Blog Hop: My Writing Process

Blog Hop: My Writing Process

So the marvelous Siri Paulson tagged me to answer four questions, and I took a bit longer than a week because reasons. But here I am, and here we go!

What am I working on?

Currently I’m editing a Taro and Rafe novel, Damsel in Distress. It’s a big wonderful mess because I’d always wanted to write a locked room (of sorts) mystery, and I decided to do it with Taro and Rafe in the wilderness, and also as my first NaNovel.

Hey, the easy way is not my style, okay?

Taro and Rafe are of the Dream’verse, which is sci-fi, but I write fantasy as well. I have several universes in progress, actually. Perhaps one day soon I’ll let some readers in to visit. 😉

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’ve had many compliments on how my stories are peopled by–well, people. The main characters are main because I’m focused on them, not because the universe revolves around them. Minor characters, even those who only appear once, have lives, have concerns, have things going on that have nothing at all to do with the main characters.

Also there’s the queer thing. I like to explore in my stories, and that means going places in time, space, and orientation that I’m not likely to see in this life. I try to work against the preponderance of white, male, straight “normal” MCs in all of English-written book-dom. I have some really awesome compatriots in that, and we all seem to find our own ways of fighting.

Why do I write what I do?

I like to explore. Let me rephrase that. I love to explore. I want to know everything, including how a gay man of Asian decent who tends to hit things when he’s confused can stumble into love with a pansexual former joy-boy who doesn’t like to be hit.

Books were an escape for me when I was a child, and that’s the sort of book I want to write. Books need to be at least a little bit important, too, though, so I try to throw that in. Nearly everything I write is about a person (or persons) learning how to do this life thing, preferably with as much joy and kindness as possible. My goal is that a reader has a great time reading my book, and then walks away with something that will help them in their life. Not because I’m smarter or wiser than they are, but because we all learn from each other. As Bill Nye is said to have said, “Every single person you meet today knows something you don’t know.”

So yeah. To learn, to teach, to have fun–that’s why I write what I do.

How does my writing process work?

Ooh…umm…let me think about that a second. It’s been in flux, and I haven’t actually written a lot of late (because I have years and years of backlogged manuscripts to edit. >_> )

Generally I start with a character. Often I know their initial predicament (Taro doesn’t want to go to college, he wants to have adventures with that guy big sister thinks is useless but also he needs to honor big sister) and from there I can figure out where I want them to end. Where I’m going in between–well, I’m getting better at figuring that out.

I read a lot about structure. I love Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! Beat Sheet. I thrash and flail at the story for a while, trying to make the structure work, and then generally the deadline starts looming so I just sit down and start writing. It seems to work– I can’t quite make myself fit into the structure in planning, but the stories seem to come out well-built.

When a story is done, I do what you’re supposed to–I wander off and do something else for a while, then I come back and edit. Generally I attempt Holly Lisle’s One-Pass methods without planning on actually doing it in one pass. Which is good, because I don’t know that I’ll ever succeed at that, but I know that I haven’t yet. When I’ve fixed the most egregious mistakes, I send it off to Siri (if it’s up for TDP publication) so she can point out not-so-great spots and suggest how to make it awesome.

So that’s how I do it. Your mileage may vary, many roads to Oz, and all that stuff. What works for you? I’d love to hear.

As for tagging, most of my writer-friends seem to have been tagged already, so I’ll just link a couple of those who have done it, and not nag those who haven’t. (Except for my friend marquessa. I’ll totally poke her, ’cause I’m supposed to remind her to write.)

So, the ones already in the blog hop: Here’s Kit Campbell’s writing process, and here is Murphy’s, and here Annikka Woods’.


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Writer, mom, widow. Anything else is transitory.

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2 comments on “Blog Hop: My Writing Process
  1. Siri Paulson says:

    I LOVE what you said about “why do I write what I do?”. Not the bit about how Taro and Rafe fell in love (although I’m glad you decided to explore that!!) but the part about having a great time and then learning something about life, joy, and kindness. That’s pretty close to one of the things I’m trying to do in my writing, too. I skew more towards various ways of saying “learn to have the confidence to be yourself” and “keep seeking until you find where you’re meant to fit in”, but…that might really be the same thing as you, after all. 😉

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