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Blog-hopping and Rule-bending

November 2, 2014

Well, it’s been a little late in coming, but I did actually manage to post this week like I said I would, which I reckon counts for something. A big thanks goes out once again to Kokkieh, who nominated me to take part in the present hop. I particularly enjoyed questions 4 and 5 when I wrote this up: I had no idea at all how to answer them at first and, really, as a writer I kinda need to be able to answer things like that.

The rules for this blog-hop, by the way,  are as follows:

  1. Answer the five questions – done!
  2. Nominate two bloggers to continue the hop – also done!

So…seems I have everything in order there…let’s begin!

1. Include a quote that you like

Fun fact: this was the very last question I answered when writing this post, simply because it took ages to think up something worthwhile. In the end, though, the choice seemed surprisingly obvious. I therefore present the following line, from J.K.Rowling’s Harry Potter and The Deather Hallows:

“NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”

I never read much when I was young…or indeed, when I was not so young. I only really got into reading after I decided to get into writing, which I’m pretty sure isn’t the normal way round. Nonetheless, Harry Potter was a series I utterly adored even back then, and Molly Weasley’s immortal line (and subsequent ass-kicking) was the crowning moment in an already-fantastic finale.

Oh, and Harry should totally have ended up with Ginny. I mean, how could anyone think otherwise? 😛

2. Why do I create what I do?

I’ll admit: at first, I got into writing simply because I was bored. I was fresh out of school and waiting to start uni, during time I thought, well, why not? Of course, I barely knew the first thing about creative writing back then, and I wasn’t even reading particularly often at the time. The result, then, was predictably awful.

So why did I keep at it? Mainly, I did so because I have ideas…and I quite like those ideas…which makes me want to share those ideas, in the hopes that others will also like them. Of course, there’s always the chance that others won’t like my ideas (or at least my execution of them), but I won’t know of I don’t at least try. Right? 😉

In addition, I create because I can – because it gives me something to do out of work besides lounging around and playing videogames. Not that there’s anything wrong with videogames, mind. On a completely unrelated note, the new Smash Bros is frickin’ awesome.

3. How does my creative process work?

As I mentioned last time, my creative process tends to change a lot. Originally, I was a pantser; after that, I was a staunch planner. Nowadays, I’m somewhere between the two: I still plan, but do so in a far less rigid way.

My most recent process developed in the run-up to my summer vacation, following a long period of inactivity on my projected. Thinking about it, said process can broadly be broken down as follows.

First, I produced a few-pages-long summary of the story to be written. I then identify key scenes from that summary and sketch them out in a single document (the “fragments” document), with the aim of getting as much of the plot down as possible. If any further scenes naturally spawn from what’s been written, then those scenes get written as well. And if new scenes spawn from those scenes…well, you get the idea.

I also produced short documents on important characters at this point, making copious use of the Positive and Negative Trait Thesauri in the process. This part, incidentally, is one of several things I owe to Sara Letourneau, who first made me aware of those two books’ existence.

Once I found myself running out of material, I proceeded to get organized. I compared and contrasted my original summary with the scenes I had written, in order to produce a chapter-by-chapter plan of the story’s events. I used this to assign written scenes to their appropriate chapters and then to identified any further scenes that were needed. Those scenes, incidentally, are still being written.

Of course, I still need to work out a good process for actually editing a piece, since I’ve never actually tried to edit (as opposed to re-write) a novel-sized story. I’m sure I figure something out in the end, though.

4. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

First, the obvious point: in just about all my work, parasitic or symbiotic entities play a vital role. This in itself, I realize, is not a difference; quite the contrary, I’m fully aware that the basic idea been done a thousand times over…which just makes me that much more determined to do something fresh with it.

What is different, I feel, is the way I explore such concepts. Essentially, I treat them as the main “point” of my stories, and always aim to explore them as far as can possible be explored. The results can be downright wince-inducing on occasion, both in-universe and out…which, really, I see as part of the fun.

More generally, I tend to downplay traditional romantic relationships in my work. Though characters can and will be romantically involved, it is never the focus of my narrative. This wasn’t conscious decision, but it’s something I’ve noticed over time; really, I guess such things just don’t speak strongly to me. Bonds of friendship and family, on the other hand, tend to be explored a great deal.

5. What am I presently working on?

Right now, almost all of my writing time is going towards my novel, tentatively titled “The Aurora Experiment”. I wrote the short story that ultimately spawned it well over three years ago, though it’s safe to say the project has changed significantly since then. As a matter of fact, the current (and hopefully) final incarnation only really came together over the course of this year.

