A couple weeks ago, J.E. Oneil at Still Writing tagged me for the Writing Process Blog Hop.
1) What am I working on?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on the 4thdraft of the third book in the Eighth Day series so I can send it to my editor later this month. It won’t be the final draft, of course. I expect to go through at least 3 more drafts with my editor.
I’m also doing preliminary research and brainstorming for a new project I hope to start this summer. I don’t want to give away the premise at this point, but let’s just say it will be another MG adventure, with science instead of magic at its heart. Okay, one more hint: String theory for kids!
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I know the editor who acquired the Eighth Day series researched the “secret day of the week” idea before she offered for my work. She told me later that she didn’t find much on that topic, although Scott Westerfield wrote a series called The Midnighters in which there is a secret hour. (I had never heard of it until she mentioned it, and I don’t plan on reading it until I am finished the Eighth Day series.)
School Library Journal said that The Eighth Day “melds Arthurian legend into present day in much the same way that Rick Riordan uses Greek and Egyptian mythology, with characters being descendants of heroes long thought to be folklore.”
Some readers have commented on the uniqueness of my weaving YA characters so prominently into an MG story. (See the post below.)
As for the Shiny New Idea, I hold my breath every time I scan the Rights Report in PW Children’s Bookshelf, hoping I don’t see anything similar to my new project.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I write the kinds of books I like to read, whether that be historical, mystery, fantasy, science fiction, or adventure.
4) How does your writing process usually work?
First comes the premise, followed by the characters, and then a few basic plot points that create a sketchy dot-to-dot outline of the story.
Then comes the torturous first draft, in which I lose my way, doubt my sanity, complain, tear my hair out, and whine a lot on this blog.
Around the time I type THE END on the first draft, I realize what the whole story was supposed to be about in the first place, and I dive immediately into a series of successive drafts, revising until I have the real story polished enough to share with my agent.
Then I hold my breath, waiting to hear what she thinks.
Thanks, J.E., for inviting me to participate. I’m supposed to tag other writers, but I’m pretty shy about doing that, and most people I know are caught up in alphabetical blogging. So, I’m going to cheat and tag Christine Danek, because I know she’s already participating in this hop on April 11!
Funny how protective we are of our fledgling ideas. Every time I see an idea even remotely close, I have a heart attack – but then it is never taken in the direction or to the conclusion I have planned. Good luck with those final revisions!
Love the term “Shiny, New Idea!” Best wishes for your summer time with it!
I just remembered something funny while reading about your nervousness that someone might write your Shiny New Idea before you get to it.
While I didn’t even try to write a novel until a few years ago, I have ALWAYS had novel ideas floating around in my head. I remember that I cultivated one fairly seriously when I was in my 20s. That means I thought about it rather a lot, but put nothing onto the paper. A few years later, I read a series of books that were the premise I spent so much time thinking on. Of course, the writer wrote it differently than I imagined it, but for all intents and purposes… it was my idea. ha!
I think the lesson there is if you have a good idea, start writing. If you don’t, your muse will visit someone else who will!!!
Loved learning about your writing process. Glad I’m not the only one with a torturous first draft process. What an awesome snippet of the review of your book.
I also am freaked out that someone will get to “my” idea before I get a chance to shop it around. Sigh.
I really like this tag meme. Haven’t seen them in a while. I admire your verve to thread science into your next MG. Susan does such a wonderful job with that, too. I shivered so much during high school when it came to science. I honestly don’t think I could write about it. lol
Nice to hear about your process! I totally get you on the discovery about what the book is really supposed to be about, after the fact!
Great review in SLJ! Nice! I’d love to have Riordan’s name in a review of one of my books. He’s my idol.
String theory for kids? Don’t break their minds too much.
It’s always interesting to see how much you have in common with folks. Like your writing process really reminded me of my own in a lot of ways and I, too, have a fear of discovering that someone’s written “my” book (okay, it really is their book lol) before me.
Even though I already knew some of your process from your interview on my blog, I still learned a few things from this. You’re doing great, Dianne! And I’ve had several ideas that turned out to be far from unique.
Fun to read about your process. Books do have a way of developing themselves no matter what we planned before. I love seeing where they go. Can’t wait to learn more about your string theory for kids. 🙂