Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Blog Tour: The Writing Process

Greetings, Internearthlings. I just made that word up. It's a combination of "Internet" and "earthlings."


So this post is part of The Writing Process Blog Tour, which you know if you read the title. And if you didn't, you can go read it now before you either proceed to the next paragraph or lose interest and wander over to YouTube hoping to find something more glorious than John Houseman hawking Puritan Oil. SPOILER: YOU WON'T. [UPDATE: The YouTube video is gone. What are you afraid of, YouTube? John Houseman and his healthful oil will not be silenced! I found them here!]

The Writing Process Blog Tour is a Blog Tour in which Writers discuss The Writing Process. You get tagged by a writer and you then tag another writer, and soon we will all know about The Writing Process of every writer on Internearth.

I was tagged by: 

Alicia Potter! Alicia's newest picture book, Jubilee! One Man's Big, Bold, and Very, Very Loud Celebration of Peace, illustrated by Matt Tavares, just came out from Candlewick Press and Publishers Weekly couldn't wait to throw a star at it because it is that fabulous. You can check out Alicia's other books here. And then you should buy them all because her books are amazeballs, and I don't pull out "amazeballs" very often.

There are four questions that are part of The Writing Process Blog Tour. Here they are.

What am I currently working on?
My next novel from St. Martin's Press! It's a kinda steampunky, kinda mythological fantasy called Redwing and it contains boiling water, ash, and extra-big ostriches. UPDATE: I have decided that its new title is Extra-Big Ostriches.

I also have a new cat, so I'm working on smoothing inter-cat relations in the context of a small studio apartment. The transition is taking lots of patience and love, but I'm happy to say all three cats are starting to become snuggle friends. Haha, I'm just kidding. It's Catpocalypse and we're all going to die.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Um. Well, I hop genres quite a bit, but in terms of this book that's just come out, which I'll refer to as SSS (pronounced "Sssssssss . . . "), I think I've got a bit of a different take on music in fantasy. I feel like when music has a biggish role in a fantasy/magical realism novel, there's often a literal magic associated with it.

art by danbrenus
Yes, Google images of "music and magic" . . . this exactly.

But in SSS, which takes place at a music conservatory, there isn't any actual magic associated with the music itself. It's all in other places, like the homicidal space cat.

My novel totally has one of these.

Why do I write what I write?
People who read this blog (you should probably mentally put at least two of those words in quotes) might suspect that my novels are full of shenanigans, but they actually have, like, feelings and stuff in them. And sometimes violence and gore. A relative of mine came to a reading last week, which was very nice of her, but didn't buy the book, which is totally fine. In fact, I didn't even notice she didn't buy the book, but she found my boyfriend at work the next day and she and her husband made a point of telling him they didn't buy the book because of "all the violence," and then they were like, "That's what's ruining the young people today and we just won't support that." So I guess I write what I write in order to ruin the young people.

How does my individual writing process work?
I'm very linear. I start with one sentence that turns into one paragraph that (usually) turns into one scene. That's the basis for the rest of the story, and it's usually the first scene. Then I write until I get to the end.

I have to write each sentence in order, and I revise compulsively as I go. So it has happened that I've stared at my laptop for literally like three hours trying to write one sentence, even though I should have been able to skip that sentence and write stuff after it.

This came up in my search for "stare," to illustrate me staring at my laptop for hours.
And, you know . . .  it's not wrong.

Sometimes it takes me a very long time to get to the end.

But at that point I have a thing that has a beginning, middle, and end, and that's when I can figure out how everything should fit together. Or if it fits together. It's really sad when it doesn't.

This is me in sad airplane form.

Who's Next: I'm tagging Erin E. Moulton! Her newest novel, Chasing the Milky Way, comes out in June. Erin is a fellow graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and she likes raspberries and hound dogs, and she has published two other heartfelt novels -- Flutter and Tracing Stars --  and if I tell you one more awesome thing about her you will probably lose your mind. OK, she lives in New Hampshire, the greatest state evah!
It looks like this literally everywhere and all the time here.
We're not even allowed to have houses because we don't want to mess up our rainbow trees.

YAY Dragons and TALKER 25!

Hey, guys, I made some dragons & writers pictures to celebrate the launch of Talker 25 by Joshua McCune. You can see them here!

Also apparently there's a fractal called a Dragon Curve. YOU GUYS, REMEMBER FRACTALS??

Alexis Monnerot-Dumaine
I won the Science Fair with fractals one time.

OK, here's a real dragon, by Silverfox5213: