Monday, March 17, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Hop

I've been invited to do another of those blog meme thingies, and I thought this one would be pretty fun. The focus is on an author's personal writing process. I was sent four questions to answer...

First, let me thank the author who invited me to participate in this: Jeff Chapman writes speculative fiction that falls somewhere in the fairy tale, fantasy, and ghost story genres. Find him at You won't be sorry if check out his writing, I promise. 

And now, without further ado:

1) What am I working on?

Right now, I've been focusing mostly on a story that I think will finish at novella length (it's about 1900 words so far), but the way it's been growing (it was originally meant to be a very short story) it may end up full novel length.

The premise is this: A young girl comes to a very small town with her father, who happens to be a land developer starting construction of a bridge that will lead across a deep ravine into a heavily wooded area where he intends to build a retreat center. The problem: there is already a bridge in that area, a hundred-plus-year-old bridge, that the locals don't want to see disturbed...

...not because it means anything to them, but because they fear the wrath of the man who built it and then died three months later.

Yes, my first ghost story :).

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

This work in particular...I'd say because this book lies right on the edge of Middle Grade and Young Adult, the whole ghost story in a small town thing isn't a common trope. And I hope the angle I've taken makes it truly unique. (That part's a secret, though.)

In general,  my YA writing tends to be more focused on situations where paranormal/supernatural elements (including magic, like in my Toch Island books) are contrasted with viewing those things purely from a physical position. The main characters tend to be kids who are very scientific and logical, but also open to the ideas of things beyond the physical.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Probably because that (see question above) describes me so much. I am one of those "both sides of the brain" people. I'm equally strong in language and math. I'm artistic/creative and scientific/logical at the same time, all the time. I love the merging of ideas and realms. The idea of different dimensions residing in the same space, of a physical world a spiritual world being both separate and fully connected. It's all very interesting to me.

And I tend to write from a MG/YA/teen perspective because it comes naturally to me. I love reading MG/YA/teen fiction, and not because it's "easier" (see my recent guest blog post here on that topic), but rather because many of the constraints of adulthood are lifted in fiction for younger people, and you can explore the world, and beyond, with more openness.

4) How does your writing process work?

Who says it works? Hah!

Honestly, I don't have a set process. I tend to write with a little outlining--more like scribbling of ideas in a notebook and then sorting into a logical order--and a little seat-of-the-pants writing. I have no set time of day during which I write. Sometimes I'm most motivated first thing in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes late, late at night. Of course, a quiet house helps a lot, and that doesn't happen much these days.

Anyway, I tend to get the first draft done, then focus on whatever self-editing I can do, then send it off to a trusted critique partner. Depending on what needs work, I may start on the edits immediately, or stave them off until I have better figured out how to tackle them. I've completed three novels so far (two of them published) and the process for all three varied drastically.

....So, there you go!

And check out those I chose as the next victims--er, I mean, some awesome authors who will be posting their "My Writing Process Blog Hop" posts in the next week or so:

Lelia Rose Foremnan :

Heather A. Titus:

Travis Perry:

Jill Domschot:

Kessie Carroll:

Tina Yeager:

Rebecca P. Minor:

Dana Bell:

Melanie Gillon: (link to come)

Adam Graham:

Lisa Godfrees:


Kessie said...

Your WIP sounds really fun! I love ghost stories. This is a fun hop!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Kessie--looking forward to reading your post! :)

Jeff Chapman said...

Looking forward to your WIP. I can definitely see the split mind (science versus magic) in your writing. It adds a cool twist to your fantasy work.

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Jeff!

And thanks for inviting me to participate :).

Unknown said...

A ghost story sounds fun. Cool bridge picture!

Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Lisa. The bridge photo came from Morguefile. Lots of cool free images there :).

Malcolm R. Campbell said...

I like the idea of seeing both right and left brain situations and themes in fantasy literature. Nice post.


Kat Heckenbach said...

Thanks, Malcolm!