Posts Tagged With: writing process

The Writing Process Blog Hop

It’s been awhile since I participated in a Blog Hop, so I figured, no time like the present!

So let’s start off with a big thank you to Andrew Toynbee, who tagged me for this blog hop and wrote some really sweet words about me. You, sir, are a class act.

On to the blog hop!

1) What are you working on?

So I have two projects in the works right now:

  1. Chasing Nonconformity (sequel to Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It) — I’ve finished the rewrite, and have now set the book aside for a few weeks to give it time to mature (books are like wine/cheese, right?). Once the maturing process is finished, I will go back through the manuscript and rip it apart, in the hopes that the beta readers I eventually give it to won’t be too disgusted when they read it.
  2. The Elemental Guard — This is a fantasy novel I’ve been working on for a couple of years now, and I am in the process of figuring out how I want to rewrite it. I do technically have a first draft, but it’s suffering from an extreme case of “Not enough happens-itis”. So I’m going to rework the story from the ground up and make it awesome.

2) How does your work differ from others in the genre?

Well, Imminent Danger and Chasing Nonconformity are different from mainstream YA novels in that they’re not entirely focused on a love triangle. I know that’s generalizing a bit, but it’s also a fact that the vast majority of YA novels currently on the market are just obsessed with doom and gloom and tragic love triangles. The Imminent Danger series does not have love triangles, and I don’t think it ever will — well, it might, but the love triangle would be extremely nonviable, and more in there for comic relief than anything else. I also try to put a lot of humor in my stories, because A) I enjoy laughing and making people laugh, and B) whenever I write dark, dramatic things, I get kind of depressed.

3) Why do you write what you write?

I’ve loved fantasy and sci-fi since I was a kid. My parents indoctrinated me young — technically from the moment I was born, actually, as my middle name is Lothlorien (the Elvish woodlands from Lord of the Rings). So I tend to write a lot of fantasy and sci-fi because those are just the kind of stories I enjoy. I’m currently dabbling in a darker, slightly anarchic story, but even that still has some sci-fi/fantasy elements to keep it interesting. For me, I get enough of reality from living in it day to day — when I pick up a book, or sit down to write, I want to go somewhere new!

4) How does your writing process work?

Oh, it’s a complete mess. Sometimes I get an idea and immediately sit down and start banging out words. Sometimes I’ll get an idea, write it down, and then forget about it for years. Sometimes I’ll do elaborate planning for a story, with character backgrounds and histories and so on, and then get bored and never look at it again. My writing process is really just about what’s working for me at the time. Right now, I’m in a “do some high-level planning first, write the first draft from start to finish, and then re-write until you go completely batty and have to take up tai chi as a calming exercise” type phase.


Nailed it! Okay, moving on to part 2 of the blog hop — tagging four authors to follow in my glorious footsteps. I’m not going to give them advanced warning on this because, quite frankly, I don’t have the patience to send out emails and wait for responses. So they’ll just have to deal with the free advertising, and decide for themselves if they want to participate in the blog hop.

Audrey Driscoll — This wonderful lady is the author of one of the best self-published books I’ve ever read, The Friendship of MortalsIt’s haunting, and beautiful, and thought-provoking, and has a dash of Lovecraftian horror that will absolutely blow you away. Also, the book has a fancy new purple cover!

Danielle E. Shipley — Aside from being a sweetheart, Danielle blogs all about writing and fairytales, and occasionally even about writing fairytales (gasp!). She has a great little series of novellas out called The Wilderhark Tales.

Kate Sparks — First of all, Kate reads all my posts and leaves awesome comments, so that alone makes her one of my favorite bloggers! Her blog is also quite excellent — all about writing, publishing, etc. She’s also recently posted a few pictures of Loki and his adventures with a pink pony, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Celeste DeWolfe — You know her as the talented artist behind all the Imminent Danger fan art I keep posting, but Celeste has many other talents! Her blog is really fun, with a huge variety of topics — ranging from web comics to music to books. And she’s currently posting her first novel, Life of Gaiaon Jukepop Serials (i.e., she posts it chapter by chapter, and you can read for free and leave comments).

Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a fabulous Friday!


Unrelated media of the day:

Two sentence horror stories! It’s a thing! Check out more here:


Categories: Blog-related, My Works, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Chasing Nonconformity is finally taking shape!

As you may know, I’ve been working on the sequel to Imminent Danger for a while now. I believe I started it back in … 2010? Possibly earlier. Anyway, it’s been quite the laborious process. I’ve never written a sequel before, so there was a lot of stumbling and self-doubt and re-writing (the current version is almost indistinguishable from the original draft) and … yeah. You get the picture!

Anyway, I’m pleased to announce that things are finally taking shape with the sequel. I’ve settled on how I want events to happen, I figured out Varrin’s motivation (he had one before, but it was kind of a stupid motivation, so that’s changed), and I flexed my mediocre organizational muscles and did up a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of what the heck is going on in the story. I even made a timeline!

