elizabethmccoy: A black-haired woman's face. She's glaring. (Kessa)
[personal profile] elizabethmccoy
I was tagged by Stephanie Cain, and here are the questions we're supposed to answer... *grin*

Rules of tag!

Basically, you link back to the person who tagged you and then answer four questions: What am I working on? How does my work differ from others in its genre? Why do I write what I do? How does my writing process work?

So here I go!

What am I working on?

Lots of things. All at the same time, kind of. The top 4, in order:

Crucible (Alchemy's Heirs #2): getting beta-reader feedback. I'm extending myself in two or three different directions and would like to avoid horrible amounts of Fail.
• A GURPS supplement, on spec. That's getting some GURPS beta feedback before I sail it into the slush.
That Dragon Thing: What came to me in a dream as unabashed dragon-shifter smut... developed fantasy-world politics, a need to have Our Dwarves Are Different, a relatively different magic system (which is what's driving the politics, in large part), and eventually I am going to shove the characters together and scream "NOW KISS." Eventually. This had better stay novella-sized, is all I'm sayin'.
Copper Leaf Bargains: This is the thing I should be focusing more on. It's a Lord Alchemist book, and a jump back in time to when the twins are babies. Kessa and Laita get to be the viewpoint characters for this one.

I should also be getting a business name filed so I can do hardcopy versions of my books, but the universe has been conspiring against me. (I really hope that by the time I put up this post, I can strikethrough that...)

(...nope.)

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

Primarily? My favorite world, the Lord Alchemist universe, differs in that it's... not really staying tidily in a genre. I call it fantasy-romance, but it tends to use deep fantasy tropes/expectations, and romance-heavy plots, so... it kind of does work best for the Venn Diagram of readers who want the world as a third character to go along with the Relationship Plot. (And then I veer off into something that's a lot more plain fantasy, with Crucible.)

My science fiction, thus far, sits in the smaller niche of Non-Human Viewpoint Characters. Whether aliens or AIs, those are the heads I'm trying to get into, and figure out what it's like to see the world through slitted eyes or security cameras.

Why do I write what I do?

A love of words -- well, dialogue, anyway. A love of characters. A hatred for forgetting things. The realization that if I want to have any room in my head for anything, I have to write things down to get them out of my head.

Seanan McGuire once posted... I think on her blog, though it may've been Twitter... something along the lines of, "If I forget your name, you won't stop existing. If I forget a character, they will." That's a paraphrase, but it resonants with me a lot. Even worse for me is that I will, at times, make up my very own AU fics in my head...

I also write what I do because few, if any, other people are writing this! I want it, so I have to write it. AI stories that scratch the exact itch? Alien viewpoints and space opera setting? Fantasy with UST (...till it resolves, anyway... ;) ?

How does my writing process work?

Frankly? Annoyingly. I'm a pantser. I would love to actually write to an outline sometime -- but I think someone else would have to write the outline. If I try to do anything like that, the story dies on me. It becomes actively repellant. I have done that story and... It just doesn't work.

This is very frustrating, because... it's not that I don't have some kind of crude outline in my head. It's that it has to stay in my head until it's all written, with only the barest of notes as reminders. This... produces a cluttered head. (Aside from the bottom two of the "what I'm working on," above, I have... the unnamed companion story to Copper Leaf Bargains, Alchemy's Heirs #3, and an unnamed story also set in that universe, pertaining to the Laerini side of the family. Plus a short story in the Kintaran universe that I want to finish, plus two SF stories in entirely different universes (different to each other, too), and that's not even counting the second Queen of Roses book that's half-written...

(Not to mention all the smut erotica that I'm planning on finishing and putting out under a pseudonym. No, I do not think I will be telling people what that is...)

Ahem. Yes. I write by the seat of my pants, and hold the structure of the story -- what I have of it -- in my head. Mostly I wind up the characters and set them moving along to bump into each other, and try to poke them in the direction I want them to go for the result I want. (I generally have an idea of the result I want, anyway.) Then I write, trying to skip the boring parts, till I get to the end, and eventually throw the result at beta-readers to tell me where I need to cut the boring parts I didn't skip in the first place.

...this is a terrible way to write, by many standards. If I could pick a way to write, it would be to draw up an outline and churn words out brilliantly every day. But I didn't get to pick, so this is the way I write. Now, time to post this, remember to tag a couple other people, and get back to writing.

Date: 2014-04-23 02:37 pm (UTC)
shanhaddock: (Default)
From: [personal profile] shanhaddock
Re: Don't all authors do this?

Actually, no. I remember reading a bit of writing advice by someone a few months ago -- maybe a Nanowrimo pep talk? -- who was very adamant that the only way to ever finish anything was to only ever have one project at a time. Which is sort of true for me. I can only have one that I'm really and truly working on -- you know, trying to make sure I write some every day or two and that sort of thing -- but I can have others that I'm dabbling with. If I try to equally divide my focus, I end up frustrated at how slow all of them are moving and give up.

And I just realized as I was typing that that I'd learned the same division of focus hadn't worked for me as a GM trying to run four different games in a set rotation, so I'm not sure why I ever expected it to work as an author!

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elizabethmccoy

March 2015

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