Sunday, June 8, 2014
Blog Hop: My Writing Process
This Blog Hop is a blog tour showcasing authors and their writing process. I was tagged by Kurt Hampe, one of our witty, hard-working YA Fusion blog team members whose posts always crack me up. You can read his post and back-track through the blog tour here: http://www.kurthampe.com/1/post/2014/06/blog-hop-my-writing-process.html
I'm tagging Vicky Lorencen and Katie Van Ark who've inspired me for years through SCBWI-MI. You can learn more about them at the end of my post.
And now it's my turn...
1. What am I working on now?
So many different projects. My agent recently submitted my new YA novel, and we received fairly consistent feedback from a few editors, which means I need to revise before we resubmit. I also have another YA novel to revise and a half-completed New Adult novel to finish. In between novels, I write short pieces, such as an essay about working in Detroit that was recently accepted by an online literary journal. I also write for Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit which has been a really nice way to blend my social work career with writing. My other writing role is co-editing the SCBWI-MI newsletter. I'm always on the lookout for interesting kidlit articles and artwork.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
This is a tough question - there's a stunning amount of talent and variety in YA fiction. Working as a social worker has been eye-opening, and I've been inspired by so many resilient children and families. I try to bring this experience and emotion into my stories.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I want my novels to be fast-paced and engrossing, but also tackle big questions. To make readers feel and think deeply. I write to better understand our world, and I hope to expand a reader's worldview as well.
4. How does my writing process work?
I keep notebooks beside my bed, in my office, and in the car. I jot down character traits, plot ideas, themes, questions, snippets of dialogue. It all stews in my subconscious and begins to take the shape of a story. I might write a very rough outline, but usually I just need to dive right into the story and figure it out as I go.
If I'm stuck I'll share chapters with critique partners, but I prefer waiting until I have a complete first draft. My agent provides valuable feedback too. Then, it's revise, revise, revise. Last year, I took an online writing course with author Tim Wynne Jones where I could submit up to 300 pages. His feedback was so helpful, and the deadlines kept me moving forward.
So, enough about me. Check out writers extraordinaire Katie Van Ark on Saturday, June 14th, and Vicky Lorencen on Monday, June 16th, to learn more about their writing process. Here are their bios and blog links:
Katie Van Ark skates and writes from Michigan. Her debut novel, THE BOY NEXT DOOR, is a figure skating romance coming February 3, 2015 from Macmillan Swoon Reads. Read more here: http://www.katievanark.com/blog
Vicky Lorencen makes sentences and shops for shoes in Michigan. She recently completed her second middle grade novel SHORT CHANGED and is actively shopping for a literary agent who will be just the right fit. Visit her blog, Frog on a Dime at http://vickylorencen.com/posts/
Have a great week!