Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Writing Process Plus Updates on the Next Book!

 



I was tagged by the awesome Liz Blocker to talk about my writing process in this weeks' Writing Process Blog Tour.

Thank you Liz!

I'm going to focus on just a couple questions. Questions that I feel like some of my non-writer friends AND writer friends would both be interested in.

What am I working on now?

I am plugging away at SNOW DOLLS, a story that I've fallen head over heels with and just can't stop obsessing over. It's been a couple years in the making (mostly in the concept phase). But now it's time to flesh this story out. I hope to have it ready for readers by the end of the year.

For fans of VIOLET STORM, I promise I've got the skeleton written out for the next book in the Modi series! I will promptly begin working on it as soon as I've finished SNOW DOLLS.

 

How does my book differ from others within the genre? 

I think what makes SNOW DOLLS different is how multifaceted it is. It involves, cultural and religious brainwashing, gender bias, and political intrigue. It centers around a very disturbing religious practice known as Purification, the process by which every girl at the age of sixteen is made into a doll. Dolls are subservient, unemotional, and complacent. The land is called Illumera, and it takes place in a parallel world like Earth.

The story centers around three main characters who narrate the struggle of their day-to-day lives living in a world where every woman of age is made into a doll. On the surface, Illumera is vibrant and flourishing. It is a blessed land with little crime, illness, and political turmoil. But underground, breeds another story, and it exposes just how unethical and deceiving Purification truly is.

I'd love to say more, but I promise to do so when I've written more of the story!

 

What does my writing process consist of?

I am struggling to write every day. With a full-time job it's hard to find a lot of time in the day. But that's not really the issue. The problem is that I love the story I'm working on, the world I'm building, and the plot and subplots just get me giddy! Should be pretty fun and easy to write...right? But for all those reasons and more, I get a little intimidated by the work itself. I've started to change my day-to-day writing process because sometimes that pressure can be too great and I feel like I'm creating my own proverbial block. Hand me that brick will ya?

So how have I gotten around that?

Writing at Cafe La Tartine, Redwood City
I started writing free-hand on a plain spiral-bound notebook. I used to just write chapter outlines on it but now I'm writing entire scenes, verse by verse. Suddenly I'm tacking on 5K words a week easy-peasy and I'm able to write anywhere. Whereas I'd struggle to write 500 words here and there and felt like I had to be at x,y, z to be in the writing zone. Having my laptop open, watching my cursor blink and constantly eyeballing the word count felt like a big enough block to prevent me from making progress.

So now I've started to write in free-hand. When I'm done with a chapter or two, I'll open up my Scrivener document and add in the chapters, and any new content I've added to the world. It also gives me another chance to edit, build, and reshape a scene.

I love that I can literally take the story with me anywhere and not feel like I am bound by a particular process.

Consistency is great when it comes to writing. It helps to produce a routine that your mind and body can easily adopt, but I find that my muse can get bored too quickly. I can get uncomfortable and suddenly there's a reason--or three, five, ten--for why I can't write.

Hope this helps other writers out there who may be in the same boat!

Now it's time for me to tag a few others: Julie Luek and Meradeth Houston. Hopefully you haven't already been tagged (I'm a little late in the game here), but if not feel free to explore!

In other news...

Thank you for all the support on VIOLET STORM. We've sold almost 190 books! Seriously. WOW.
If you enjoyed the story, please don't forget to review on Goodreads and Amazon! :)  



20 comments:

  1. Yay! Don't you just love an awesome new idea that begs to be told? It's my favorite part :) Can't wait to read Snow Dolls! (And VS--school is finally out and it's up next on my TBR, woot woot!!) Thanks for the tag--I have done the meme before, but it's always a fun one!

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    1. Yes! Thanks for the encouragement (as always!). And of course, you've already done the meme, you're SOOO on it! :)

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    2. lol, I don't know about on it, just blog too much!! :)

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  2. Wow. That's an interesting story world--one prime for tension and a great story. I'm totally stoked to see what comes of it.

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    1. Thanks Crystal! :) Me too! So far I have just the main plot points, but looking forward to discovering more of the world as I continue along.

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    2. That's the best part, right? The discovery. *sigh* You make me want to shut down the interwebs and lock myself in my happy place to write. ;)

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  3. Snow Dolls sounds awesome! I'm anxious to read it someday when you're finished :) Your writing process is interesting! It's encouraging that you were able to find a way to change it up by writing by hand to increase your productivity. I agree, that when a story makes me giddy, I feel extra pressure and find extra ways to procrastinate. I'll have to try the notebook idea and see if it helps the story flow any better :)

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    1. Thanks Genissa! And yes, I have to find new ways to shake it up and make it not feel so much like work. That's always tough. Hope the notebook idea helps you also! :)

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  4. Oh you're going to make me think! I love reading how other writers go about their writing process. Usually (like here!) I'm rather intimidated by all I'm not doing. I love hand-writing things too-- just something about that mind-to-hand connection.

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    1. LOL I'm very curious to read about your writing process, Julie. I get tidbits here and there on your blog, but I'm sure, like my own process, it can change from one day to the next. And great point about the mind-to-hand connection. It is quite different and so much more personal feeling than typing away. :)

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  5. Anna, I totally love your concept for Snow Dolls!!! It's so creepy and disturbing and utterly fascinating - and like all of my favorite stuff, it has the chance to shine a light on our own culture without seeming like it really is :) thanks for humoring my tag!!

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    1. Awesome!! And thanks again for tagging me! Gave me the opportunity to post again. I've been in and out of my writing funk lately, and this was such a great break! :)

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  6. I love being in love with an idea. (Unfortunately, I'm not there at the moment, but I hope to find my way back.) Like you, I did break away from routine yesterday - grabbed a legal notepad and headed to the library. First writing I got done in over two weeks.
    Hope your words keep flowing! Thanks for sharing your process.

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    1. Thanks Ruth. And sounds like we had the same idea! It's wonderful to be in the "mode" again, no matter which form it comes. Wishing you the same, and hope that inspiration continues! :)

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  7. Found your blog via Crystal Collier. LOVE your cover. It's stunning. Good luck with your book and your latest project.

    Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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    1. Hi Jay! Thanks for stopping by. Sorry for the delay, I've been celebrating my birthday down in Disneyland for the past couple of days. :) I've been seeing your book, DRAGONFLY WARRIOR, around the web and am also in love with your cover! I like the sequel cover too. :) Well done!

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  8. I think we all struggle with that intimidation...and it's annoying when life gets in the way of us working on the story that's running through our minds nonstop. It's just all about squeezing a little time in each day, but if you aren't feeling it, that can be tough to do.

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    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, Stephanie. It always feels better to hear that I'm not alone in these struggles and that others can certainly relate. :)

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  9. Congratulations on your book, Anna, and happy birthday. Sounds like an exciting project you've got going now with Snow Dolls. I appreciate you sharing your struggle with the process and your elation with the ideas as they develop. Maria @ http://delightdirectedliving.blogspot.com/

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  10. Hey Anna,

    I sort of took off (unofficially) during May...just going through my reader. Funny...I was just tagged for this (they're calling it the blog train) and will be posting on Monday. And what's even funnier is I asked Liz if she wanted to and she'd already done it. Came here to ask you...oh well! :)

    I've not written free-hand in so long (other than scribbled notes) that I think I would cramp at a hundred words. But the ol' pencil and paper are timeless! Good going!

    M.L. Swift, Writer

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