Now it’s my turn for the Writing Process Blog Hop! Michelle posted last week, after we were tagged by Michele Chiappetta with the Purple Ink Writers. Serena will post next Monday. And then we’ll see what happens after that!
What am I working on?
I have two main projects right now. The first is a revision project: my novel Catalyst, written for NaNoWriMo in 2012. The (very rough) blurb for this novel is:
The prophecy says Sachi’s death will be the catalyst for the Undoing. It doesn’t mean she wants to die, but the Kashtophim slaughtered her entire race, and death seems to be the only thing left. But everything Sachi thought she knew about the Kashtophim changes after a chance encounter with Taphim, the head judge, as she infiltrates the capital city.
Haunted by the blood on his hands, Taphim is desperate to save Sachi. She believes he is only delaying the inevitable, and never expected they could find redemption in each other’s arms.
Then Taphim’s power hungry son, Zanis, discovers their affair, captures Sachi, and uses her to blackmail his father. Taphim must execute Sachi with his own hands and appoint Zanis as his successor, or Zanis will expose the affair, along with evidence that will incriminate Taphim’s wife, Zareja, for treason.
Trapped in a living nightmare, Taphim finds an ally he never expected – Zareja. But it may be too late to save Sachi.
If you would like to know more about Catalyst and its origins, please visit What is The Undoing Chronicles?
Catalyst is moving slower than I hoped, but it’s still the quickest work I’ve drafted yet. It’s been barely over two years since I first conceived of the idea for it, and usually my ideas percolate for longer than that before I actually write them.
Otherwise, I am also working on The A-Zs of Worldbuilding. This originally was a blog series that I did on my personal blog for the A-Z Challenge this year (April 2014 – also titled The A-Zs of Worldbuilding). I’m working on converting it into a workbook, but this requires expanding some of the topics more, as well as some revisions and formatting. My intent is to have it ready to be released to the world sometime late summer/early autumn. If you’d like to be kept up-to-date on that, you can sign up for the newsletter here, just make sure to select the A-Zs of Worldbuilding option!
How does my work differ from others in my genre?
I… don’t know? It’s hard to have work differ too much from the genre when you write in a genre that has defined expectations – both with tropes, and with style.
That said, high/epic fantasy is dominated by men, both as main characters and authors. I don’t write urban fantasy or paranormal romance, which is where I do see many female spec-fic authors settling. I write more along the lines of Tolkien, but a bit darker. Maybe not quite as dark as George R.R. Martin’s work. Though I haven’t read anything by Martin, so I can’t say for sure.
The characters in my stories tend to be women. There are actually more male main characters in The Undoing Chronicles than I’ve ever written in a story before. But that does not mean there is a shortage of women, by any means.
Why do I write what I do?
Ha, I have two reasons why I write what I do.
The first would be that I simply love fantasy, and characters and stories will pop into my head and fascinate me. I fall in love with them, and need to know more. So I write it.
The second would be because it’s somewhat therapeutic. I don’t do this one on purpose, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to a story after finishing the first draft and could see issues in my life that I was working through subconsciously. It’s rather eerie at times.
How does your writing process work?
I still consider myself a ‘baby writer’ in many ways. Even though I’ve (purposefully) written for over a decade now, I am very slow (fastidious, perhaps?) compared to other writers. It can take me several years to refine and draft an idea.
That said, though, I am a plotter. I have some epic outlines, and I have a propensity for turning what I thought would be prologues into first books of series. (IE: Catalyst, and the first book of il-Ry Gyti.)
I seem to get ideas rather unconventionally, though. I mean, I can sit down and just think of things and toy around with them, but when the true spark of inspiration hits, I usually have an image pop into my head.
That image can be of anything. For Blood of Trees, it was the image of a girl stumbling through a forest in the rain, and she was crying her heart out.
For Catalyst, it was a young woman in a dirty gown with shackles on her wrists and ankles, with hooded men standing in a circle around her. But her gaze was fixed on one of them, and I knew that somehow, for some reason, even though he was about to condemn her, they were in love.
For The Chronos Legion, it was a girl standing in front of an ethereal doorway, with Father Time watching over her.
But always, something about the image captivates me to the point where I have to know the characters, and why they are doing what they’re doing. What has forced them to make the choices that led to the actions (or inaction) I saw them taking?
I love to explore things by asking “What if?”
For Blood of Trees, it was “What if the forest came to her rescue?”
For Catalyst, it was “What if he really can’t save her?”
For The Chronos Legion, it was “What if Father Time had helpers?”
I love “What if?” It leads to so many potentials.
If you would like to participate in The Writing Process Blog Hop, just let us know in the comments below, and we’ll link back to you!
All you have to do is answer the same set of questions next week. 🙂