How And Why Do You Write?

By Marcy Kennedy (@Marcy Kennedy)

My friend and fellow writer Debra Kristi tagged me in a very fun blog tour about my writing process. Since this will give me a chance to answer a lot of questions I’m often asked, I thought it would be fun to play along.

But first I want to say a big thank you to Debra. Debra is a paranormal and fantasy writer. She lives with her husband, two children and a cat. She’s a full-time kid chaser, video game maker’s wife, and muse prompted writer. She writes because the dead girl told her to.

Make sure to check out her blog, Weaving Webs of Reality and the Fantastical.

Debra KristiNow on to the questions 🙂

Question #1 – What am I working on?

I divide my writing time between fiction and non-fiction, so I’ll tell you as quickly as possible about both.

For my non-fiction writing life, I’m currently working on four projects. My Twitter for Authors book is with my copy editor. This will be the first of my Busy Writer’s Guides to have a print and an ebook copy release at the same time.

I’m also writing the next mini-book in my Busy Writer’s Guides series. It’s on internal dialogue.

And the print versions for both How to Write Dialogue and Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction are in process. A lot of people have been asking for these, so hopefully the wait will soon be over!

For fiction, I have a historical fantasy that’s almost ready to go off to beta readers and then for a developmental edit. My working title for this project is Selkie, but that might still change multiple times. It’s the first in a trilogy.

Teaser for Selkie: A woman in 16th century Scotland is cursed to fail at everything she tries. To earn the clue she needs to track down the fairy who cursed her, she must kill the nuckalevee, a fleshless monster who’s spreading the Black Death and killing the crops of the people under the protection of the highborn lady who holds the secrets to the truth behind her curse.

And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m also working on a romantic suspense novel and some science fiction short stories.

Add all that to the editing projects I do for my clients, and I’m kind of tired to tell the truth 🙂

Question #2 – How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Many craft books don’t give the detailed, in-the-trenches coverage of a topic. They include a lot of beautifully written prose and theory without explaining how to practically apply the principles, or they give numerous examples but don’t explain how to replicate those concepts in your own work. Each book in the Busy Writer’s Guides series is intended to give you enough theory so that you can understand why things work and why they don’t, but also enough examples to see how that theory looks in practice. In addition, they provide tips and exercises to help you take it to the pages of your own story with an editor’s-eye view. Most importantly, they cut the fluff so you have more time to write and to live your life.

I write in multiple genres for my fiction, but here’s what stays consistent no matter what genre I’m writing in: a fast-paced read, a touch of romance, deep themes, and enough twists to keep you guessing.

Question #3 – Why do I write what I do?

I write my Busy Writer’s Guides to help other writers. This business is hard. If possible, I want to make it easier for others to learn what they need to and move forward in the craft.

For my fiction, I write what I’d want to read.

In my novels, I want to give people hope. In a world that can be dark and brutal and unfair, hope is one of our most powerful weapons. I write novels that encourage people to keep fighting. I want to let them know that no one is beyond redemption and that, in the end, good always wins.

My short stories and co-written fiction with Lisa Hall-Wilson are written for various reasons.

Question #4 – How does your writing process work?

I’m a planner, so whether I’m writing fiction or non-fiction, I like to have an outline before I start. I write with an outline for a couple reasons. For me, that’s part of the fun. It’s like a puzzle I’m solving. I also love the anticipation it builds in me to actually write the book. And it’s more efficient. I’m busy. I don’t have time to waste on rewriting things that I could have gotten right quicker if I’d done a little planning in advance.

I don’t have much else in the way of a process. I don’t believe in writer’s block. I don’t believe in waiting for the “muse” to strike. My characters do what I tell them. They’re not sentient, and they don’t act on their own. If I were a Star Trek character, I’d be a Borg (who was originally a Vulcan). 

This is my job. It’s a job I love, but it’s still my job. Surgeons don’t say “Sorry. I can’t operate today. I have surgeon’s block.” They go to work and do their job whether they feel like it or not, whether they’re inspired or not. The way I see it, I should too.

Next Stops on the Tour?

I’m supposed to nominate writers to carry on the tour, but I don’t want to leave anyone out. Some of you might want to participate, but haven’t received a nomination. So I’m putting out an open call. If you want to be the next stop on the tour, here’s what you need to do.

Step One: Acknowledge the person and site that involved you in the blog tour (that’s me).

Step Two: Answer the same four questions about your writing process.

Step Three: Say who is on the blog hop next week.

Do you want to participate? Let me know in the comments.

To celebrate this blog tour, I’ve dropped the price of Frozen to 99 cents.

I hope you’ll check out the books in my Busy Writer’s Guides series, including How to Write Dialogue and Mastering Showing and Telling in Your Fiction.

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