So, I am not a part of this blog tour, but I love questions that make me think about my process and why I do what I do. I saw this posted at Tayari Jones’ website and thought they were great questions that inspire thinking and intelligent answers.
1) What are you working on?
My first novel, Brunch at Ruby’s, a contemporary women’s fiction novel set (very loosely) in Atlanta, Ga. It is the story of three women who have been friends since they were children, who, as adults get together once a month at Ruby’s Soul Food Cafe, a neighborhood eatery that is as old as they are. The novel is told from three points of view and follows the course of their lives in one year, from the breakup of a marriage to the heartbreak of Alzheimers to the stress of upholding the image you’ve designed for yourself.
I’m pretty proud of it, even though I’m tired of looking at it, at the moment. I’m letting it rest while it’s out for Beta Reads. Then a round of self edits before it goes out to a line/content edit. The other thing I am working on is a blurb and a synopsis so I can prepare for the query phase in my attempt to snag an agent.
2) How does your work differ from others’ work in the same genre?
I don’t know that I am necessarily aiming for it to be different. I think I want people to look at my novel, read the back cover blurb and think, hmmm this looks good, and want to read it. And open it and read it all the way through and finish it. It’s not a life changing tome. It’s not an Epic Iliad Fantasy. IF it is released, it’ll be a debut novel, the very best I can put out. And it’ll be MY story.
3) Why do you write what you do?
I write the ideas that come to me. I want to tell the story that hasn’t been told. I know, there are no new stories, but I’m not looking to align myself to a trope and carry it out for seventeen books. I look for stories that are, somehow, different. Good, interesting stories with realistic characters that people can relate to… because that’s what I like to READ.
4) How does your writing process work?
This has changed over the years, which I’ve blogged about before. I’ve gone from a complete pantser– get an idea, bang out some details (name, age, job, something quirky, who cares about this person and why?) and start writing, to someone that likes to plan a little bit. Still very much a pantser in that I don’t start outlining really until I am a few chapters in. Now that I’ve entered the maze, I need a plan for getting out of it. What happens? Why? Who cares and how does that affect the story?
If I don’t know the end, at least in general, I can’t start writing. Once I know where I want to go, I know where I want to begin and work myself forward.
I recently started using Scrivener, which I railed against for SUCH a long time. “I don’t write like that!” “I’m a linear writer!” “I don’t need something so structured!”
What Scrivener has helped me with, actually is pacing the novel by letting me describe each part/chapter/ scene in notebook view so I can see how things happen. When I was writing in word, I had an enormous file I was working with. If I needed to move or add something, cut and paste was my only option. With Scrivener, I can, literally, move an entire scene from the end to the beginning by dragging it. I can add scenes, find scenes or beats, change things quickly. While I wasn’t a huge fan of writing with Scrivener, it has been great for editing.