I did talk about my books, writing process and answered questions about my current detective series. So enjoy!
As a reader as well I always like the Goodreads end of year summary of the books I’ve read, even though, we still have more days in the month. I am determined to finish The Secret Place and start reading (if not finish) If It Bleeds before the end of December!
When I am asked about the stories I write, one question arises quite often. Why do you write in multiple genres instead of just one?
To answer this is not as simple as it first appears. It is linked to my process of writing. I allow the story to evolve as I write and do not steer it in any specific direction. Enjoying where the characters take me is, for me, the best part of writing. I may have an idea what the story is going to be about but more often than not, it diverts into another direction – many times to somewhere I have not thought of. There are many writers that need a lot more structure to their writing, such as complete plot notes from start to finish and I admire that but it is not something I can do. It stalls my creativity. Once the first draft is written then I begin refining the narrative and decide on the genre it suits best.
For example, my Edmonton Best Seller, The Twesome Loop began as a light-hearted romance with a few characters finding their soulmate. However, the complexity of writing in two time periods required a significant amount of detail to be incorporated to allow my readers to understand the backgrounds and personality traits of these people from their past lives to the present. Other secondary characters also began to take on a life of their own and the subsequent narrative follows several love stories intertwined with the main characters.
In my YA novella, Clickety-Click, I had what I though was a definite plot arc but young Alice, the central character and the circumstances of her finding out about her true self went in a surprising direction. It still deals with self discovery and self confidence but also has a twist that I hope will delight the reader.
As a reader what captures you about a book?
Do you prefer one genre over another?
Past Presence by Nicole Bross
Absolutely loved this book! Well crafted characters, a sense of place and a great plot, I didn’t guess the culprit! Woven with regression tales, which is an interest of mine it has wonderful elements in the story to propel you onward.
Can’t wait for the next book, Nicole.
We all tread this writing journey with a certain amount of trepidation. Even the most successful authors have concerns. Will my novel be good enough? Is the story strong? Will I get good reviews? Have I written my best? Is there another novel inside me?
It is human nature to agonize over these worries but with support from family, friends and a writing group you can lessen them.
What makes you most anxious in your writing life?
Unfortunately stress has a detrimental effect on the creative process so we must try to elevate it. There are a few simple methods to help us. Firstly, walk away from the project and find somewhere quiet to take some deep breaths. When our body is stressed it tends to hyper-ventilate with short low breaths. Breath slowly and deeply. If possible take a day away from the project – obviously this isn’t always possible – but try to take at least an hour. Time away enjoying something else refreshes the brain. If the thought of leaving the project adds to your stress, take notes of how you want to proceed. They will help get you back into the mindset and you have a reference to guide you. Focus on each step instead of overwhelming yourself with the ‘whole’ project. Give yourself a reasonable time frame. If it helps map out each step from start to finish – you have set goals per day, week or month – but ensure you have factored in extra time for each one. That way if a step takes longer than anticipated you still have a buffer of time to complete it.
I found this link which may help – http://www.wikihow.com/Relieve-Stress
Proclivity – definition: natural or habitual inclination or tendency
What is your natural or habitual tendency when writing?
As I have mentioned before, my tendency in writing is free flow – it is how my creativity manifests itself. Given minutes or hours, I will write. Whether it is a prompt or an idea that gives me that spark, I give my mind free reign to create it. The normal process for me runs something like this:
The idea comes to mind as I read, hear or see something. Usually it starts with a character of some kind, whether a person, animal or inanimate object with a consciousness (I wrote about a rug fearing the vacuum once – that was fun!) Then a circumstance begins to form and that is when the ‘flow’ begins. The story grows into its own creation in my head and I type – is this like channeling do you think?
Within my writers group, we have planners, free flowers and a wealth of combinations of both processes and more. Some edit as they write, others make separate notes and some write the whole thing before revising. There is no right or wrong way – whatever works for you is the best way.
Has your process changed as your skill increased or do you stick to a formula that works for you?
This link has some great pictures of famous authors notes.
I have found, in my experience, that surrendering to my muse has enabled me to accomplish large quantities of narrative. Whole chapters have formed with details previously unknown to me. In some circles this is known as channeling but more on a spiritual plane. May be my muse has more control over me than I care to admit. Although, saying that, once a story starts to flow, I yield to the process completely. I enjoy the journey as much as my characters. I am immersed in their lives, wondering which paths we will tread. Writing uninterrupted by aspects of editing is a freeing experience.
Have you surrendered to find unexpected plot lines or do you need to control every aspect?