So what is The Aurora Experiment, you ask? The Aurora Experiment is a science fiction novel set on an alien world, centered on the interactions between a girl and the strange pet she sees as her best friend. Unfortunately, said “pet” is actually an intelligent parasite in need of a host…and who has become very fond of having a roof over one’s head. Needless to say, things get complicated. Quickly.

Nominees

Really, I was supposed to only nominate two bloggers here, but in the end I ended up nominating three. Two is a very small number, after all, and the questions strike me as being particularly relevant. Well, that’s my excuse, anyway 😉

So without further ado, my nominees:

Colin Mobey – AKA Mobewan – faces a challenge I’m sure will be familiar to many: balancing his writing around a busy work and family life. His website is filled with info as to the various methods and writing software he employs to do just that, so it’s a great place to go if you’re looking for some tips. His first book, a science fiction novella titled Memories Stirred, is due out towards the end of this month.

Sara Letourneau is a highly versatile blogger and writer in the midst of writing her first full novel. Her website features both book reviews and author interviews, as well as the detailed “Choncling the Craft” updates on her own book. And as if that wasn’t enough, she also contributes to both Grub Street and A Bibliophile’s Reverie…not to mention the work for Sonic Cathedral that she did for several years.

“Chronicling The Craft”, by the way, is a huge factor behind my current creative process, though it’s safe to say that Sara’s process is far more organised than my own. So if you’re struggling with your own writing project right now…well, have a look ;).

David Bruns is prolific self-publisher with much to say on self-publishing in general and on the business of marketing in particular. His flagship series, The Dream Guild Chronicles, is now at three books and counting. In addition to posts on his own work, his website features frequent indie book reviews as well as book promotions and giveaways. He is currently working on his next novel, a political thriller titled “Weapons of Mass Deception”.

 

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9 Comments
  1. Fascinating answers. I’d never have guess you were that ‘late’ to writing, and certainly that you had only really started devouring books since starting. On the plus side you have so much good writing to catch up on! Not sure if I’d caught the name of your WIP before, but sounds like an intriguing title and a great concept. Looking forward to it.

    And thanks for the nomination (I think…). Will try to make my answers as interesting as yours. May need to resort to childish humour though as I just don’t think I’m that interesting.

    (btw, now reading Sara’s site and there are some great tips on there. So stealing them ;-))

    • *lol* Thanks, mobewan! I may just have to visit your site now and see what I can “steal” from you in return. 😉

    • Thanks! I do indeed have a lot of catching up to do as far as books go; in retrospect, I can hardly believe I got into all this as recently as I did. And yeah, I don’t think I’ve mentioned the name of my WIP anywhere before; I’ll probably end up changing it at some point, but I reckon it works fine for now.

      And no problem :D. I look forward to seeing what you make of these questions…though I guess you’ve pretty much answered numbers 3 and 5 on your site already ;). Apologies if this becomes a massive time-sink, though.

      I hope everything’s still going good on your end. And I hope Sara’s tips pay off, too :D.

  2. Love your answers, TPG! Especially the amount of detail you put into explaining your writing process, and your answer for why you create / write. The latter is a fascinating question to begin with; every writer has unique reasons for doing what they do, yet every reason makes all the sense in the world.

    Another thing I loved: Your choice for a quote. One of the best from Harry Potter! 🙂 Along with Ron’s “If we die for them, Harry, I’m gonna kill you!” (I think it’s slightly different in the book, but I crack up every time.)

    And thank you for the nomination! I’ll try to get cracking on my answers this week. Will let you know when it’s up. 😉

    • Thanks! I think you’re absolutely right about peoples’ reasons for creating: I doubt any two writers have the exact same set of reasons for doing what they do, even if the reasons seem similar at a glance.

      Which book is the Ron quote from, by the way? It’s been way too long since I last read those books; I’ve been meaning to re-read them for ages, now.

      And no problem! I look forward to seeing what you make of all this 😀

      • It’s from the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.” Ron says it during the scene when he, Harry, and Hermoine are trying to escape from the Room of Requirement with Ravenclaw’s diadem after “Goyle set the bloody place on fire.” 😉

        I finished typing my answers yesterday, so the post should be up sometime next week!

  3. Completely forgot to say that I’m so glad you find Chronicling The Craft a huge help to you. Yet at the same time, I’m humbled, since I’m no expert at this novel-writing stuff / thing / shindig. I’m just bumbling through it like anyone else is… *blushes*

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