A Tale of Plotting, Procrastinating, and Processing
A big thank you to the lovely Lynn Vroman for an amazing introduction. A girl couldn’t ask for a better critique partner or friend! I’ve had the distinct honor of being one of the first to read her debut YA novel, TAINTED ENERGY, and let me tell you: her writing is fantastic! I knew from the very first paragraph that this lady was going somewhere. A gigantic congrats to her, once again, on landing a book deal with Untold Press. I can’t think of anyone more deserving. Thanks for being the wall I bounce my rubbery and half-formed ideas off of! Find her at LynnVroman.com.
And without further ado, let me tell you about my writing process!
1.) What am I working on?
Years of living in the sewers beneath Elite City have hardened seventeen-year-old Sylvia to most types of creepy-crawlies. The genetically engineered, man-sized, flesh eating bugs—not so much.
The sewers are the only place safe from the Cull, nocturnal bugs that wander the overgrown and abandoned city streets above. During the day, Syl scavenges for food among the empty skyscrapers, but at night the Cull come out looking for a meal of their own. Syl thought gene splicing died with the war a century ago, disappeared with the android scientists and their bitter quest for vengeance. She thought the bugs could be exterminated, the city rebuilt and the population replenished. She’s wrong.
Whoever engineered the Cull isn’t done playing God. Syl is abducted and tortured in horrific experiments that result in her DNA being spliced, slowly turning her into one of the bugs. Now she must find a cure and stop the person responsible before every remaining man, woman, and child is transformed into the abomination they fear.
So…that’s it in a nutshell. Urban fantasy is my go-to genre, and I particularly enjoy writing about Celtic mythology. However, I’m trying my hand at science fiction, and thus far it’s been…fun.
I’m also working on several short stories. I’m trying to build my credentials so I have SOMETHING to put in my bio once I begin querying. And amazing news! My flash fiction piece, “The Girl”, was accepted for publication by Foundling Review! I believe it is due for publication sometime in late July or early August – I don’t have an exact date yet.
2.) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Great question, and a hard one to answer! I sheepishly admit that I don’t read as much science fiction as I should. In a time when so many stories have already been told, it’s hard to bring something original and unique to the table. I would say the main aspect of my WIP that differs is the voice. I also try to write flawed characters. Nothing turns me off more than a flat character. The characters I always fall in love with are the ones who feel like real people…and real people make mistakes, hide scars, and have weaknesses.
3.) Why do I write what I do?
Because I love it. Because there’s a shard of story embedded in my brain and I can only get it out through my fingertips. The first thing that comes to me is always the character, and I write the story around them. My writing is dark and emotional, and usually a bit macabre. That’s what I enjoy reading. I don’t want a sugar coating. I don’t want the Disney version of things. Give me Grimm. Give me the mermaid who turns into sea foam; give me the two sisters who cut off parts of their feet to fit into the glass slipper.
4.) How does your writing process work?
Process? What process? But really, there’s a lot of procrastination involved. A lot of I can’t keep writing this scene until I research X or I can’t write until I fix Y. I wish that I could spew words onto a page until I’ve accumulated a novel’s worth. Alas, that’s not how my brain works. I’m a writer afflicted by a delicate resolve and an unhealthy dose of perfectionism. I’m a pantser to the max, and I often have a loose overall plot while desperately hoping all the finer points come together in the end. It normally takes me a year to finish a rough draft. I’m a busy woman! I usually binge write one month, take a few months off, then binge write again. My brain gets hung up sometimes and needs to reset during those months off. The first quarter of the novel is hardest for me. I enjoy world-building, but the characters are so fresh and the world so new. Getting to know somebody or someplace isn’t a thing you can rush. Just when I think I know them so well, they surprise me.
And here are next Monday’s gents:
Logan L. Masterson
Logan L. Masterson is the author of Ravencroft Springs, a Lovecraftian tale of Applachia published by Pro Se Press. Look for his stories “Clockwork Demons” in Capes & Clockwork, and “Shadow of the Wolf” in Luna’s Children II, both from Dark Oak Press. A published poet, arts journalist and unapologetic geek, he lives in Nashville, Tennessee with five dogs, two turtles, and a lovely wife.
Robert Crow is the finest author of horror and science fiction in his Middle Tennessee condominium, and arguably the entire complex. Born and raised in South Mississippi, Robert’s writing reflects his Deep South heritage and his love for the bizarre and unsettling, as well as the darkly funny. His story Always the Feet in the anthology Comfort Foods: This Ain’t Your Momma’s Cooking has received rave reviews, and Really? Cleveland? from Beyond the Skyline has the distinctions of being both the only story in the anthology to drop f-bombs and the least offensive thing written about Cleveland in years. Both are available on Amazon, and you can expect much more inanity in the near future. You can follow Robert on Twitter at @aircrow.