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Well. I did not quite mean to take a six-month hiatus but school, NaNo, and more school combined kicked my blog off the back of the stove entirely. But, thanks to Nancy tagging me, I am BACK. What did I get tagged with? Talking about my writing process. Follow the link back to see what Nancy has on her brain at the moment. ‘Tis awesome, I promise.

What am I working on?

Ha. Haha. Currently, the light and love of my authorial life, the Skjulested trilogy, is on hiatus. When I came back to edit the first draft in January, I could not find the enthusiasm that sparked the trilogy back in 2010. Instead of trying to force myself to write/produce inferior work, I’m taking the chance to let some new plot bunnies grow and develop as I procrastinate on Latin take the time to read new material.

At the top of my brain are currently 4 character/plot bits who can’t decide how to slot together. There is a hapless library worker who finds himself stuck with a very annoying ghost-child; the tattoo artist who imbues her work with luck spells; a girl shoving her car off a cliff as she runs away (possibly onto an annoyed merman); and a granny mermaid.

How does my work differ from others in my genre?

Above all else, I write character. I prefer a protagonist who doesn’t fit the traditional “hero” mold for one reason or another and enjoy putting them in situations where they have to be a hero/leader/not themselves.

Why do I write what I do?

I cannot not write. I have ideas in my head and I’m very much of the “write the stories you want to read” persuasion. In my case, I want lots of magic smashed into the real world with plenty of mythology on the side and seeing how characters react and grow when shoved into a new role. Neil Gaiman, Melissa Marr, Naomi Novik, and Jessica Grey are all authors whose work I enjoy and look to for how to improve.

How does my writing process work?

1. Get a particularly persistent plot bunny.

2. Shove schoolwork to one side, write out scenes and tidbits to familiarize myself with the characters. A plot usually shows up at some point.

2a. Nag friends via text message and Twitter about character/plot elements/worldbuilding.

3. Write a NaNo draft during NaNoWriMo or Camp NaNo

4. Rewrite the NaNo draft into a first draft

5. Send off the draft to be lovingly shredded by beta-readers

6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until I can think of nothing else to do

7. Publish!

(To be fair, I have yet to publish anything. My writing process is, itself, a work in progress.)

Tag, you’re it…:

Jill Marcotte

Tia Kalla

L.M. Murphy

In six days, the July Session of Camp NaNoWriMo starts and I find myself slightly dreading the experience this time around. Why, you ask? Blog aside, I’m looking to play with completely new ideas for the first time in three years and I’m terrified.

We all know how it goes: You settle into something and you get comfortable. A job, a relationship, your parent’s guest bedroom. You know where to find the staples, you have a million in-jokes, you can count on your mom to bake you cookies. Three years of working with the same characters and plots and now I’m hesitant to step beyond that universe. It’s a very nice universe, developed, filled with characters, and all sorts of unexplored possibilities–!

[hangs head]

Life is about growth and change. Life is what inspires my writing and if I want to keep growing as a writer and person, I need to mix things up. To that end, my plan for this session of Camp NaNoWriMo is write at least 5,000 words a week exploring the plot bunnies below and see what potential lurks beneath their twitching noses and placid red eyes…

Bunny One: A MC is taking a road trip to find him/herself breaks down in a middle-of-nowhere town. While waiting for his/her car to be repaired s/he wanders into the small town library that seems to be bigger on the inside…The Eagles’ ”Hotel California” was the major inspiration for this bunny.

Bunny Two: WWII-esque story, fae horse, female hero. Itty bitty fae gardens. The girl would have been part of SOE in France but got invalided home. The family is set on squashing the heroine back into her old role as the youngest girl child and marrying her off but she has gotten the taste of a wider world.

Bunny Three: Magical society where people are born with “craft” magic that dictates their trade. Family business/guilds/alliances are a major thing. Occasionally, there will be people who are born with a different craft magic from their family. MC is comes from a family of animal-husbandry crafters but has a more intellectual-craft magic.

Bunny Four: Something inspired by the recent Florence + The Machine binge I’ve been on. “Howl” and “If Only For A Night” are the top contenders so something paranormal.

There are other nebulous bunnies but they’re variations on the magic/libraries of Bunny One. Or Doctor Who  bunnies, damnyouNancy. Nerves aside, I’m looking forward to seeing what bunnies will catch my attention enough to deserve a NaNo draft of their own. See you at Camp!

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