Thanks to Teresa Morgan for inviting me to do this stop on the Writing Process blog tour. Check out Teresa’s post here. She’s obviously got this writing process malarkey cracked as she had her first novel published with Harper Impulse last year and the next is on its way. Meanwhile she recently had stories in anthologies from Harper Impulse. Check them out!
So on to my writing process.
1) What am I working on?
As usual, lots of stuff at once. It was always rare for me to ever have only one project on the go, and once I went pro this became even less likely. It’s always quite hilarious to me when I see interviews of writers with a new release and the interviewer asks “so what are you going to work on next?” Like they haven’t been working on the “next” project for the last 18 months.
Right now the biggest project is editing of the draft I started during NaNoWriMo last year and finished in December. It’s a 70k+ novel and I’m hoping to have to ready to submit either by the end of March or the start of April. Its working title is still Sleep Bomb, but I have some thoughts on its permanent one.
As of time of writing I’m waiting for the first round of edits of a short story to be published in an anthology from Dreamspinner Press.
Early planning is going well for the third of the Red Dragon series. I’ll soon be getting more deeply into the planning of that, and should be ready to start drafting it once “sleep Bomb” is finished. There are various other projects on the horizon, in the very early stages of planning. Including two that take me out of my comfort zone, one in terms of form – a series of shorts – and the other in terms of content – an F/F romance.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Wow, that’s a tough question. What makes a Becky Black book different? I think that’s for the readers to say. I don’t think I could point to something that I do that I could claim nobody else in the genre does. Maybe there is no one single thing. It’s more a combination of factors that make any writer’s work unique to them.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been interested in stories of m/m couples. I read gay lit and liked to watch the few and far between movies and TV shows that featured them. They weren’t often Romances, because either they were literary fiction, or they were the fairly typical “gay person is miserable and then dies” stories. There’s a place for all kinds of stories of course, but a constant diet of tragedy can be depressing.
I was reminded earlier this week about the impact the UK series of Queer as Folk had here. It was one of the first times gay people got to have fun in a TV show and not die as a consequence. When I found the m/m romance genre and decided to give it a try I wasn’t someone coming from a background of romance reading and writing. But I was very attracted it for being a genre where gay couples could have a happy outcome – and that I could expect that as the default, not as a surprise.
4) How does my writing process work?
I have a day job so I have to work around that. One thing I don’t do is get up super early in the morning to write. I do get up quite early, but I barely have the mental capacity to make my breakfast at that time, so writing is out of the question until maybe 8am at the earliest, if I do a morning writing session on a non work day. On a none work day I’m more likely to spend the morning doing chores and errands to get them out of the way before I spend the afternoon writing. On work days it’s the evening, where I set aside a couple of hours to write. This time is on my calendar. I get a reminder when it’s about to start (giving me time to go make a cuppa.) Having a routine like this works well for me.
Sometimes, like NaNoWriMo, I want to squeeze some extra time in. That’s when I’ll use my netbook and do some writing sessions at lunchtime. I’ve learned over the years to write almost anywhere, however busy. And I’m not remotely bothered about writing sex scenes in the coffee shop either. 😀 Anyone peeking over my shoulder deserves whatever shocks they get.
Of course I’m as lazy as anyone else and some nights it’s hard to stop faffing on with Twitter and get down to graft. And some days it’s just not happening at all. I usually let myself have a day off every week or so. Never more than a day unless I’m taking a break between projects. Sometimes you just gotta refill the well. But in the end I get the work done. I keep my bum in the chair long enough to get my projects done. Planning is the key for me. Schedule the time, use To Do lists. They all make it clear to me that writing is my priority and my focus.