The Writing Process Blog Tour
06/27/2014 13 Comments
Recently I was tagged (nominated?) by Gene’O of The Writing Catalog for the Writing Process Blog Tour. The idea is that you get a bunch of bloggers or writers talking about how they write, and everyone gets something out of the experience! So, to quote what Gene’O said about the award:
The rules are very simple and, if I may say so, designed to not require a lot of work, which I truly appreciate:
Link to the blogger before,
answer 4 questions,
and nominate 3 bloggers to keep the hop going.
I can do all of that, so I think it’s time for some writing about writing! But first: let me nominate my three bloggers to keep this train moving:
- First, I’d like to nominate Leah of The Lobster Dance and I’ll Make It Myself. She is actually possibly my oldest friend I am still in contact with, which is in some ways a bit sad because I’ve only known her a little over a decade. We were in college together, and I got to experience her writing process a number of times, in classes together, editing, and such. I know she liked her work polished and spotless for classes, so I wonder about her approach to blogging and would be fascinated for her responses. She is also responsible for the single most popular post on Comparative Geeks, when her guest post got Freshly Pressed!
- Second, I’d like to nominate a far newer friend: Hannah Givens of Things Matter. Her tagline is that hers is a blog about History, Pop Culture, and the Sci-Fi novel she’s working on. So, it’s kind of like you take my two blogs, much them together… yeah, pretty much what I would be up to. From writing, to libraries and museums, to comics… she is a great blogger and I would love to read up on some of her approach as well!
- Third, I’d like to nominate one of my favorite blogs I found (who found me?) during the A to Z Challenge, Alex Hurst and her eponymous blog. As the tagline reads, Alex is a Fantasy Writer in Kyoto, which is awesome. However, during the challenge I got to see also that she helps with matching up cover illustrators with authors. I have yet to showcase my favorite post from the challenge, but it would have to be Alex’s Jargon post. Laughed at basically every one, individually. This shows both great understanding of the writing profession and just of writing and humor in general. Definitely worth checking out, for any of you writers out there like me!
Alright, question time! I think I’m going to have to hit both blogging and writing, so it’s a little complicated, I suppose, but it’ll work.
Why do I write what I do?
For me, I write what I go because I’m interested in it, because I’ve had the observation or experience in the case of blogging, or had the idea for fiction. I unfortunately think I’m more of an ideas person than a writing craft person – meaning the work for me is the sitting down and writing. But I’ve always wanted to write – ever since I was in Kindergarten. I have ideas and stories, and want to get them out. So I want to write.
For my fiction, I have a growing list of story ideas, of prompts and what-ifs. I just recently hit on what would be a fourth (or more) solid novel idea, and this one I think really has some potential and I might dive on it first. I want to write my fiction because I think that books, and getting ideas from others, is so important and I want to be a part of that. You can find a lot of posts to that effect between my two blogs.
For my blogging, I do it because I needed to find a way to work writing into my daily life. I used to write during recess. I did a lot of NaNoWriMo in college between classes. But now with this whole “real world” business, figuring it out, having the energy still after work and with everything else going on… a lot of the advantage to blogging is that, with a constant public audience, you have a motivation to keep going, to get content out on a regular sort of basis.
How does my writing process work?
For blogging, I have a pretty clear process. First, I have a big list of post ideas. This started before Comparative Geeks even started – we wanted to make sure that we had things to talk about before we got started. Over time, the list has grown, not shrunk. I think I could last at least a year just on these ideas, without having any new thoughts really, and keep the blog going.
Given that there’s too much to write about, the next thing I have is a schedule, my thoughts on which posts are more of a priority, based on what we’ve written about lately, or what’s going on. Reviews around when shows are ending, or movies showing… speculation after or before a show. So that there’s a least some timeliness to when I’m writing things. Every once in a while, I re-center my thoughts in a post like this one.
