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(Crossposted from Jennifer Brozek)

I was tagged by Steven Savage for this blog hop with these questions:

1. What am I working on?
2. How does it differ from others of its genre?
3. Why do I write what I do?
4. How does my writing process work?


What am I working on?
I work on several projects at a time and which gets preference is based on which deadline is soonest in conjunction to the amount of words due. Usually have a number of editing gigs going on at the same time as my writing gigs. Currently, as an author, I am working on the following:

Unnamed short story - due at the end of the month for an invitation-only anthology. It is urban fantasy.

The Last Days of the Salton Academy 3: Plan for Success - the third in a trilogy of novelettes. This is a near future, post apocalyptic zombie tales. Due in June.

Chimera Incarnate - Book four of the Karen Wilson Chronicles. Urban fantasy due at the end of the year.

How does it differ from others of its genre?
Unnamed short story - I don't know if it does. I just know it is relevant to today and I haven't read a story like it yet.

Salton Academy - I don't particularly like zombies and I think the genre is getting stale. For the most part, I'm not writing about the zombies. I'm writing about the survivors and how they handle the stress of the apocalypse. I thought it would be interesting to set the story in a boarding school in-between quarters.

Chimera Incarnate - This is the last in the urban fantasy series and, really, it is classic urban fantasy: a hidden supernatural world set next to our reality. I'm not trying to stretch the genre. I'm writing within it. Only the details differ.

Why do I write what I do?
I write the stories I do because it is what I like to read. I have stories to tell—to myself, to my fans, to anyone who wants to read them. I would write whether or not I was getting paid for it. I really do live to write and write to live. It is my passion.

How Does My Writing Process Work?
Once I have an idea, I let it sit for a week or so. Ideas are easy. Writing/execution is hard. If the idea is still shiny in a week, then I work on it.

First, I outline. My idea of outlining is deciding if it has a 3 or 5 act structure and then bullet pointing the main thing per act. That's it for a short story. For a long work, I break each act out into 3 or 5 scenes and bullet point the main thought per scene. That's it. I know where I start, where I believe I'm going, and where I will end up.

Then I write. Write. Write. Write. Splat it to the page. Get the whole of it down. Never mind the mistakes. I don't look back until it's complete. Unless I figure out a giant plot hole as I'm going. Then I stop. Re-outline to fix the hole. Then I write again.

After it is complete, I give it a single edit pass to smooth out the edges.

Once I'm satisfied, I put it away to stew and work on something else. If it's a short story, a week. If it's longer, a couple of weeks.

After stewing, I take it out and look at it with fresh eyes and fix everything I couldn't see before. When I'm not ashamed of it, I send it to my 1st round readers. That gives me more time and distance and people outside my head a chance to tell me where I messed up.

Then I fix those mistakes. I polish the manuscript. I read it out loud away from wherever I wrote it.

When I'm finally happy with it, I send it to my editor and pray they like it, too.

Tagged
After chatting with them, I am tagging: Lucy Snyder, Nate Crowder, Minerva Zimmerman, and M Todd Gallowglas.