|Posted by Douglas Quinn on March 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM|
My Writing Process
17 March 2014
Today is my day to post and participate in the continuing series “My Writing Process” Blog Tour. My writing colleague, Ashley Howland, a children’s book author from Australia, posted hers last week. You may read her blog on this subject at http://ahowland.org/wordpress/
What am I working on?
I’m a multi-tasker, which doesn’t sound so good for a fiction writer, but since I have the ability to compartmentalize my projects, closing down one and bringing up another (in my mind as well as on my computer), it works for me. Currently, I have six book projects in various stages of completion.
Samuel The Pioneer, the second book in my Ancestry Historical Fiction/ Adventure Series is in the final edit before submission for publication.
The Adventures of Summer McPhee of Ocracoke Island—The Pink Lady, the third book in this Children’s Chapter Book Series is completed and nearing the final editing stage.
Solstice The Determined Beagle—Long Journey Home, the second book of my Little Book For Little Readers Series, is completed. While Donna Higgins Colson works on the illustrations, I am in the third stage of the editing process.
Charles and Hero—The Dreadmen, the third book in this Purple Dragon Children’s Chapter Book Fantasy Series, is completed and ready to go to my line editor when she’s ready for it.
The Adventures of Quinn Higgins: Boy Detective—The Case of the Gray Ghost’s Belt Buckle, the sixth book in this Children’s Chapter Book Series is completed and with my line editor.
Egret’s Cove, the fourth book of my Webb Sawyer Mystery Series should be completed by the end of April this year with a publication date of early 2015 in mind.
In addition, I’m doing research for a stand-alone novel, which I refer to only as “Project X.”
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
This is a strange question for me to answer since I work in more than one genre. My Webb Sawyer mysteries and the Ellis Family novels are influenced by other writers I’ve read over the years, and not just in the mystery/suspense/thriller crime genres.
My historical fiction/adventures series are based on stories from my ancestral past.
My children’s chapter book stories are influenced by conversations heard during school lunches with grandchildren and from local lore and stories from the “old-timers” in the community and from places I’ve visited.
You know the saying, “Write what you know.” Since writers follow that old adage then, ergo, each writer’s work is different no matter the genre.
Why do I write what I do?
When I was a kid, I was a big fan of Edgar Rice Burroughs and read all of his novels, including Tarzan. I even picked and sold pecans to buy his books. As a teenager, I expanded my reading to everything from adventure to mysteries to fantasy and science fiction. I even enjoyed biographies and history. All the stories, both fact and fiction, and my own life experiences, stayed with me and, eventually, when I was finished raising a family and doing my entrepreneurial thing, like ERB once said, I decided,“I have stories to tell as good as the people writing these stories (at that time he was talking about the pulp magazines). I can find a story in anything and everything. An overheard conversation, an article in the paper, family history, a thought that pops into my mind; they all conjures up tales to tell.
How does my writing process work?
Generally, I do a minimum amount of research before I start the book. I’ve always been thinking about the plot line, settings and characters for some time—sometimes years. I’m not a writer who agonizes over every word, sentence and paragraph. For me, doing that would make the writing stiff and contrived. I access the narrative and dialogue I’ve already stored in my mind and write very quickly. I iron everything out in the editing process. Each book, whether it’s a 125 page children’s chapter book, or a 300 to 400 page novel, the editing process is the same. I print out the rough draft for each chapter, give it to my wife to read and edit. I then give it two hard edits, then pass it on to my editor, who sends it back with edits, editorial remarks, questions and suggestions. I input the chapter edits, give it another edit of my own, then put it aside as I work on the rest of the book, until the work is completed. Then I give the whole work a sixth edit. Then put it aside (as I’m always working on other book projects). Usually, three or four months later I bring the manuscript back off my pending shelf and give it a final edit (number seven), then send it to the publisher. The eighth and final edit is the galley proof. As I’ve said many times, the writing is the fun and easy part of writing a book; it’s the editing process that’s work.
To continue this My Writing Process Blog Tour, go to:
Kevin Tipple at www.kevintipplescorner.blogspot.com
Brenda Wynn at https://www.facebook.com/ChroniclesOfElydir" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.facebook.com/ChroniclesOfElydir