There’s a writing process?

I was tagged by fellow author Sarah Madison to participate in this meme about my writing process, to which my (unspoken) response was “I’m supposed to have a process?”  Tracking back to read through the posts of others who’ve been tagged has been a fascinating exercise, yielding an enormous variety of answers to the same questions.

the-boys-of-summer400x600-200x300I’m going to be interviewing Sarah here next month when her new story is published as part of Dreamspinner Press’s Not Quite Shakespeare anthology. It means I’ve been fortunate enough to get a sneak peek of her story and it’s wonderful. I can’t wait to grill politely question one of my favourite M/M writers, so watch this space.

In the meantime, you can’t go wrong with the beautiful cover of the equally beautiful story The Boys of Summer. And I do love Spitfires.


What am I working on?

I’ve just made the difficult decision to discard the story I’ve been working on for some time. It had a lot of things going for it, but ultimately it just wasn’t quite right. I knew it deep down but I thought if I kept tinkering with it, I could solve it. I couldn’t, and so it’s gone, consigned to the great hard disk drive in the sky. On the positive side, I’m sure some elements will work their way into future books, and research is never wasted.

All of which means that as of this moment, I’m not currently working on anything. Instead I’m taking a breather to see what the part of my brain that’s responsible for inspiration wants to write next (it doesn’t have a great deal to do with my conscious thoughts, it appears, but more of that under in resonse to the question about ‘writing process’).

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I’m not sure I’m the right person to answer that because I can’t see my work the way others do. No two writers in a genre are going to treat the same subject in exactly the same way because we’re all coming from different places.

Why do I write what I do?

Quite simply, I love writing and reading M/M romance, and at the moment it’s M/M stories that are coming to me and demanding to be told. If that changes, I’m open to writing in different genres.

I do enjoy exploring the dynamics in M/M relationships, without all the worries I have with M/F relationships about gender stereotyping. I write romance because I love teasing through how individuals are able to reach the point of sharing the most private part of themselves with someone else.


How does my writing process work?

I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s structured…   It starts with a character – or two – who pop into my head and decide they want me to tell their story, even if sometimes it takes them a while to share just what that story is.

The story I’ve just abandoned was one that I wrote in response to a submission call with a fairly tight deadline, and I put the cart before the horse—I sketched out a plot and populated it with characters. Writing it hasn’t been a wasted experience because I’ve learned a tremendous amount about my writing process, not least that I need to give characters some significant time to become fully-formed before attempting to work out any plot.


Now, this meme asks me to nominate three other people to share their answers to these questions, and I’m thrilled by the people who’ve graciously agreed to be tagged – I can’t wait to read their answers next Monday!

doublealchemy_finalSusan MacNicol has been very busy promoting her latest terrific novel, Double Alchemy, but is taking a breather to tackle these questions. (In the interests of full disclosure, I haven’t yet had a moment to read Double Alchemy for myself, but I know Susan’s track record and I’ve seen the reviews, so I have no hesitation in declaring it terrific.)

Then there’s Marc Fleischhauer, whose thoughtful and insightful reviews have led me to some absolutely wonderful books.

And finally there is the lovely Elin Gregory, who has a new story coming out in Wayward Ink Publishing’s anthology Bollocks next month. That’s another one for which I can’t wait!

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4 Responses to There’s a writing process?

  1. I’m sorry you’ve had to give up on your story, Sarah. Frankly, if you posted your shopping list I’d read it avidly, especially if you’ve dressed it in breeches and a Guards uniform and sent it off to Alamacks for the evening. I do think, though, that nothing is ever wasted and you’ll find a use for those words somewhere.

    • Oh, bless you for that! 🙂 There were breeches involved, but I realise now where I went wrong – there wasn’t a uniform in sight. And thank you for the encouragment; I’m sure elements will work their way into future stories somehow.

  2. Sarah_Madison says:

    It’s really tough realizing that a story isn’t workable–but like you said, nothing is ever wasted! Apparently Game of Thrones started out as a single scene with a girl and a white wolf, and George RR Martin put the scene in a drawer for ten years until he figured out what to do with it. 🙂

    In medicine, we frequently refer to ‘carpenter’ types and ‘gardener’ types–different mentalities that gravitate toward different fields of medicine. I have to wonder if that holds true with writing as well–because your style of storytelling sounds a lot like mine! 🙂

    Looking forward to reading the posts of your tagged authors!

    • That’s extremely heartening to hear about George RR Martin – thank you for sharing!

      I do like the designations of carpenter and gardener, not least because both produce such beautiful things. It’s also good to have a positive way to describe how I approach things, rather than viewing it as somewhat unstructured. And of course it’s greatly reassuring to hear I am not alone! 😉

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