Monday, February 10, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour - Get Out the Map

Last week, in a wee bit of a panic, Victoria Blisse asked me to participate in this blog tour about writing and the writing process...

1)     What am I working on?

The other day, my husband asked me if I ever intended to take another day off in my life. I didn't really know what to say to that.

Okay... ready for the list?

  • Just finished the first draft of Blues, sequel to Roll, in the Rainbow Connection novels
  • Working on the outline for Classic, the third in the Rainbow Connection series
  • Expecting edits back for Blood Sight, book one in my Demoniac Codex series - once I get those, I'll do those edits and then I can begin writing Howling Bitch, which is book 2 in that series (I really need to change moods from New Adult novels to Urban Supernatural novels and I'm hoping that working on edits for Blood Sight will make Howling Bitch a little easier to write.) I intend to finish Howling Bitch by July. Ish.
  • In the meanwhile, I have two short stories I want to write for a March 1st deadline, Hold the Dirigible! for Valves and Vixens, and Dreaming the Hardest, a fem fantasy piece. (Finally nailed an idea down for that, I had several that kept getting out of hand)

Right now, I'm technically in that wibbly wobbly timey wimey stage where I'm not quite certain WHAT I want to work on. I imagine I'll snap out of it in a day or so.

2)     How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm very conscious of gender dynamics and the inequality inherent in relationships. Every time my characters have sex, there's a reason for why they're doing the specific act. Beau, in my novel Roll, for instance, is a topper, very dominant. Outside the bedroom, he's feels that he's lost control of his entire life, and this is somewhere that he thinks he can gain back some of that power. In Golden Moment - my story in the Steamlust anthology - my characters have sex in front of a mirror. In Garden Variety - in Lustfully ever After - the male character never has an orgasm. All these things are deliberate, reflecting the emotional state of my characters in other connotations. The sex is, therefore, an expression of the rest of their lives...

3)     Why do I write what I do?

Funny story; my best friend and I wrote sex scenes back and forth to each other for years before we had any idea that there was a market for it. (we are now both published erotica writers... and we have a book of short stories coming out in March!)

I've always said that I engage in writing love stories because I miss that feeling of falling in love. I've been with my husband for ish 18 years now. I love him, but there's something eager and crazy and fun about falling in love that honestly you just don't get anymore in a long term relationship. There are times when you look over at your long-term partner who's being wonderful and you get that dip and glide in your belly - THATs what I fell in love with! - but a lot of times it's also paying the mortgage and fussing at each other about who's turn it is to do the dishes.

Writing a love story, getting deep into a character's head and heart, gives me that feeling again, the rush of new love, the passion and the absolute need for each other Right Now.

One of my favorite web comics, A Softer World, sums it up pretty well for me in this strip... writing romance gives me that rush without doing something utterly stupid with my real life.

4)     How does your writing process work?

I'm really process-oriented... I hate writing myself into a corner. I've tried pantsing before, and all that does for me is end up with me crying about edits, trying to figure out how to get this scene to match up with THAT scene.

So, I usually start with an outline. I jot each scene down and lay them out in front of me, okay, this happens and then that happens, and here's some questions about the ramifications of that event. Usually, the first draft of my outline goes something like this.

MC has a vampire ex boyfriend.
This sucks
flashback, dead parents. why? angel rescues her, best friends with vampire
the head of the magic counsel puts a warrant on her death
vampire has to protect her
goes back to being in love
this seriously sucks
complication with brother? what the hell? how did we have a brother?
vampire <censored for spoilers>
Ow. oops. looks <censored for spoilers>
fight off the magic guy
smack brother in head
the end.

I go back and expand on this sort of jot-down, making scenes and collecting them into chapters. (this is the original outline from Blood Sight that I grabbed from my notebook. The outline has undergone significant revision since I wrote this down, back in 2011...

Once I have a polished draft of my outline, I'll write a chapter or two, see how the story's going. Add stuff to the outline that should be added (including physical descriptions when I remember, because I have a horrible tendency to change people's eye colors - this boils down to my husband having weird mood eyes. He has hazel eyes that range in shade from brilliant blue to almost brown, but are usually a middling shade of yellow-brown with green flecks. I was dating him for like 3 months before I realized his eyes weren't actually brown.)

I write in order, from beginning to end. I tried jumping around a few times, and I've discovered that all that does for me is leave me at the end of the novel with a shit ton of scenes that I don't actually WANT to write.

During the entire process, I'll tweak my outline to make sure I'm keeping on track, to add in scenes that become necessary as I write. Sometimes a scene is written out really vaguely. "Do some summer stuff here." or "Conversation with Ann-Marie." and sometimes it's very, very specific.

After I finish a piece, I'll send it out to my beta readers and then I poke my email repeatedly until it cries about inappropriate touching.

A few words about my schedule:

I write a lot of things for submission calls. And, in general, I write between 500 - 1,000 words a day (sometimes more, sometimes less, but that's about my average... when I get closer to the end, my word count often skyrockets). So when I plan things out in my calendar, I count backward from the due date. If this 1,400 - 4k short story is due on March 1st, writing 500 words per day, it's going to take me between 3 and 8 days to write it. I back up 8 days, then I add about 25% more time - so 10 days for this particular piece... and add a few days for revisions... which means if I'm going to do this piece, I need to start NO later than Feb 11th. (I don't write on weekends)

I can frequently write more than one piece at a time, if I need to. When I do that, I'll write 500 words in the morning on one piece, take a break, and then churn out 500 words on the other piece.

My calendar is color coded, blue is for writing fresh stuff, orange for real life commitments, pink for revisions or marketing stuff, yellow for household chores.... I spend a lot of time with highlighter on my fingertips.

So, to continue this trend, next week, I have

Elizabeth L. Brooks

Masquerading by day as an uptight corporate cog, Elizabeth spends her nights concocting gleefully smutty stories. She writes erotic romances for a wide span of worlds, genres, and orientations, and is also a senior editor for Torquere Press. When she's not writing or editing, she loves a wide range of generally nerdy hobbies, including reading, photography, tabletop games, geeky yarncraft, and silly smartphone games. Her safeword is "Oxford comma." You can find her online at or on Facebook at

V.L. Locey

V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, belly laughs, anything romantic, Greek mythology, New York Rangers hockey,  comic books and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a steer named after a famous N.H.L. goalie, and a flock of assorted domestic fowl.


A.R. Moler

A.R. Moler is a chemistry professor at a community college, a homeschooling mom and an avid science fiction fan. She is a devotee of first hand research for her writing whenever possible and to this end has - learned to fire a handgun, been rappelling, ridden with both ems and the police, flown a helicopter, bought a motorcycle and learned to ride it. She has traveled to nearly all the places where her stories are set and taken hundreds of photos for documentation. She has been writing since her high school years, but only recently has become published. Her fiction can be be found at torquere press and cobblestone and mlr. Her blog is and is entitled playdoh, legos and stoichiometry. When asked why such a name for her blog, she commented that it reflects 3 of the many phases of her life. Her daughter is 10 years old and was an avid playdoh artist, her son is 14 and owns enough legos is fill a 55-gallon drum and the stoichiometry--one of the most challenging topics to many chemistry students. Her husband's only contribution to chemistry is building rockets.

No comments:

Post a Comment