My Writing Process - Blog Hop
Special thanks to Debbie McGowan for tagging me. Read her answers to the following questions at her blog, De-blog. She’s written a bunch of great books, all of which you can find at her web site, Beaten Track Publishing. Go get one and read it!
What am I working on?
Currently, I have resumed work on the fourth novel in my Richard Paladin series. These are quasi-espionage/thriller spoofs told in first person. I’ve been on hiatus from Paladin, though, finishing a few other projects. One is this year’s entry in Amazon’s Breakthrough Novel contest, a coming-of-age novel titled An Alligator in the Basement; it’s made it to the quarter-finals. I’ve also finished the draft of an international political satire titled A Feast of Famine, possibly my personal Confederacy of Dunces. Don’t worry, I’m not planning on having it published posthumously. Meanwhile, I made a short story called Sudden Addiction available for $.99 on Amazon. Interest so far has been, well, limited.
How does my work differ from others of the genre?
My Paladin series is about an assassin working for the U.S. Government. I think what make mine different from the slew of books out there in this genre is that I’m not trying to make a hero of Paladin. He’s blue-collar and enjoys his work. But the people he’s assigned to kill are often just pathetic losers who have made some government official’s life inconvenient. Sure, he realizes he’s not eliminating terrorists or other evildoers threatening to destroy the American way of life, but the pay’s pretty good and he excels at the work. My goal is to spin farces that are just real enough to make a few readers wonder just what governments really do in the name of national security.
How does my writing process work?
Sometimes I wonder if it does work. When I’m well into a project, I typically begin a writing session by rereading what I wrote the day before, then attempt to add about 1,000 words more. If I get stuck, I go back and read from the beginning. Each rereading session includes edits and rewrites. Obviously, this becomes more ponderous as the work grows. I don’t outline, although usually I begin with a vague idea where the plot is going. I know a work is coming along, though, if the characters take over and start driving the plot to odd places. During all this, of course, I’m trying to add texture to the characters until they become almost real. The characters are what drive my interest in any book I’m writing. Plots are secondary, although hopefully convoluted enough to keep readers guessing. And when I finish a draft manuscript, then it’s back through it two or three times before finding a tough beta reader or two. A word of advice on beta readers; whatever they find that they don’t like, change. No matter how much you like a scene, if it confuses or bothers one reader, it’s going to confuse or bother a lot more. Listening to beta readers always makes your writing stronger.
Why do I write what I do?
I like telling stories. Writing gives me the chance to do this to more than a few people I know. Since the stories I tell are always bent and usually have some basis in reality, in something I’ve observed or heard, it should be no surprise that what I write is the same.