Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blog Hop for Writers

I've been tagged by my writer friend Megan Cutler aka Striker to participate in a blog hop.  I like this one because it's easy—just answer four questions:

(1) What are you writing?  In addition to smaller projects I am currently writing the rough draft of book three in a fantasy series which will take at least five books to tell the entire story.  The first two books were about 130,000 words each, and each took about a year to write, so this is a long-term commitment.  I'm calling the series He Who Finds Mercy, with books one and two titled Mercy's Prince and Mercy's Gift.  Not sure what the third book will be called, but I usually don't have a title until I finish the story.
A Mercy doll I made this summer.
(2) How does it differ from your last work?  My last major work was also fantasy but much shorter and deliberately more structured.  Both Leandra's Enchanted Flute and its sequel Return to Finian Jahndra were twenty chapters and both ended with the word "chocolate."  I'd still like to write one more book about that world and its characters, but I want to finish the series I'm working on first.
The publisher went out of business but I'm trying to get it back on Amazon with a new cover.
(3) Why do you write?  I write because it's as important as breathing to me.  I write because if I go too long without writing my head threatens to explode from all the words pressing, pressing to get out.  But mostly I write because I love the process of condensing a mountain of bare facts into a readable narrative (for nonfiction) and in fiction I love creating new worlds populated with fascinating people, dragons, and birds (horses, too).
Songcatcher from LEF & RTFJ is a talking Carolina wren
(4) What is your process?  Since I wrote a lot of nonfiction early on, mostly for magazines, I became adept at researching, planning, and outlining, but when I tried to do that with my fiction it tended to sound too sterile and the plotting didn't always fit with the characters' motivations.  So with my current project I've been writing more organically.  I'm listening to the characters and letting them tell their story.  Sometimes I'll argue with them:  "Are you SURE that's how it's supposed to happen?"  But so far within two and a half novels their choices and consequences have been the right ones to be true to the story. 

Often I'll have to pause and research to make sure facts line up with the action and situations in my story.  Research is actually one of my favorite things to do, especially if I get to interview an expert, as I did recently with a horse trainer, or experience something "hands on" as when my hubby took me to Medieval Times in Dallas.
Medieval Times--we had a front row seat!
I occasionally have to cut scenes I really like because they end up as "fluff," not really moving the story forward, but writing this way is helping me be more "honest" about emotions and situations that are difficult for me to write about.  I tend to want to step back and remove myself from painful things (such as the deaths of characters I've come to love) but pushing forward, even writing through tears, has benefitted both me AND the story.  I don't even care of this one is ever published; it's been a joy to write and therapeutic, too.

Now I get to tag the amazing Ann Swann so you can read her answers.  If you are friends with me on Facebook, you'll get to read my friend Ali's answers.  She is an up-and-coming young writer and I expect to see her name in print someday.

Thanks for tagging me, Megan.  You're not only a wonderful writer, but a wonderful person, and I'm glad we "met" on Twitter! 

NOTE:  Both Megan's ("Cosmic Desire") and Ann's ("Ann's Afterthoughts") blogs are linked in the sidebar, too.


  1. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your latest project! The things we write for ourselves are always the best! I love how all our answers about why we write are so in line :) It's that thing inside us bursting to get out. It's so nice to meet others who feel the same way!

    I used to be nervous about Twitter in general, but meeting people like you has really changed my mind! I'm so happy we got to share this experience! :D

    (PS, sorry if this somehow double posted... I think Firefox ate my first attempt :( Bad Firefox!)

    1. You're so right, Megan--it's an affirmation that if we are crazy, at least we're not alone in our craziness. ;) I have problems with Firefox eating my comments, too! It must be hungry or something.... Thanks again for tagging me, and happy writing!

  2. Loved reading this, Katy, and thanks for tagging me. Since I'm running a Kindlefire contest on my blog right now (or $200 on an Amazon card), I am going to place my 4 questions on my author page with a link back to your blog.

    1. Thanks, Ann! I look forward to reading your questions, and good luck with your contest. :)