Thursday, May 29, 2014

What Drives You to Write? Blog Tour

This post was inspired by the My Writing Process Blog Tour from Jami Gold: What Drives You to Write? As Jami says, writing can be a difficult creature - so many different hats to wear, balancing our own creativity against an ever-changing market, and so on. Not to mention the effects of continually plumbing the depths of our psyches and laying the results bare for the world to see. So why keep doing it?

Simply put, because we can't stop.

What Are You Working On Now?

Ostensibly, a short story that combines knitting and Chinese vampires into a darkly humorous urban fantasy. At least, I hope it's funny. That's what I'm aiming for! I haven't had much time for it lately, I confess. But now that some other real-life distractions are out of the way, I want to get back to it.

I have several more ideas simmering, including a second-world fantasy retelling of The Little Mermaid, a modern-day story of an empath, and a fairy-tale-esque love story of magic and transformation. They keep jockeying for attention in my mind - we'll see which one wins out.

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

That's a good question. I'm not sure of the answer!

I would like to think my characters set me apart more than anything. Characters have always been my primary interest, both as a reader and a writer. I'll keep reading a so-so book with an amazing character. Likewise, 99% of my stories start with a character, and plot always comes later (usually after much hair-pulling).

Why Do I Write What I Write?

Basically, because it's what I want to read. It seems so often that SFF tell the same stories, over and over - finding something outside of this rut can be a real challenge. I have no interest in writing a medieval-esque fantasy with all white characters and strict gender roles, because my library is filled with shelves of those stories already. But a race of characters who can shift genders? A trans-specied mermaid who becomes human? Those are stories I want to read. And since no one has told them so far, maybe I'll give it a go.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

Um… erratically?

OK, in all seriousness, I'm still working that out. I'm a pantser by nature (outlines give me hives) but if I just blunder into my first draft blind, it never ends well. So far it seems I work best by doing extensive character and world building in the pre-drafting stage, then going into the first draft with a general idea of plot points. And the ending. If I don't have an ending in mind, then I don't know what to write toward.

I liken it to watercolors (you knew I'd have to go there eventually). I start a painting with a detailed sketch, and a basic knowledge of which colors will go where, which areas will be dark and which areas will be light. Then I add paint and water, and see what happens. And I'm always surprised at what turns up - and how it's often more interesting than what I'd expected.

In short, it's an organic, ever-changing process.


Thanks to Jami for the open invite to join the blog tour, and for the opportunity for a little self-reflection (which is always good - in small doses).


  1. Yay! I'm glad you decided to join the fun. :)

    I love your ideas for how to make characters unique--and the Chinese vampires? So cool! Thanks for participating in the blog tour!

    1. It was a fun post to write! And it's always nice to remember why we put ourselves through such torture in the name of writing. ;)