My Writing Process
Posted by bookishashlee
What I am working on.
I recently finished the first draft of another YA fantasy, and am already about halfway through the sequel to it. When I’m finished with the sequel, my plan is to edit and revise both of the books at the same time. I also have a couple of short stories I hope to write soon (we’ll see if I have time!). In the midst of all of that, several weeks ago a brand new book idea (middle-grade fantasy this time!) dropped on me from nowhere, and I couldn’t help writing down a rough outline for it … I’m super excited about it, of course, although it will be a while before I can begin working on it.
How my work differs from others of its genre.
I love reading entertaining books, funny books, serious books, meaningful books. And though I’ve wanted to write books like that for as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt I couldn’t simply just write an entertaining story. My stories, as I hope my life does as well, point toward God. And I hope that they not only do that, but that they also tell my readers something new, or unsuspected, about their faith, God, or their relationship to Him.
Why I write what I write.
While I enjoy fantasy more than any other genre, I feel also that fantasy serves my purposes better – the purpose of reaching people in a way that’s not preachy or moralizing, but instead natural and even surprising. What could be more unexpected about a fantastical fairy tale world than finding a path leading you right back to your true home? I talk about why I write fantasy in more detail in this blog post, if you’re interested!
My usual process for a book goes something like this:
- First draft (usually takes between 6-9 months)
- When finished with my first draft, I like to work on something completely different, or simply concentrate on reading, while my manuscript sits for 1-2 weeks.
- Now come the “big picture” revisions – that is, fixing structural things that don’t flow right, plot lines that are out of skew, character arcs that don’t work, scenes that are out of place or need to be cut altogether … etc.
- For my second round of revisions I normally concentrate on things like dialogue, descriptions, wording, flow, and grammatical errors.
- In the past I haven’t used beta readers – but that has changed! I look forward to being able to send my newer manuscripts to some trusted writers/friends who will be able to give me a sound critique of my work.
- After the beta readers have given their advice, and I have changed anything that needs to be changed, off goes the manuscript to my agent, and from there … who knows! Maybe more edits and revisions … maybe straight into the hands of editors or publishers.
Currently, as a stay-at-home mom, I don’t have an actual writing schedule I stick to. I wish I could! But it’s just impossible right now. This coming school year, though, I hope to implement a fairly strict writing routine, and to become more consistently productive. Daily word counts … here I come!
I am supposed to tag others to post answers to these topics as well, but instead I’ll just leave it up to you. Any of my followers who would like to fill everyone in on their own writing process (if you write!), fire away! Leave your answers in the comments, or post it on your own blog and leave the link below. I look forward to hearing from you!
About bookishashleeAshlee is the author of The Word Changers, a Christian YA fantasy that released June 2014.
Posted on July 10, 2014, in Ashlee's Everyday, writing and tagged author, Christian, craft, craft of writing, editing, fantasy, first draft, God, insight, publishing, revision, writer, writing, writing process. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.