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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sharing My Process


I've been asked to share a few ideas about my current works, and how my creative process impacts upon my schedule. You won't find anything sage here, but I do hope you discover something useful.
Here it goes:

What am I working on?

I'm very focused and like to concentrate on one main project at a time. So, at this moment, I'm entering the final stages of the first draft to Phoenix Rising, the fourth tale of the Guardian series. It's an important step, because this book links the previous trilogy into the new one, and I have to ensure the two blend together smoothly, whilst setting the scene for the concluding chapters to their story.

Saying that, I'm also laying the foundations to what will be an entirely new venture. World building is a very important aspect to my process, and I take my time with it. As to what the new project relates to? Watch this space...more exciting news later this year, perhaps next year.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I usually stick to two main genres. Science-Fiction and Paranormal/Fantasy. However, I approach both with a similar attitude. I like to make what I write believable. To do that, I do what I touched on above. World build. I'm an advocate of the axiom...if you do your homework, & base your characters and the story's setting on a thoroughly researched foundation, then it shines through. You give your heroes and villains a history that makes a huge difference, and this allows you to add all sorts of twists and turns as the tale develops. I truly believe the reader will notice that and appreciate it.

I also like to send a message through the pages of my work. What that message is, differs with each story, but will often touch on issues such as, morality, equality, diversity, etc. and the consequences of pushing things too far.

Why do I write what I do?

Conditioning. It is often said, you should write what you know. While I do this within the context of my work, (especially in relation to the science involved, or combat principles in fight scenes), I also apply that focus in the actual genres themselves.
I grew up in the 1960's. Think of what took place at that time. The space race. Endless Gerry Anderson sci-fi shows. (Supercar, Fireball XL5, Thunderbirds, Stingray, captain name a few.) Think of the other shows on primetime TV: Dr Who, The Champions, Lost in Space, Land of the Giants, Time Tunnel, The Invaders.
Those shows only got more sophisticated as the decades passed...(Gosh, I feel old) :(
Is it any wonder such things strongly influenced the corridors of my imagination?

How does my writing process work?

I'll simplify this, as its quirky.
When I come up with an idea for a novel, I allow it to bounce around inside my head for quite a while. I actually allow it to develop there, and sometimes play things through to a conclusion before I put anything but the vital points down in writing. I even shuffle things about mentally, try it again, and only when I come up with something that really begins to flow, do I start to make notes.
By that stage, I can lay the foundations for the world building aspect.
Then I come up with a written outline. How I want the story to start. Where I'd like it to go before we arrive at the conclusion. Then I refine the points that need polishing...and off we go.
But, I allow enough fluidity to let the story flow where it needs. I've seen the value of this a number of times, now, as each story takes on its own momentum, and leads me where it needs to go.
I do semi-edit as I go through, as it allows me to ensure I've kept important plot points/twists where I need them, and then I apply another, more thorough edit once the 1st draft is completed, prior to sending it to beta-readers.
When it comes back, I edit again - and then I send it off.

There you go. As I mentioned, it's nothing magical, but its a method that works for me. I hope you find something useful within it to help you with your own development.

Perhaps you might also like to check out my friend's blog:
Where they describe their own process.

Until the next time...
Have a most excellent day.

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