Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Beautiful People: July 2017 // Writing Process

How do you decide which project to work on?
Generally, the project chooses me. I'll be sitting on the couch, or listening to a sermon, or helping someone at work, and then I'll glimpse an Idea out of the corner of my eye. The Idea and I will make awkward eye contact, and then I know that I'm marked for life. Or, at least until the Idea is finished with me. It takes me captive until I research, plot, write, and edit it. Only then does it let me out of the dungeon where it's been keeping me in feet shackles (once, an Idea tried to put me in wrist shackles, too, but that didn't work out so well because I couldn't write with my hands tied together). 

How long does it usually take you to finish a project?
Ha. ha. ha. What does "finish a project" mean? At the rate I'm going, I'll have a book out every five years or so. 
My first novel took roughly two years to finish from start to end. The novel I'm working on now has been in the works for three-and-a-half years. Short stories generally take me a week or so to finish (same with school essays). I've yet to finish a novella, so they take me even longer than novels.
Maybe it takes me so long to finish projects because my Ideas shackle me to the floor of a deep, dark dungeon, and that does NOT put me in a writing mood (see next question).

Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?
Nope, no routines, but water (hikes near streams... being by the ocean... when it's raining... in the shower...), puts me in a writing mood. Classical music also tends to put me in a writing mood because, as a kid, I would make up stories in my head to go along with the music.

What time of day do you write best?
I've been trying to figure this out, and I don't have an answer. I don't think I have a specific time of day that I write best. I do most of my writing in either the afternoon or evening, but I don't think that means I write better then. Generally, I write the best when I am well-rested in both body and mind. 

Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?
Perhaps children's authors from the early 1900s? Like E. Nesbit. Or maybe middle grade writers like Sharon Creech or Jeanne Birdsall. I would describe my writing style as simple, clever, and classic. Whether or not anyone agrees with that assessment is another matter. 

Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?
I guess I started writing because I had stories to tell. Before I could write myself, my parents would transcribe stories that I told to them. They encouraged storytelling and creativity. I still have stories to tell, but now I'm more interested in how stories are told. Language and what it evokes fascinates me. I love learning the power of choosing words and punctuations that will make a reader feel a certain way. 

What's the hardest thing you've written?
In terms of content, I wrote a short story a few weeks ago that changed from a sweet friendship story into a psychopathic murder story really quickly. It creeped me out, and it was hard to finish because of that. I haven't looked at the story since then (even to edit) because I'm scared of it.
I also wrote an essay about my grandfather's death, and that was difficult to write, too. 
In terms of difficulty level, I wrote a ten-page research essay (with ten sources) about gender roles in fairy tales (and received an A) last semester. I worked SUPER hard on that paper, and I'm very proud of it. 

Is there a project you want to tackle someday, but you don't feel ready yet?
Yes, yes, yes! There are several projects, actually. One of them is a series of short stories about a space cafe. I've wanted to do a series (similar to a TV series, with seasons and everything) for ever. When I was younger, I planned out a series based on my American Girl Dolls. When I started watching Star Trek, I planned out a series based on Deep Space Nine. Around summer of 2013 or 2014, I had the first idea for this space cafe story. Occasionally, I'll work on the characters or the plots or the worldbuilding, but it's just not time for me to write these stories yet. 
If you've been following me long enough (AKA, if you've been around since I blogged on Dolls, Books, and Things That Matter), you may remember two characters named Daniel and Varina who were spies. These two characters have been with me since 2012. I've written numerous short stories and three-and-a-half novels about them. They are my favorites. They are the closest to my heart. But, they have no plot (the ones I came up with in 2012 are never going to see the sun). I need to re-haul pretty much everything about their stories, but now is not the time to do that.
I also have several stories set in the same world as my fantasy-fairytale novel (y'know, the one I've been working on FOR-EVER), but I don't feel ready to write them yet either.
Someday all of these stories will leave my brain box. BUT TODAY IS NOT THAT DAY.  

What writing goals did you make for 2017, and how are they going?
My one writing goal for 2017 was to finish my novel by December 31st. I've been working on this story for far too long. I'm ready to move on to other projects. 
Recently, I added several more writing goals for 2017. They are as follows:
1. Figure out what to do with the Novel once I finish it. (I've completed this one... but spoilers, darling. I can't share my plans quite yet.)
2. Write six short stories over the summer. (I've written four so far.)
3. Research women in World War II for my next novel, and write the parts in the book that deal with this topic before I go back to school (again, I'd share more... but spoilers! This particular Idea does not want you to know about it until next month. It's threatening me with starvation, so I'd better listen to it).

Describe you writing process in three words of with a gif!

(Because I spend more time thinking about each word in my sentence as I go along than actually writing anything down.)

Tell me a little bit about YOUR writing process! What puts you in a writing mood? Do you have a particular time of day in which you write best? How long does it take you to start a project (from Once Upon a Time to The End)?


  1. That gif. Yes. I love it XD


  2. The only thing about you taking so long to write your stories is that we have to WAIT SO LONG!!!

    1. Says the man who has read every draft of my current WIP. :P

  3. Haha, I feel like I make awkward eye contact with Ideas a little too often. XD

    Oh my goodness ~> "a series of short stories about a space café" YES PLEASE. :D

    I relate to that gif so much. SO MUCH. XD

    Thanks for sharing this, Abbey! I loved reading about your writing habits! ^_^

    1. An Idea is trying to make eye contact with me right now. *stares intently at screen*

      That's how I feel toooooo! One day my space cafe will become a reality... One day...

      I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D This was a fun post to write.