My Writing Process

I was tagged in this fun writing process blog tour by two of my favorite bloggers, Deborah and Sarah. So here we go!

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 writehand writing 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!

keyboardMy writing process.

My usual process for a book goes something like this:

  1. First draft (usually takes between 6-9 months)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. For my second round of revisions I normally concentrate on things like dialogue, descriptions, wording, flow, and grammatical errors.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

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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!

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About bookishashlee

Ashlee 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 , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Sounds like you have a lot of great projects going on. I’m always impressed by parents who are able to make time to write in between all of their responsibilities. I have a tricky enough time as a single person. Also, I would love to help Beta read any future projects, when they are ready.

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  2. Thanks for sharing! It’s nice to know other authors out there don’t always have a rigid “writing schedule” 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, definitely not rigid … I sometimes wish it was, but I’m seriously not sure that I’d be any more productive. Guess I’ll find out soon 🙂 What’s your schedule (or lack of schedule 🙂 ) look like most days?

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      • Erm… my kiddos have nap/quiet time for about 2 hours in the afternoons from 2-4, so I do a lot of my writing/editing/house-cleaning (wait… how did house cleaning get in there??) during that time. If I’m being disciplined, then I also can get in an hour or two after they go to bed at 8pm before bed… if I’m being undisciplined and there’s a movie or tv show that I want to watch with my husband then that doesn’t happen.

        Currently I’m in the midst of the first round of content-editing for book 3, and have actually made pretty good progress on it. Next up will be going through and organizing it a bit, there seems to be a lot of plot missing that needs to be added – and a whole new prologue is coming. I’m also starting to draft out my entry for the Five Enchanted Roses contest… but that’s going slowly right now because I’m forcing myself to get my editing done first and we’ve had family in town for 2 weeks!

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      • That sounds pretty organized to me! … and amidst everything you’ve got going on?! Wow. I’m usually brain-dead after 8 or 9 at night, so if my writing doesn’t get done before then, it usually doesn’t get done at all 🙂 I’m excited you’re writing an entry for the Five Enchanted Roses contest! I’ve thought about it, but I’m not sure I’ll have the time to do one more thing – we’ll see 🙂

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  3. AHH! You have a brand new great idea and you told us about it . . . but we still have to wait quite awhile for the story? Yikes, I’ll be impatient. 😀

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    • Believe me, I’m pretty impatient about it myself!! I keep finding myself back at my rough outline, adding things here and there, or daydreaming about it during the times I’m supposed to be working on something else. I’d love to get started on it, but I think it would slow my progress with the books I’m working on now – maybe even halt them altogether. If you want to come babysit for me for a couple of months, though, that may speed things considerably ….. 😉

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      • Hehe, oh I wish I could! We never have enough time for anything, let alone time for writing, right? But as writers continue writing, their stories tend to get better and better, so I know the feeling of impatience until its out for people to read. 😀

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  4. This was great! So fascinating to hear your writing process! 🙂 It’s so interesting how different everybody’s is, but also similar.

    Aaand I’m very interested to hear about your new stories… 😉

    Off to read the fairy tale post (if I haven’t yet) since it sounds right up my alley!! 😀

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  5. I love this: “the purpose of reaching people in a way that’s not preachy or moralizing, but instead natural and even surprising” – it’s so interesting that the best way to be real and accessible is to turn to the fantastic rather than confront “reality” head on. I think it has something to do with guiding readers to a thought, but ultimately letting them figure it out themselves, much like we can guide a child through the process of learning that 2+2=4, but we could never simply tell them and consider the concept learned. Fantasy lets you encounter problems in isolation so that you can discover their meanings for yourself.

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