The Writing Process Blog Chain

Remember back in the day how you would come out of the store and there would be a chain letter on your car windshield? No? Just me? *clears throat* Anyway, authors have come up with a way better way to do chain letters. It's the chain blog post! Nicole Helm tagged me and now you get to read all about me! Don't you feel so lucky?

What am I working on?

I am working on Caitlin’s story (that’s the name of the file on my computer) aka The Good Girl’s Naughty Christmas Wish. I’m not so sure about that title, so Caitlin’s story it is for now!

It’s the follow up to my debut, TELL ME SOMETHING GOOD. Caitlin is the BFF of TELL ME’s heroine, so of course she deserved her own story. It’s a fake engagement sports romance. Caitlin was very definitely a secondary character in TELL ME, so I’m having fun exploring who she is and where she came from. (Hint: crazy mom)

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

The first response that came to mind is “Hell if I know.” I write contemporary romance. I write the stories I want to read, but I’ve never thought about how I can make my stories soo different from everything else out there.

I don’t know if this makes my work different, but I love sports and pop culture, so at least one of those topics (probably both) will make its way into all of my books. I love funny, sexy, urban modern stories.

Ultimately, it all comes down to voice. That’s what readers respond to. I want my readers to laugh, to fan themselves because of the smoking hot chemistry between my characters, and to want to shake some sense into the characters at some point because they care about them so much.

Why do I write what I do?

Because it makes me happy. I love romance. I don’t need serial killers or shapeshifters to love the story (although it’s cool if they’re there). My enjoyment comes from watching two (or more) people falling in love despite themselves and all the craziness that’s going on in their lives.  

How does my writing process work?

Sigh. I’ve been working on Caitlin’s story for way too long because I was so unsure of the plot. I knew who the characters were before I had a plot, so I had to come up with a plot to fit them. NO BUENO. I eventually discarded my first plot idea because I wasn’t feeling it and thought it was a tad too close to TELL ME. Never will I work this way again.

USUALLY, my process involves getting a plot idea like “What if two radio talk show hosts who can’t stand each other are forced to do a show together?” Once I have a plot idea, it’s much easier for me to come up with characters that fit that plot. I knew they disliked each other, but why? I use Michael Hague’s Inner Conflict Arc to really get to know the characters and then I write.

I’m a pantser, but I have a loose idea of where the story is going. I write a first draft that is very dialogue-heavy and unfit for outside eyes. I do no editing during this phase. I just have to get the story out. If I know what’s going to happen a few scenes from now, I’ll either skip ahead to write it or at least jot down the basic idea so I don’t forget. One of my favorite scenes in TELL ME came to me a few chapters before it was time for that scene. I had to stop and write it right then. I had to. And it’s so good, if I do say so myself. :) 

After the first draft is done, I make a list of all the scenes just to make sure there’s a real, actual story there. Lol. I (sometimes) use some spreadsheets Jami Gold has on her website that combine several authors’ plot structure processes to make sure.

Then it’s time to edit and edit and edit again. And I’ll read it one more time because the story is never done.


Now, I’m supposed to tag three authors to participate and post the questions and their answers to their blog next week (2/24), so Dawn Alexander, Sally Kilpatrick, and Piper Huguley you’re it!