Monday, March 24, 2014

The Writing Process

Writing Process Blog Tour

Tag you’re it! Do you remember playing that game as a child? In the modern, cyber world version, Tag takes the form of a rolling blog tour where authors writing in all genres “tag” each other to blog about their writing process.

My thanks to fellow Astraea Press author, Dee Bat, for tagging me. More about Dee, who writes Regency romances as Vivian Roycroft, at the end of this blog.
                                                                 
                                                                    Photo credit: Loro Parque Alligator by Eistreter, wikimedia

What am I working on?                                          

 I am up to my ankles in alligators and swamp spells as my Teen Wytche Saga takes an unexpected (I sure didn’t plan on it!) ride down the bayou for book four. The saga has evolved into a paranormal Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, with a spell book that gets passed among an expanding group of teens. The spell book keeps morphing into different forms of magic. In book four, the spell book goes voodoo. Ainslie Avalon-Bennett, the OCD driven heroine from Spell Fire, hopes cracking the spell book’s latest magic will lead her to her missing friend, Sophia. To do so, she must find someone knowledgeable     in voodoo, powerful enough to control the grimoire, and trustworthy enough not to steal it. Easy, right?

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
A lot of paranormal Young Adult books are very dark and involve depressing worlds I wouldn’t want to visit. I write for the middle grade and high school kids who read to escape the angst and violence around them. My characters deal with tough subjects. Mental illness. Sibling rivalry. Death of a parent. Loss of a close friend. Secrets. But in my books, there is always hope, and usually romance. Magic doesn’t solve the problem. It usually creates more problems.

I am a professional shaman and Reiki Master. My life is steeped in magic and energy work. I hope that authenticity differentiate my books from others in the genre. Book four presents new challenges for me because it involves voodoo, a system of magic I’ve never used. (I have managed to slip in one shamanic scene so far.) I’m looking forward to resuming work on book five in the Teen Wytche Saga, because the heroine of that novel is teen shaman.

Why do I write what I do?
I am incapable of writing a story that doesn’t contain paranormal elements. Believe me, I’ve tried! I think I write sweet teen romances because they represent an ideal. Teens are pressured to grow up so quickly. Their lives are played out in social media where every miscue, mistake, and violence against them is posted for posterity. My books contain serious and even heartbreaking situations, but they also contain hope and triumph.

How does my writing process work?
I like to have some idea where I’m going. Each book has three acts. A hot pink post-it reminds me how many pages should be in each act. One glance tells me if my plotting is off. With my current work, I’ve moved chapters around. So I have ten pages left to lead up to the cliffhanger that will end Act I. Because of the restructuring, Act II is partially written and is told in a different viewpoint than Act I. With each book in the Teen Wytche Saga, I try to change things up a bit regarding Point of View.

Since book 4 has proven to be such a challenge, my current writing process involves a lot of constructive procrastination. I think/plot best when I’m moving, so I’ve been dragging my two dogs on three long walks a day. We put in three to four miles daily, which is a lifesaver since I have a wicked sugar addiction.

I try to get the first walk, email, and social media obligations met by ten or eleven in the morning so I can accomplish some writing before lunch. After lunch, I do another Internet sweep then write before the second walk. If I can get in more writing before dinner, I feel particularly virtuous. On any given day, I may I run up against walls that force me to do more research before I can continue with the story.

In writing the Teen Wytche Saga, I need to keep the overall arc of the series in mind as well as the arc of each character and individual book. I keep a detailed notebook so I can remember in book 4 what color eyes someone had in book 1. I also post a dream cast for the Teen Wytche Saga on Pinterest. http://www.pinterest.com/ariellamoon/the-teen-wytche-saga-dream-cast/
A photo of Jasmine Villegas on my desktop inspires me to write the character Sophia in book 4.




My thanks again to Dee Bat, who writes as Vivian Roycroft, http://the1940mysterywriter.weebly.com/blog.html for tagging me. 







In my mind, I am running down the gravel road on Moon Drive where I grew up. Sneakers scrunch against the gravel as I chase a shrieking group of authors. Yay! LaVerne St. George has stepped forward and said, "Tag me!" LaVerne will post about her writing process on March 31 at www.lavernestgeorge.blogspot.com



1 comment:

  1. I applaud you on recognizing how so many paranormals for the YA reader are dark and depressing. My daughter actually mentioned this to me one day, saying that so many books she'd picked up she immediately put down. Your stories sound charming!

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