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Blog Tour: the writing process

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So, I'm playing catch up - which is not entirely new these days. Sure, it's 70ish outside but it's supposed to snow tomorrow and then we'll be inside. All of us. Again.

But last week I was supposed to tell you that I'm part of a blog tour. Along this tour have been some wonderful women describing their writing process. Last week Alleyne Dickens, my fellow VRWer, gave us her story. Be sure to check out her writing. It's fantastic.

I'm this week's stop along the tour, so sit back and let me tell you a story:

1) What am I working on?

I'm working on a story that I began as a NaNoWriMo project several years ago. I finished it at that point, winning NaNo [yeah!!] with my story of 50K+ words, but it stuck with me and long after I'd put it aside to work on something else I realized that I had more to tell. It's a women's fiction story, all about my heroine's transformation, but along the way I needed to provide an outlet for the guy. He had stuff to stay and he wouldn't let me move on until he was done. So until Rob [that's his name] is done telling his part of the story I'll continue to write it down. Then I hope to go back to "Let's Get Cooking" - a story of food, family, and the love of life - which is sitting about half-done waiting for me.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

When you talk about women's fiction definitions can be difficult. For me, my stories will always have an emotionally satisfying ending because that's what I read and that's what I like. There's nothing I hate worse than getting to the end of a really good book and then the energy dies - or worse, just fades away. Not all stories of women's fiction are like this, but they are all about the female character's journey. This doesn't mean that other character's don't arc or that character's in my contemporary romances don't have an arc, but those stories aren't focused entirely on the transformational journey. They also focus on the romance, etc.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I write this way because these are the stories in my head. As it says on the masthead, and as a response to the previous question, I think life is too short to read books that don't have happy endings.

4) How does your writing process work?

I'm not sure it does work, but here's what I do:) First, I have beautiful sunshine and a bright blue sky and then I slide into a comfy chair on my deck and write lovely flowing phrases with colorful pens.

Not realistic? Of course not. I started writing in earnest when my kids were small and I learned to write entire scenes during nap time. I could get pages and pages done in that hour-and-a-half. Now that my kids are older it's not actually easier to find time to write. Sometimes I get up before them in the morning. Other times I use white noise, or my favorite app - Coffitivity - to help create some quiet in the midst of the chaos. More often than not I'm up later at night so that I can have some uninterrupted brain time.

But that's the logistics of getting the story on paper. Some of the other things I do along the way include building a soundtrack for the story. I also spend a lot of time thinking 'what if...' as I create connections and begin to plan out the story. To call this plotting would be a stretch. I generally know a few things about the male and female protagonists, I know the setting, and I might know the conflict. The next thing I do is sit down to write and as I write the rest of the story begins to appear. This isn't the way I'd choose to write, if I had a choice, but this is the way it works for me.

And there you go. That's what I do - when I'm not doing the other stuff in my life - but that's not what this blog tour is about. The next stop is on March 10th when you'll hear from Ainsley Brooks about her process. Ainsley writes fairy tale adventures while navigating the treacherous waters and shifting tides of self-publishing.

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