Blog-Hop on Writing Process!

Today’s post is a blog-hop post, with questions that writers are answering around the web. I was linked in to the process by Patricia Bracewell, who shares both an agency and an editor with me. Patricia is the author of the historical novel Shadow on the Crown, about 11th century English Queen Emma of Normandy. Check out her blog at http://www.patriciabracewell.com/blog/.

So, without further ado, here are the questions and my answers.

1) What am I working on?

The major project in the hopper right now is a sequel to Moth and Spark, but I don’t want to say a whole lot about it because it’s still very much in process and things keep changing. I will let on that it’s set about 6 months later and features many of the same characters, although everyone is considerably less shiny. The big fun new writing part of it for me is having chapters set in the point of view of the villain.

I’m also starting to play around with a near-future SF novel that starts out looking like a dystopian YA and swiftly turns into a meta-narrative with a collection of texts, somewhat like Margaret Atwood did in The Handmaid’s Tale, where Offred’s narratives were the subject of a scholarly conference. The only thing I know for sure at this point is that the major dystopia event is another, much larger, Dustbowl and other consequences of climate change.


2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

In a lot of ways my fantasy is not terribly different from other traditional fantasy. I think the two big differences in Moth and Spark are first, that the setting is more of a early Industrial Age (say 1800) than faux Middle Ages – it’s not steampunky, but there are hints. Second, my female protagonist, Tam, is smart. I didn’t really realize this was a difference until I started getting so many reader comments about how refreshing and unusual it was to read about a woman whose greatest strength is her intelligence. She doesn’t have to show herself strong by swinging a sword with the boys or seducing people – she is very observant and quick to put pieces together.


3) Why do I write what I do?

I wrote a fairly long post recently about why I write fantasy, so I’ll keep this short – fantasy and other spec fic is for me about possibility, not just world-building but also a deeper world-view that here is a place to find wonder.


4) How does my writing process work?

Mostly it’s been a throw it at the wall and see what sticks sort of process. I am working on using plot outlines in advance more, but an awful lot of my output is still stuff that I didn’t expect to write when I started the scene. Nothing ever comes out exactly as it is in my head. I do a lot of revising as I go. This is not very efficient – I cut a lot – but it does allow for unexpected outcomes or twists that take the story somewhere new and interesting.


And now, I pass the questions on to 3 other writers: Rosemary Claire Smith, Martin Spernau, and Anne Lee Carpenter. Their posts will be up in a week, on April 21. Check back then to see what these interesting people have to say!

Rosemary’s blog is at http://rosemaryclairesmith.wordpress.com. Rosemary writes science fiction and fantasy stories.  Her work draws on her training as an archaeologist and showcases her interests in dinosaurs, time travel, folklore, mythology, aliens, and genetic engineering. She has published four short stories and has a new one about zombies coming out in May!

Martin’s blog is at http://traumwind.de/tindertraum/. A poet of the multi-verse, Martin Spernau’s palms show two parallel life-lines, one of which is fading as he loses his physical sight, while the other shows his ability to portray the whimsical science of the fantastic with true insight and vision. His story “No Thing Harder Than Bone” appears in THEME-THOLOGY: New Myths.

Anne’s blog is at http://suniemianne.blogspot.com. Anne is a writer, photographer and performer interested in interdisciplinary work who has trained at The Studio Theater in DC.  She is interested in exploring the uses of dialogue and how ideas and experiences effect us and the world around us, and in fine and performing arts work.