Guys, I’m so psyched right now. You know that point where everything just starts to come together, and you kind of sit back and go: “Wow. This feels amazing. And I can’t believe it took so freaking long to get to this point.” And then you ask yourself if all the hours of writing and re-writing and agonizing and plotting and arguing with your brother who absolutely refuses to entertain the possibility that maybe characters don’t have to make logical decisions all the time were worth it. The answer is yes — yes, it was worth it!

There’s still a heckuva long way to go before Chasing Nonconformity is ready for publication (obviously!). Part of my plan calls for new scenes, which need to be written. And then other scenes have been completely flipped around to be from a different character’s POV, or the same events happen but in a different location, etc. It’s going to be an epic re-write, that’s for sure. But now I have my lovely, color-coded chapter breakdown to guide me, so I’m confident it will turn out more or less the way I envisioned it.

So for anyone wondering how work on Chasing Nonconformity is progressing — there’s your update! I’m going to be working on it a lot over Christmas (hopefully I’ll finish the re-write!), and after that the basic process will be:

  1. Run the draft past my mother
  2. Wait two months for her to actually read it
  3. Get it back — cringe at the red-coated pages — revise
  4. Run the draft past my brother
  5. Wait three days for him to read it and return it with a brilliant and in-depth analysis something along the lines of: “It’s fine”
  6. Correct the inevitable logical errors he points out
  7. Run the draft past my alpha readers (“alpha” makes them sound like a wolf pack — Arooooo!)
  8. Make corrections
  9. Run the draft past my beta readers (I might ask some of you awesome WordPress peeps for help with that, so stay tuned!)
  10. Make corrections
  11. Run the draft past my mother
  12. Go through the entire book with her page by pain-staking page, tightening up my inevitably sloppy writing and probably chopping off about 10k from the final word count
  13. Run the book past a copy-editor
  14. PUBLISH!!!!!!!!

Realistically I see this book being published no sooner than Fall 2014. Cease your tears, my friends! The novel-writing process is not for the weak-hearted. We must stand together or we will surely perish!

Right. Thanks for reading! Remember to enter my Goodreads Giveaway for a signed copy of Imminent Danger And How to Fly Straight into It!


Unrelated media

Note: Cleverbot’s responses are in blue.


Categories: My Works, Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Chasing Nonconformity

We shall begin with a simple question. Were you intrigued by the title of this post?

No: Curses! Perhaps I was being overly optimistic about my own brilliance.

Yes: Huzzah! You are a person of incredible wit and taste. I applaud you, sir or madam.

Enough shenanigans. “Chasing Nonconformity” is the working title of my current WIP (work in progress). It’s the sequel to Imminent Danger and How to Fly Straight into It, and basically picks up where the first book leaves off. Like Imminent Danger, the sequel features space battles, sexy mercenaries, six-armed reptile warriors, and a generous helping of ridiculousness.

I wrote Chasing Nonconformity while I was living in South Korea, so I imagine that had some influence on the various characters and events of the story. I definitely borrowed heavily from the Korean language when making up names for planets, aliens, foodstuffs, and assorted sci-fi paraphernalia.

To give you some idea of where it’s at, I shall now share with you:

Michelle’s Official Writing Process

1. Write.

2. Wait six months. Review and revise.

3. Wait six months. Review and revise.

4. Give book to my mother.

5. Receive book from my mother, heavily scribbled upon with red pen and “constructive criticism” that makes my soul weep bitter, bitter tears.

6. Review and revise.

7. Give book to friends.

8. Receive book from friends, heavily scribbled upon with pen that starts in red, then shifts to blue/black/green/purple when they inevitably lose their red pens. Rejoice from all the supportive and optimistic feedback.

9. Review and revise.

10. Give book to my mother.

11. Receive book from my mother, heavily scribbled upon with red pen and “constructive criticism” that makes my soul weep bitter, bitter tears.

12. Review and revise.

I wanted to include the step of “Actually publish the book” on that list, but as it hasn’t happened yet, I felt including it on the list might be premature. With Imminent Danger, I’m somewhere around “Step 37: Review and Revise. Again. For the final time, this time, dammit!”

With Chasing Nonconformity, however, I’m waaaaaay back on Step 6. Exciting times are ahead, my friends! First I have to finish completely re-writing the middle section of the book, then head to the end and cut out a ton of plot. Hopefully I can use all this extraneous plot in future sequels, but I’m not going to beat myself up if that doesn’t happen.

So that’s basically what I’m working on right now. I’ve been kicking around the idea of attempting NaNoWriMo this year (because my attempt at Camp NaNo this summer went so well), so ideally I’ll get Step 6 of Chasing Nonconformity done before then.

I appear to be babbling. I’ll stop. What’s your writing process? Where are you at with your current WIP? Do you have any tips for cutting down my current writing process to something a little less insane?

Random video of the day: a chilling look at the “Dungeons & Dragons” phenomenon.

Categories: Self Publishing, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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