waiting for? I have to admit, that--since I'm expecting a little one's arrival any time in the next few weeks--I spend the bulk of my time editing. When I'm writing, my own characters consume my mind. I crave day after day of hours at a time (or night after night). It's much easier for me to exercise my current need for flexibility by working to perfect someone else's manuscript these days. But the writer in me is restless. Days of prioritizing, these.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? There isn't much New Adult fiction in the inspirational market at all. While I don't intend to always write for the CBA, this first series is definitely directed at the Christian market. But take a look at any Christian bookstore. You'll find middle grade readers, Young Adult fiction, and then it jumps right to Contemporary Fiction. While there ARE authors who are writing for this crowd, they're not always marketed that way, and it always gets me stoked. I'm for carving out some shelf-space for the New Adult crowd, so I write about their lives. Who knows? I may end up indie publishing since the CBA doesn't have a niche for me right now, but I'm not going to change what I write just to be more "marketable." These days, as I edit, I spend a lot of time praying, planning, and considering how best to get my story out there. What I need is an risk taking agent who's comfortable working with CBA and ABA houses, since after this trilogy I plan to write for the New Adult general market.

Why do I write what I do? I love twenty- to thirty-somethings. What an amazing set of circumstances--stepping out into new stages of life, pioneering genuine independence, navigating the waters of new career. These books are flying off the shelves in the general market, but the inspirational fiction market isn't doing much to satisfy those readers. 

How does your writing process work? I start with characters. They sort of clamor around me after I watch one of those movies that gets under my skin or I have a conversation with one of my New Adult friends about a struggle they're facing. Characters tell me they've been through something similar, and as I listen (totally metaphorically speaking, you know...I'm not crazed), I'll get a sense of their story. I ask about their history, their friends, their hometown--often writing out a character bio as I interview them--and the pieces begin to come together. From there, I might storyboard the basic plot points, but I generally just start writing. I try to write at least a thousand words a day when I'm seriously working on a novel. 

Here's something important: even when I'm not working on my own novel, I write for a minimum of ten minutes a day. It would be too easy to quit writing at all if I didn't keep my hand to the notebook. Sometimes I write a blog post, sometimes a journal entry, sometimes a conversation or scene that I can't get out of my head. I might get to use these things; I might not. But I write. And write.

That's my process. Next Monday, you'll be able to click on these links and read about the writing processes of these two great ladies. 


Sharon Mavis writes about marriage, drawing upon 40 years of being married to Rick, their beautiful/painful journey to emotional health, and an obsession with books and reading. Although she went to college in the 70s when the college had one computer which took up an entire room, she is shocking everyone who knows her by taking an online course to develop an online audience and now uses words like “landing page,” “AWeber,” and “cpanel.”

She got to this place via thirteen moves, raising two kids, a psychology degree, two master’s degrees including one from a seminary, owning a Christian bookstore, and years of living in the pastor’s wife fishbowl. She writes on marriage from the standpoint of “We’re working on our junk; are you like us?”
Visit her site at http://wholeheartedmarriageonline.com and download a free eBook.
     
Kathy Ide is an author, ghostwriter, editor, mentor, writers’ conference speaker, and editor service coordinator. She has been writing for publication since 1989. She’s written books, short stories, play and movie scripts, devotionals, and Sunday school curriculum. She is the author of Polishing the PUGS: Punctuation, Usage, Grammar, and SpellingFiction and Truth: Stories that Speak to the SoulChristian Drama Publishing, and Typing without Pain. She edits and mentors aspiring, beginning, intermediate, and established authors. She speaks at writers’ conferences across the country. She is the founder and director/coordinator of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).
Kathy’s latest book, Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors, was released from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas in January 2014 and is the first in the series of “Secrets of Best-Selling Authors.”