Happy Monday! I’ve been invited to join the “My Writing Process” blog tour by the wise and witty Lynne Cantwell, an author with a background in journalism and a compelling interest in Native American cultures, mythology, and knitting cool things that look like star maps. If you don’t know Lynne, you should. Please visit her website to learn more about her and her books.
Okay, I like to do these blog thingies once in a while. They’re fun. But lately I’m three steps behind and a half a buck short, so by the time I get to them, everyone already has a dance partner and I’m left standing next to the bleachers, a cup of lukewarm punch in my hand, trying not to make eye contact with anyone. Especially that kid who used to hide in the back of the room in third grade and read Harriet the Spy while chewing her hair. Oh, wait. I was that kid.
So I’ll answer the questions. Authors, feel free to answer them on your own blog. Or don’t. That’s the awesome power of having a piece of Internet real estate. Even if you lease it from WordBloggy or wherever.
1) What am I working on?
Right now I’m working on a sequel to my contemporary novel Don’t Tell Anyone. I wanted to explore what happens next in the lives of these characters. Plus, many readers contacted me and suggested that Charlie (Estelle’s younger son and Liza’s brother-in-law/best friend) needs his own book. I asked him, and he vehemently agreed with me, as long as Liza came along for the ride. Then he bugged me to add a Frank Sinatra station to my Pandora list and said I should keep some good single malt in the house. I did the former, but not the latter. That stuff’s expensive. So the adventures we began in The Picture of Cool, just released, will continue in this next novel.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I’m not sure. My genre borders are kind of wiggly, from women’s fiction to contemporary to romantic with a touch of suspense. I do like focusing on character development and dialogue, though. Most reviewers have mentioned that my characters feel like real people.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been drawn to character-driven fiction and maybe that’s one reason why it appeals to me so much as a writer. Humans are fascinating and so beautifully flawed and idiosyncratic. I think I write to try to better understand why we do what we do.
4) How does your writing process work?
A lot of writers I’ve spoken with about this say that they see the scenes in their heads and write down the details, sometimes getting so much that they have to pare it down later. I hear the characters first. I hear the dialogue and write that. Often this results in first drafts that are more like screenplays and need to be fleshed out in subsequent drafts. I try to run with the first draft all the way to the end without editing, even though the plot doesn’t always make sense and the scenes might be out of chronological order. That’s why Anne Lamott calls them “shitty first drafts.” My goal is to get the story out and then start shaping it in the second draft. Imagine Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze clinched together working on the potter’s wheel in Ghost. Yeah. It’s just like that in my writing room. Except without Demi Moore.
If you’re a writer, what are you working on? Readers, what’s your reading process like? One at a time, or a book for every mood?
That was you? I was the one in the opposite corner of the room, reading Nancy Drew. 😀 Thanks for playing, Laurie!
Thank you, Lynne! 😀
Good stuff, Laurie. And you already know I love your work. I wish I had more time to read.
Thank you, Yvonne. Me, too. I have so many books on my Kindle, and on my nightstand.
Nice post Laurie. I also posted for the blog hop today 🙂 It was nice to think about writing – and why we do it. Best wishes with Don’t Tell Anyone.
Thank you, Elisabeth. I’m going to hop over and visit yours. 😀
Love the imagery 🙂 Thanks for the character insight.
Thanks for visiting, DV! 😀
This is hilarious. Ya killed it.
Gah.. how did I miss Charlie’s launch? Oh, well I’ve got it now and that’s all that matters. Been having rather a frustrating day so thanks for giving me something to look forward to!
In reading through your answers I was struck by the fact that you begin with dialogue. Even when I’m writing people instead of aliens, I find dialogue hard because it has to do so much – be ‘in character’, advance the plot or character development, be pithy, and most of all, ring true. You manage it all so effortlessly… I hate you. :p
Seriously thought, have you ever tried to write an actual screenplay?
Hi, AC… I’m sorry you’ve had a frustrating day.
Don’t hate me because I hear voices! 😉 But a screenplay is on my list. I’d love to try. Just don’t know which one yet.
Hope you like the story. It’s been on “soft launch” because it’s a novella and because this is a bit of a departure for me. I’ll probably get a little splashier about the sequel. 😀
Charlie’s story is next up on my TBR. I’m itching to start it but I know I won’t finish the current one if I do. Or maybe I just have a touch of OCD, lol.
Don’t underestimate novellas. They fit that niche between appertizer and main course, and we all love our entrees. 😀