We tend to write our posts the same night we post them, which unfortunately means they post pretty late. We tried getting ahead, but that started getting unwieldy with two of us writing, and trying to stay even. I write most of my posts on my iPad, then, in Apple’s Pages. Often watching a movie, or TV, or YouTube, or watching my wife play video games. In part, I like this because it’s helping me practice writing while distracted, writing while doing everyday activities.
I work from an outline, of whatever my thoughts were for the topic. My posts tend to read like a 5-paragraph essay, and I think that’s because that’s what I was trained in. I tend to write an intro of three short paragraphs, where I try to explain what I was thinking or where the thought is coming from, and lead in to how I am going to approach the topic. So often, the topic has spoilers, so I leave those for later. Then I move through a few points, which so often end up as three. I often let it go, or write a one-paragraph conclusion, or a short call for comments or thoughts at the end. I don’t know if I need more of a conclusion or not… in some ways, as most everything is an opinion sort of piece, and it’s the Internet… things aren’t concluded. They’re open for thought, for comment.
For my fiction, to keep this brief, I tend to work from a list of ideas and thoughts as well, and from an outline. I am working on a larger world, with a long timeline, and have been working on a long outline of that. I am hoping to work with a few friends on this in making it a graphic novel, so it may be the big project for years to come. I’ve scalped some of the related terms Twitter and Tumblr spaces already, with the thought of doing some of the writing work or sketches there for people to see.
I have a much newer idea, and my thought is actually to maybe do what I did with NaNoWriMo: dive in, and meet the characters as I go.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
For blogging, my wife and I have avoid doing really specific sorts of reviews: individual episodes, or ongoing episode reviews; weekly comics release features; things like that. We see other geek bloggers doing these sorts of things, and we like it, but that doesn’t mean we need to replicate it. Instead, I think we take our title to heart: we write comparative sorts of pieces, where we’re maybe taking a big idea and mashing it up with pop culture or genre work:
- The world today in our Science Fiction Today posts
- Comparing books and movies in our LitFlix posts
- Using our two voices to talk separately about the same topic in our Comparative Opinions
I don’t know that I feel like I am doing anything different from countless other writing bloggers here on DBCII – maybe why I just started doing new Features to try to have something specific that this blog does, something that’s just mine. Let me know what you think of those!
For my fiction (science fiction and fantasy and the two mixed together), I think some of my problem is a desire to write something different from what others are writing. What this leads to is a fear that someone has written it and I don’t know it. So I want to keep reading, watching, gaming, to see if I have any new ideas. It can be crippling to think this way, I know.
The next step for me was getting back to writing, thus blogging, and I’ve been promising some short fiction here since this blog became an ongoing thing and not just a class assignment. There’s a story idea I have that would use really specific examples from here in Juneau, to write something really unique. I hope to actually get this written. My problem is figuring out my narrator’s voice, so that these juicy Juneau tidbits and ideas don’t just come out as a laundry list.
I am a synthesizer, so I really hope that my work will stand out for being a new twist on thoughts that maybe others have had, but not altogether like that – not those ideas, together, making that new whole.
What am I working on at the moment?
Well, I’ve mostly answered this above, I suppose. I have a story I’ve had floating in my head for a short story to run on Tumblr set in Juneau, which I just need to sit down and write at some point. I have the idea for a sci-fi Arthurian tale with characters who are now two decades old… and then a world that started with NaNoWriMo 2003 and that I hope to turn into graphic novels.
I have a couple of other far newer ideas that I think could much more clearly be single novel works, could be discreet and more direct and have some really new ideas to them. One I think I need to really think about the characters and implications, so it might come second. But I have one… based on the idea of a Quantum Entangler… I think this is my starting point. Except I feel like I keep saying that, so we’ll see! Encouraging thoughts below will not be discouraged!
Oh, and blogging… Features here, and just getting ideas on media and culture out on Comparative Geeks. Keeping up my contributions on Sourcerer. And maybe trying to get ahead on these things to give me time for the rest!