We are taking part in the My Writing Process ‘tour’, having been tagged by herbalist, writer and blogger, Madison Woods.
Four questions are posed, which we’ve answered below.
1) What am I working on?
The months leading up to the launch of our second novel, Mosaic of Light, were very intense and extremely tiring, and a crisis with my house roof didn’t help! 😉 So out of necessity, I’ve slowed down a bit to recharge my energy (and creativity).
However I’ve managed to craft some new 1000-word short stories (Rose Gold and Forget Me Not) for September’s Writers’ Circle meetings, and I also have a stock of unfinished short stories that I work on as time and energy allow. Some poems have emerged, too!
For the blog, we continue to write 100-word flash fiction pieces when we take part in the Friday Fictioneers meme, and I’ll be working on some more bitesize tales and other pieces (The Cordello Quest A-Z series, for one) over the coming weeks.
Have just got the confidence to move on from short stories and poems to attempt a full book. Unlike Jo’s style of writing it seems I do plan! The characters and location came from a visit and storyline developed from there. Now to fill in the huge ‘gaps’ with words that mean something! Oh, then as part of the story I mention a fictitious novel and author, so I suppose that means I will have to write that one as well!!!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Our novels are usually categorised as metaphysical / visionary fiction, which is a relatively small and specialised genre. I’d like to think my unique experiences of sensing energy and working with Reiki and crystal frequencies, together with my passion for words, mathematics, music, spirituality and nature, combine into stories which no-one else could write. My shorter stories may deviate into the suspense, thriller, paranormal, and/or romance genres, but I hope my own style would still shine through. 😉
Being an off-worlder in human form, my experiences here are very tainted by my other lives elsewhere, and this gives me a unique insight allowing me to express stories in a different light. OR I am just a bit weird and try to see things from the normal perspective.
You never told me you were an alien, Ron! That does explain your love of sci-fi, though! And perhaps a few other things …. 😛 *runs and hides*
3) Why do I write what I do?
Well so far I have written mostly about subjects on which there is little fact – so my views cannot be questioned … well factually anyway! However, in recent months I have been reading more about Celtic and old world legends, for which there are accepted ‘truths’, so this means research. Generally I do like to question the accepted and try and find an alternative view. Hey, does that make me controversial? I really do hope so!
Much of my writing is highly visual, often incorporating imagery of light, healing, natural magic, and/or energy transformation. If something I see, sense, or visualise feels inspirational, magical, or awe-inspiring, then I will do my best to reflect that in my writing.
In much the same way that a photographer or artist would endeavour to capture the vivid shades of a sunset, or the particular quality of light slanting into a quiet forest glade, I feel the same need to try to create the ‘essences’ of those experiences in word form. Sometimes poetry is the best medium for that, but my instinct is to tell a story, to work with characters and dialogue, and for “things to happen”. I write “what I feel I need to write otherwise I’ll simply burst”!
4) How does my writing process work?
Notepads abound with ideas. I am still not finding enough time to write ‘properly’, still responding to external needs and timetables rather than sitting and creating the novel which is started. I think I may be an ideas man who finds something to write about and gets it down on paper quickly. That’s to say a short story or quick poem man at heart. BUT I have desires for more. Can I change the habits of a lifetime to expand my ideas fully rather than the summarisation that comes naturally?
For me to write stories, my plot needs to be evolved with people inhabiting it; for poetry it tends to flow from an idea. Then fill in or edit to (hopefully) make it work better as a complete piece. The trouble is my English’s poor, sprelling non-existent and I like making up new words! Thanks to Jo who is there to sort out my to/too, Mary’s/Marys etc etc…..
We make a great team, Ron, despite our different approaches to the writing process itself! And, as with your last two sentences, you do remind me to lighten up and be silly sometimes! 😉
As for your made-up words, yes, they do flummox me at times … then I remember your capacity for humour and wordplay and ‘get with the program’ (as Lady Aida would say!)
I often write with external deadlines, such as for competitions, Writers’ Circle, or for our weekly blog. But I don’t write on a schedule – I learned the hard way that my ongoing health issues really don’t allow for that. So between ‘deadlines’, I write when I can and when I feel I have words or emotions pleading for escape. A lot depends on how much physical and mental energy I have! Brain fog and physical exhaustion are not really conducive to being creative. 😉
As I write with with very little planning (see our YouTube interview here for more on that), I sometimes use a prompt (e.g. photograph, word, story title, song title) for the short stories and for the bitesize tales we share on the blog. Then I just let the words out and go from there.
Obviously if I’m working on something which takes more than one session (such as a novel or a longer short story) then the process is a bit different. I’ll usually re-read the work of the previous session, and perhaps lightly edit or rework that before I move forward. That gets me back into “character” and I’m ready to explore what happens next!
I write the words as they come, but at periodic intervals I’ll review my earlier work to check that it all ‘fits’. At that point I may also create chapter summaries so that I don’t lose track of where I am, who’s who, or what’s happened or still needs to resolve. I love the surprises of working without a plan, but there can be a lot of tidying up afterward before the novel is ‘right’!
Throughout this process, I’ll work any edits Ron suggests, too. Then, once the first draft is down, and the story is ‘free’, I’ll go back and work through my own editing techniques, as well as reviewing and integrating any further comments Ron has left for me. 🙂 Cloud document storage is essential for us! 😉
This has been a fun Q&A for us to take part in, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it too!
If any other readers / visitors would like to use this format on their blog, please go ahead! We’d appreciate being tagged in the post, if you don’t mind. 🙂
Joanna & Ron
.Image © jannoon028 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net