Rather than a devotional today, I've agreed to participate in a post relay making its rounds through the blogosphere of writers. My wonderful friend and crit partner, Dawn Crandall, pulled me in...and here are my answers to the questions.
Question #1: What am I working on now?
Having just finished my current WIP (work-in-progress)...nothing! I sent it to my agent, Linda S. Glaz, who'll send it out to publishers and then I wait. I have a few stories and their characters chatting in the back of my brain, so I'll start another one soon. First, however, I need to finish out the homeschooling year here with my kiddos, take some playtime with them, and try to tackle a portion of my TBR (to-be-read) pile. Hopefully, by the end of June, I'll start my next story.
Question #2: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write contemporary romance...sometimes with a little suspense, sometimes with a bit of drama, and always with laughter. I love developing characters, and dialogue is my absolute favorite because it's what brings them alive. I like a very, very deep POV, meaning when in a scene you only see it from one character's eyes as if you were in their skin. Oh, and I'm not one for a lot of descriptive paragraphs. I'd rather get back to the talking--probably why one of my nicknames as a child was Mouth:) Still, in my latest WIP I did delve into a bit more description because the setting and story called for it. All together this is what makes my "voice" and each writer--even if they are within the same genre--has a distinct voice.
Question #3: Why do I write what I do?
Simple. It's what God's called me to:) Honestly, I have loved stories since I was a child. Writing always was a part of me, and God's been shaping this given talent through the years. As I grew older, the reason I wrote became two-fold. One, I found myself reading books I had no business reading in my late teens. I can remember God asking me to stop, and I complained, "But there's nothing else out there to read!" to which he replied, "Then write it!" That day I began my first full-length novel. I desperately wanted to write something clean and entertaining. Later it became not simply about entertaining but about weaving hope through the stories. I love the parables in the Bible and how God placed his Truth throughout those stories. It's what I want to do. Entertain, yes. But there has to be a message of hope pulled throughout, something that points people to God. For me this comes out in contemporary. I like reading historical books but not writing them. I truly take to heart "write what you know" and I've only lived in this time period;)
Question #4: How does my writing process work?
I'm a pantser, meaning most of my story happens as I write--by the seat of my pants. Pretty sure God's made me this way because I need the constant reminder that these stories are all his, and I need to hang on closely to him for my "manna" every day...in other words, my word count. When I start getting ahead of him, the story falls apart. In the early stages, there's typically a verse or theme that sticks with me and starts rolling itself into a story. Characters show up, their main struggle, the town they live in...and then I take off. What never ceases to amaze me is when I finally hit "The End" there are always, always, always little pieces only God could weave together throughout the story that all come together in such beautiful ways. It's where I typically have an "a-ha" moment. I can remember one time a character kept using the same phrase and any time I tried to change it, it felt wrong. Near the last scene it became crystal clear why this hero said those words over and over--they tied up the entire theme and the heroine's journey...something I never knew, but God knew all along.
So that's My Writing Process in a nutshell! I'm toward the end of this post relay and rather than find three more authors who would need to hunt for three more, I'm simply going to point you in the direction of some amazing writers. One is published, two are on their way, but all have big hearts for this ministry God has called them too.
Have a great Monday everyone!