Recently the most excellent Ellen Gregory tagged me for a blog hop where writers answer four questions about their creative process. The rules require one to publish their post on a Monday and tag three people, who are supposed to publish their posts the next Monday. They tag three more people, and the blog hop spreads in the manner of one of my favorite metaphors, the zombie virus 😉
I was supposed to do my post last Monday, but I couldn’t because of assorted busyness that included a trip to visit my grandparents and eat their donuts, which were chocolate-frosted and deliciously decadent (the donuts, not the grandparents).
Since it’s Monday again, I will attempt to
propagate the zombie virus help keep the blog hop going.
And now for the questions…
Drum roll, please.
1. What am I working on?
I’m slowly revising a short story set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy world I plan to use for a few simple projects.
Originally I was trying to revise a first draft of an eastern fantasy novel, but quickly learned that I didn’t really know what I was doing. I decided it might be a good idea to amass some experience with some shorter stuff before returning to the novel.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
The main thing that separates my work from most others in the same genre is that it’s all connected by a set of underlying metaphysical and cosmic themes, regardless of whether the piece in question is fantasy, science fiction, horror, or leprechaun crime fiction (just how do leprechauns accumulate all that gold, anyway?). Reading a lot of Michael Moorcock when I was growing up likely influenced this.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I find this difficult to answer for the same reason I have trouble articulating why I like the foods I eat, the music I listen to, or why I often reference zombies when I’m only a casual consumer of zombie media. I guess, like most of us, what I write is an extension of who I am, and I write what I would most like to read.
4. How does my writing process work?
I’m still learning this, and I suspect it will turn out to be a living process that evolves throughout my writing career as I gain experience, level up, and continue to learn new things. Even so, a practice I call “discovery writing” established itself early on as a cornerstone of my creative process, and might remain so for as long as I write.
When I turn my attention to the development of a new idea for a project, I begin writing almost immediately, and this happens alongside any brainstorming and note-collecting. I take ideas for potential characters, backstories, and plot points, ask myself, “What might that look like?”, and experiment with those ideas in a series of exploratory scenes.
Trying to capture even crude ideas into narrative form helps me extract better ideas from my brain, and also helps me get a grip on what aspects of the worldbuilding I might need to develop in support of the emerging story. It also helps me get words down without the stress of the blank page, because thinking of it as “discovery writing” instead of “real writing” takes the pressure off.
Most of the discovery writing is throwaway, and I’m okay with that, but some of it works out well enough to go into the first draft.
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And now I must tag three writers to propagate the blog hop, for posting on Monday the 24th, according to the rules…
Drum roll, please.
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If you’re a writer, what genre(s) do you work in? How does your writing process work? And do you prefer regular or decaf?