It’s been a little hard to squeeze writing time into my schedule these last couple of weeks as I’ve been busy with pre-release promotion and nail-biting (very time consuming, nail-biting) for my first adult book (and first contemporary, too), By Jove, which releases from Entangled Publishing in one week! I’m pretty darned excited...but you’ll be hearing lots more about it next week. Just saying. ☺
In terms of works-in-progress, right now I’m working on a YA set on Cape Cod in the summer of 1917, just after the US has entered World War I. It has beaches, dances, secrets, lies, a handsome young man, seals (or are they just seals?), a Scottish seamstress, u-boats, German spies, and a lively young heroine who saves the day. And I’m writing it in first person, which is a bit of a change for me but this story just demanded it.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Um...because it’s mine? No, seriously: every book is different because every author is different. Every author has her own voice, her own way of telling a story. If you give five authors the same outline from which to write a story, you’ll end up with five very, very different tales. It’s why so many readers will have “auto-buy” authors: because they just love how that Regina Scott writes. ☺
Why do I write what I do?
Mostly because I have to. Because if I didn’t the stories would gang up together in my head and beat at me with their fists and shout in my ear (or whisper seductively, as the case may be) and not let me sleep at night. Writers can be funny that way; our stories often take on personalities and identities in some strange way, and do that sort of thing.
How does my writing process work?
I generally know, as I’m wrapping up work on one novel, which will be next (see above about the shouting and whispering.) But before I reach that point, an idea will have been sparked somewhere, somehow (on more than one occasion, as the result of a dream) and I will spend quiet moments noodling over it, asking myself “what if” questions about it and seeing if there’s “enough there” for the idea to be made into a book-length story. I’ll often write out a synopsis of the story at this point as a way to help make that decision, and if there really is a spark of life in it, fragments of scenes and speech and character development will also pop into my head, so I’ll scribble those down as well.
Once I’ve mentally (if unconsciously) chosen to write a book, I’ll work more on that rough synopsis and try to flesh it out further, concentrating on the beginning of the story (the characters, their wants and aims, the plot conflicts), and then...I’ll start writing. I keep refining my synopsis as I go on, adding and changing and sometimes going back and removing or altering things. It’s like a lantern I hold up as I walk down a dark corridor: it illuminates best in a close circle around me (which means the current and next couple of chapters). Beyond that, things remain shadowy until I move a few feet forward.
As for the actual process of writing...I write best in the mornings, so I try to get busy pretty promptly after rising or getting back from the gym. I reread what I’ve written over the last day or two and edit it, adding in details or whatever else is needed (it’s often more bare-bones than it should be), which sets me up beautifully to pick up the thread and move on.
And now it’s my turn to tag two authors, both of whom are my fellow RWA chapter-mates. Be sure to check out their stops on the Writing Process Blog Tour next Monday!
Always the hopeless romantic, Rebecca Paula writes gritty historical and NA romances full of social misfits, swoony heroes, and angst. She’s a graduate of Emerson College and a former journalist. When not writing, she is most likely reading or daydreaming about her next travel adventure. Rebecca lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their cat, Bella. You can find her online at her website, on twitter, or the Modern Belles of History blog.
Christine Tetreault fell in love with romance fiction in college and hasn't looked back. She writes contemporary romance set in her native New England and beyond. Learn more about Christine and her books at her website and at her blog, Happily Ever After.