Writing – A Plan, A Process or Barely Controlled Chaos?

My friend Ashley York, a writer of steamy Scottish historical romance, invited me to participate in a blog about my writing process. Ashley discussed her process last week. Now, I’m going to tell you a little about my current work in progress and my process, if that’s how the barely controlled chaos that is my writing routine can be described.

1.  What am I working on?Daggers, Deception & Delicious Little Lies cover

Right now, I am readying the third installment in my Civil War spies series, Daggers, Deception & Delicious Little Lies for an early May launch. This is a passionate story of love and deception between a Confederate officer and the Northern petticoat spy he loves. In addition, I’m plotting the first book in a new series of adventurous Scottish romance set during the Victorian era. I plan to begin drafting that story next month.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

My romance has a significant element of danger and adventure, and my heroines don’t wait to be rescued. Sometimes, they’re the ones rescuing the hero. In my Civil War-era series, my heroes and heroines become involved in a quest to defeat a common enemy, a gang of weapons smugglers who have no loyalty to any cause. The Union and Confederate spies and officers are on opposite sides of the War between the States, but the ruthless gang presents another, and ultimately common, enemy they must face.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I fell in love with the romance genre as a teenager, and I’ve always been drawn to stories of adventure and passion. This is a key element in my stories. I also adore strong, kick-butt heroines. No delicate flowers are in sight in my books.

4.  How does your writing process work?

I generally sketch out a plot, focusing first on the hero and heroine and their goals, motivations, and conflicts. After researching the time period and the setting, I flesh out the plot I’ve put on paper (on in a computer file, most likely). Then I dive into writing. At this point, the plot becomes a scaffold for the story, but I’m not tethered to it. I find new characters come to me as I’m writing, and these demand to be heard. Sometimes, as in the case of Will Reed, the hero of Daggers, Deception and Dangerous Little Lies, a character pops up who was anticipated to be a minor fixture, and evolves into a hero in his own right. After I draft, I revise, revise, revise some more until my characters are thoroughly sick of me changing their dialogue, and then finally, I’m done. Meanwhile, the next story is nagging at my brain, and often, I’ll start planning that one while I’m in the revision stage. I’m a plotter, but I do my fair share of adding to the plot as I go along.

So, that’s my process. Guess I’d better get back to torturing my hero. Thanks for stopping by!



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