My Writing Process: A Writing Blog Tour

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My amazing critique partner, Kim Chance, tagged me in this blog tour to answer a few questions about my writing process.
So here we are!
I’m not guaranteeing anything insightful or poetic. I actually hope that your expectations of my writing process aren’t set that high. If you think I spend hours inside a library, weeks setting up real-life scenarios, or have brilliant lights shining down on me as I type on my keyboard, you are going to be seriously disappointed . . . and you may possibly need medication.

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However, if you are expecting lots of headbanging, maybe some crying, and a lot of cussing, then your expectations are pretty dead-on.
There’s also a chance that you are a fellow writer. Am I right?

Okay so let’s just get to it.

Question # 1: What are you working on?

A New Adult Romantic Suspense is the next project. Sorry I don’t have a working blurb. It’s in the very early stages and has been that way for the last month. Regrettably, I’ve made very little progress after releasing my last book, The Line That Breaks. I’m distracted and I can’t seem to get my head in the game for this one.
Hopefully, a few more head bangs will help.
If not, I’ll have to break out the booze and hope I dream up some inspiration after I pass out. Kidding. Well . . . Maybe not.

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Question # 2: How does your work differ from the others in its genre?

My last books were Young Adult Paranormal Romance. I think those differed from others in the genre because they were cursed-based and didn’t have the usual entities like vamps and big, hairy dog people. I liked the idea of a wishing well, but really wanted to put my own spin on it–not so shiny and happy.
Snow-White-and seven dwarfs walt-disney wishing well maid
With this latest project, I think the style will set it apart. I plan to make it a second or third chance romance of sorts, having flashbacks to the past. The MCs’ last encounter wasn’t exactly the most ideal situation. So when they meet again, not only are they stepping into an alarming predicament, but they have this history that creates even more problems.
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Question # 3: Why do you write what you do?

My books have mainly been Young Adult and I enjoy writing the genres in that age bracket because it’s fun! Teenagers are emotional.
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Let’s go back to Emma Stone for some better visuals.
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That makes writing characters of that age enjoyable because it can be unpredictable. They don’t have it all worked out. They’re learning and exploring. There’s so much stuff happening during that period of time, so many ‘firsts.’ Young love. Heartache. They are often experiencing so many things at once, all while trying to find their own place in the world.
But since I like to write a lot of things, the next project is climbing up the age range. I want to experiment with many genres because- why not?

Question # 4: How does your writing process work?

I’m mostly a pantser, which is sitting down without plotting and just typing it out. Whatever comes, comes.
I let the plot stew in my head for a while. The ideas have to simmer up there, build and thicken, before I can really start.
Occasionally, I’ll need to write specific highlights down so I won’t forget them.
This typically includes a few sentences scribbled on a notebook.
For a plot that is more detailed, I might have to write more detailed plot points to get a general structure.
Aside from that, I’m not very strict. Some people have to use a working outline and have it all their ducks in a row.
I’m willing to try anything, though. Maybe I’ll try other methods to see what might work, especially now that I’ve been stuck lately!
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I also tend to write in order, from the first chapter to the last. SomeΒ peopleΒ bounce around. I find that too confusing. But, even though I am writing my latest project from start to finish, it will bounce back and forth with past times and present. So, I will write it from their first encounter on, then have to rearrange later.

Flashbacks, remember?

This could be tricky, but I’m hoping writing in order will make for a stronger connection.
When I finish a chapter, I have a habit of going back through once for a rough edit. This slows the process down of course. For me, it’s worked to solidify what happened and it refreshs me to write the next chapter.
After the initial draft–and sometimes during–I hand over to critique partners. Sometimes I’ll wait until I go back through the first full revisions to hand it over. It really depends on how I feel.

If I don’t think it’s ready, I’m like-

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Later, when I get their input, I go back through again.

And again.

And again.

And then possibly a print edit.

And then possibly an audio edit (If I could ever get my stupid Text to Speech to work on Windows 8 Word–stupid PITA!).
Somewhere in there, it’ll get sent to Beta readers for more feedback.
You get the picture.

Revise. Revise. Edit. Revise.
After all of that, it gets sent for a proper edit.
And then I go over it while I plug edits and sometimes once more after that.

Phew.
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Is there a reason for all of this?
Yes!

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I didn’t pick someone else to tag. But if you’re reading this, and you want to share, make sure to comment and let me know your process.
Maybe it’s similar to mine.

Or maybe you think I’m crazy.

Either way is cool, I guess!

~J.M.

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