A big thank you to Leisl Kaberry for inviting me to join this blog tour about the process of writing.
Leisl was never going to write seriously, but her characters and the world she had envisaged begged her to free them from their prison that was her mind. The first book of a trilogy, a teen fantasy adventure, The Titanian Chronicles – Journey of Destiny is available now on Amazon. The next installment in the Ttitanian Chronicles, Ormnhi Moon will be released soon.
Please pop over and read Leisl’s answers to the questions on her blog Titanian Chronicles
Here are the questions and my answers:
1. What are you working on right now?
I’m about half way writing a sequel to another YA novel called Beyond the Wall 2. Imaginative huh?
Beyond the Wall is the working title of the first book. I really don’t like the title, but it was the first thing that came to mind when I wrote the first draft for NaNoWrMo 2007. For those who don’t know, that’s National Novel Writing Month and it happens every November. Yep, I wrote it in a month and loved every minute of it. I also collected a certificate and a T-shirt. The T-shirts worn out, but I still have the certificate.
I have a few books sitting in files on my computer, but I decided to revisit BtW because my daughter has been asking for a second instalment since she read the first book in 2008. I do try to give my children what they want even if it takes me awhile.
The BtW books have gods, good and bad, realms, also good and bad, god servants, a two-headed Mornt and this book introduces Daisy, a naughty wood elf.
I’m also in the final stages of writing Revelations the third book in the Wexkia trilogy. Not too sure on that title either. Once I’ve found a couple more beta readers and gone through their comments closely, I can send it off to an editor. I need to save my dollars for that. (smile)
2. How does your writing differ from others if it’s genre?
I don’t know, there’s so many genres, sub-genres and mixing of genres, I’m usually unsure where my stories fit in. It’s hard to choose categories.
I do hope my stories are different from other YA/Tween books. My novel length stories are Science Fiction, Fantasy or both genres woven into one story. However, I do prefer to write fantastical Science Fiction not hard SciFi. The Wexkia trilogy is nearly all Fantasy except that it has aliens and space ships filling the pages.
I’ve read some truly different and original YA novels. I love that. I just hope my readers feel the same way about my writings.
3. Why do you write what you do?
I wrote the Wexkia trilogy because I had lived with Nell (she’s had a lot of different names, the first being, Dale, lol.) since I was a child. I use to fantasise about other worlds. I really wanted to be an alien. I was certain one day my alien family would come for me, lol. I still smile at some of my daydreams and cringe at others, especially the ones I believed more than I should have let them.
I think I’ve told this story before, but I’ll now tell you about one the times my imaginings got the better of me.
When I was about 8, 9, 10 or 11, I don’t which, I was so caught up with the thought that I could fly, I actually jumped out of a window. I know, right? It was quite high, but not high enough to hurt me too much physically. The bushes I fell on helped too. My mum wasn’t impressed with me that day and my siblings still laugh at me when the incident is brought up at family gatherings. Hey, I was a kid and every kid wants to fly.
4. How does your writing process work?
I’m lucky because I don’t work outside the home. Once I wake up (it takes me awhile) I start about 8AM. Mornings are my writing time, afternoons I like to research, read blogs, forums and anything at all to do, or might do, with writing. I haven’t watched daytime TV since the powers that be stopped showing Days of Our Lives. I know, but I have loved and watched that show since the early seventies. They had great plots and characters kept resurfacing after they were murdered or died naturally or.
Ahem, back to my writing process: When I’m disciplined, um, stay away from social networks, I write new work for a couple of hours then I rewrite, catch up on what my beta readers found or hated, edit or re-read some stuff in my ‘Old Writing’ file (yep, it’s really called that) for a couple of hours. I write seriously during the week and on weekends, I do what I can but never put myself under pressure. I don’t expect increased word counts, but when they happen, I’m always ecstatic.
I love the rush of writing a first draft and I’m fast at getting the story down. I can usually write a 60 or 70 thousand novel in one to two months.
I’m not overjoyed about the rewriting process. It takes me months to get my head around what I’d really written or meant to write. Replotting is usually the first step for me. I try to make sure nothing is boring and/or doesn’t add to the story. While I can delete tens of thousands of words, somehow I manage to add more than that in my first full rewrite. Then I run through it again for pacing and characterisation. I try to make my characters a fully-rounded without being boring as I can.
I usually leave it for a couple of weeks then and go on with whatever new project I had started after finishing the first draft. When I get back to it, I read it through once more, fix whatever I find and edit the manuscript until it is at least legible for my beta readers.
My first reader is always my husband, who doesn’t mind telling me what he really thinks, sometimes to the point of laughing at me. I love that though and honestly, I need it. After he reads it through, we get together. He has my tablet and I have my notepad and we go though it one sentence, one paragraph, one chapter at a time. My writing hand always aches from all the note taking by the end of those sessions.
My next reader is one of my sons. He is good and picky. He catches heaps of typos, misnaming of characters and even plot holes his dad and I had missed. He’s good at letting me know what can be deleted to make the story stronger too.
I then like to read it aloud or have my dragon to read it for me or do a mixture of both. If you’re wondering, I have Dragon Speaking. It’s a programme that’s supposed to type what you say into a microphone, but either he’s dumb or I don’t speak correctly, because I’ve never learnt to use it properly. It’s good for reading back stuff though. J
New eyes find something every time. That’s why I need more beta readers. I love it when readers say what they really think; I don’t see the point in asking for feedback otherwise. Thankfully, I don’t have thin skin and I understand it’s my writing they’re shredding apart, not me. I don’t always take on their suggestions, but I so appreciate them giving my little stories the time and energy that they do. Hmm, now whom can I ask this time?
If you write, how many drafts do you do?
Next week I’ll have my own guest from the Blog Tour answering the same questions. I’ll post the details as soon as possible.