The Writing Process Blog Tour

Once again, I have been invited to participate in a blog hop, and once again, I thank you, the WordPress Community, for all of your ongoing support.  It’s a true pleasure being a part of the blogosphere, and having the chance to virtually meet so many great people from around the world has been a richly rewarding experience.

This blog hop–the Writing Process Blog Tour–is one I am particularly intrigued by.  Discussing the writing process is always fun for me, and I want to thank Ipuna Black for tagging me to join in on this tour!

Ipuna writes YA fantasy and is in the process of querying agents with her completed novel. You can follow her on Twitter @IpunaBlack, on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ipuna.black, or on her website at ipunablack.com.

Thanks so much again, Ipuna!

And now, on to the questions . . .

*****************

What am I working on?

I am in the midst of writing a sequel to The Eye-Dancers, which, honestly, was not planned.  When I wrote The Eye-Dancers, I really thought it would be a stand-alone novel, but then a funny thing happened.  The germ of an idea struck.  At first, I brushed it off.  There was no need for a sequel!  There were other writing projects to tackle.  But the idea hung around, expanded, became more real.  Muscles and tendons, living cells and nerve endings attached themselves to the bare bones of the frame.  Again, I tried to shrug it off, but it latched on tight, like a poodle yanking on my pants leg, unwilling to let go.  And that’s when I realized–this was a story I had to write.

idea

And so I am, and really enjoying it.  The sequel takes place five years after the conclusion of The Eye-Dancers, and it’s been fun delving back in to the characters’ lives now that they are older, on the threshold of their senior year in high school.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

That’s an interesting question, but, honestly, it’s not one I spend any time thinking about.  Just like with The Eye-Dancers, I have a story to tell.  It came to me, not the other way around.  Whatever differences or similarities it has with other stories of the genre are not by intrinsic design.  I am just writing the story the best way I know how.

One thing I will say, though.  The majority of YA sci-fi/fantasy novels do not include four boys as the protagonists.  In this sense, The Eye-Dancers, as well as the sequel, stand out a bit.  Whether in a good way or a not-so-good way I leave to the readers to determine!

fantasy

Why do I write what I do?

Ray Bradbury once said, “Love.  Fall in love and stay in love.  Write only what you love, and love what you write.  The key word is love.  You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for.”

And, in a nutshell, that’s why I write the things I do.  With The Eye-Dancers, Mitchell, Joe, Ryan, and Marc were inspired by friends I grew up with.  The themes in the story are based on ideas, concepts, ways of looking at the universe that have always resonated for me.

I remember talking with my friends when we were boys, when the pathway to adulthood seemed long and winding, the destination so far away we couldn’t see it, didn’t even think about it.  Sometimes we’d go outside at night, look up at the stars, and openly wonder, “Are we alone?  What’s up there?  What is the true scope of the universe?”  And, to the best of my ability, The Eye-Dancers tackles these questions from my youth.

stars

Why do I write what I do?  I have things to say, I guess.  There are things that mean much to me–people, places, ideas, relationships.  And putting these things down on paper in story form (or on the screen, as the case may be) has always been my preferred way of expressing them.

How does your writing process work?

Generally an idea strikes, unasked for, unplanned.  If it’s a short story, I’ll jot a few notes down–essentials I want to make sure I don’t forget.  And then I’ll write the story.  For a standard-length short story (say, between 3,000 and 5,000 words), I usually finish the first draft in a day or two.  Then the hard part–the editing, revisions, rewriting.  This stage may take up to a week.

For a novel, I will also jot down some notes–perhaps two or three pages’ worth–on the characters and the overall arc of the story.  But nothing too detailed.  Without exception, writing a novel is a journey of discovery, and, for me, I have found that if I cling too tightly to preconceived notions about characters or plot, I restrict the story from being told in its own, natural manner.  What I think might happen five chapters down the road rarely does.

That is, simultaneously, the most exciting and most insecure aspect of the writing process.  When we being a long work, we can’t know for sure just how it will turn out or, in truth, that it will turn out at all.  All we can do is dive in, head first, and let the story take us where it will.

windingroad

**************

And now, the best part of the blog hop!  It is my pleasure to pass the baton on to three authors whose work I greatly admire.  Please check out their wonderful websites, delve in to their creativity, and enjoy your stay, as I’m sure you will . . .

“Catnip” at Life with Catnip

Barbara Monier

Abby Jones at A Gentle and Quiet Spirit

Thanks so much to Catnip, Barbara, and Abby for participating in the blog hop!  And thanks so much to everyone for reading!

–Mike

27 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AGentleandQuietSpirit
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 17:54:29

    Great job! Thanks for including me in this!!

    Reply

  2. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 18:13:20

    Congratulations Mike! Looking forward to your next one.

    Reply

  3. Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 19:05:14

    Thank you Mike for accepting the challenge. It’s always so interesting and inspiring for me to see what fuels my fellow writers. Great post.

    Reply

  4. Harliqueen
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 19:21:49

    Great answers 🙂

    Reply

  5. teagan geneviene
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 21:31:19

    Both interesting and entertaining, Mike. I loved the Ray Bradbury quote too.

    Reply

  6. Imelda
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 02:26:50

    I enjoyed reading about your writing process. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

  7. stockdalewolfe
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 15:12:54

    Congratulations again!! Well-deserved!!

    Reply

  8. Jilanne Hoffmann
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 18:58:20

    Grabs you and doesn’t let do, does it. Cheers to following the muse!

    Reply

  9. Jilanne Hoffmann
    Jun 17, 2014 @ 21:02:22

    That should have been, “let go.” Sigh.

    Reply

  10. evelyneholingue
    Jun 18, 2014 @ 02:45:30

    So good to know more about your writing journey and progress. Many books on my summer list. Yours included. Will keep you posted when I’m finished. Best to you.

    Reply

  11. Catnip
    Jun 24, 2014 @ 16:27:04

    Reblogged this on Life With Catnip and commented:
    Blog tour!

    Reply

  12. ltownsdin
    Jul 03, 2014 @ 16:38:13

    Loved the Ray Bradbury quote!

    Reply

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