Monday, 9 December 2013

Writing Process Blog Tour.

 This blog tour is where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. My friend, Historical Romance author, Anita Davison, posted hers last week. You can check out Anita's writing process here

Today is my Blog Tour Day and I don't even have to leave the comfort of my own favourite place in the sun.

Oh, you thought all writers were people. You'd be surprised. Here, I am Spitzli, the mini Schnauzer, named after Spitz, the St Bernard, in The Unhewn Stone. We can be whomever we please, as long as we are entertaining you. And let me tell you, this can lead to mental fatigue, especially when we pretend to be something we are not.

What am I working on now?

As you can see, very little at the moment. Generally speaking, however, I usually write medieval fiction, but my current work in progress is contemporary and is purely self indulgent. I am rewriting an old NaNoWriMo project (write a novel during the month of November) in the 1st person. It's called Cover Story and in it's original state contains 53,000+  very confused words. 

In this story, set at the turn of the 21st century,  the female protagonist reluctantly agrees to return to her hometown to attend her High School's 50th anniversary and her class's 40th reunion - class of 1959. During a week of celebrations the town gets into the swing with the '50's culture, clothes hire, movies and music...lots of music. Behind the fun, however, sinister forces have corrupted the town.  

I'm halfway through the rewrite. The protag has been to a screening of the 50's movie, Carousel, which has awakened past secrets long suppressed. She dare not reveal what she remembers  for fear of incriminating herself and becoming the cover story of the local gossip magazine. I'm up to the Reunion Ball. This was a great success, until, at the end of the night, a prominent figure is murdered. At this stage I'm considering changing the original  villain.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

When I write in the historical genre, as in my award winning novel, The Unhewn Stone, I take the opposite point of view than is usually accepted. In this story, redefining the William Tell Legend, my hero, Stefan, belongs to the Gessler family rather than William Tell's. He bears the stigma of the tyrant's name, the one who forces Tell to shoot the apple off his son's head; the one Tell finally ambushed and killed. My Stefan travels back from the present to 1307AD to prevent the legend from happening and tries to restore his family honour.

My three short stories are also different from others in their genre due to their many layers:

In Happiness Guaranteed, not only does this story show my main character's experience of happiness, but this science fiction 'birthday present' also challenges the idea of 'happiness' itself and asks what would you sacrifice for it?

 A Summer Squall, written primarily for the writer/reader, shows a writer struggling with writer's block and how she overcomes it. Written in the 1st person, this is a fictional adventure but at the same time a true story about 'imagination'.

My middle grade story, Billy the Bonsai Bull, is another true story, but told from the calf's point of view even though it's only the humans who speak. It deals with the struggle for Billy's survival as well as loneliness and bullying, and presents the reader with false friends and true as they experience life on this real Australian farm.

In my contemporary crime novel Fisherman's Row (a work in progress) the reader knows who the killer is from the beginning and this knowledge is used to rev up the suspense.

 Every writer brings his or her idiosyncrasies, sense of humour, pet aversions etc to the page. We all see life differently and we all want different things. We read to experience life from another's perspective. In this respect all writers' work differs from others in their genre. I enjoy reversing the norm for the sake of variety.

Why do I write what I do?

Modern and ancient history obsess me now, probably because I failed History in High School, so I majored in both History and English Lit. at university. I like to discover how people lived and how they coped in times less advanced than ours. To me, the craftsmanship, innovation  and brainpower seems superior to ours, in spite of our education, so I look back to learn. 

How does your writing process work?

My writing process proceeds as it will. I can't write simply for the sake of writing or because 'I can't not write' as some fortunate writers claim. I need something serious to explore, something worth researching so I can learn as I go. 

Mostly, I sweat blood over what I'm writing, clutching at outside stimuli and encouragement to keep me motivated, but when I'm on a roll, when the writing is flowing smoothly, then I'm as contented as I can be. That's a wonderful feeling of fulfilment.

Strangely, though, for me, it's the blood sweating that produces my best writing, not the joy. You might say it's a dog's life, but someone has to do it. 

NEXT WEEK - 16th December  more writers let you see into their alter egos on their blogs:

Edith Parzefall 

Thriller writer, Edith Parzefall studied literature and linguistics in Germany and the United States. She worked as an editor, technical writer, team leader and project manager. Now a full-time writer, she strives to combine her two passions: writing and traveling.

She supports a street kids project in Recife, Brazil. When she visited Grupo Ruas e Pracas, she took part in a music and crafts workshop with the children. During her stay in Rio de Janeiro, Strays of Rio, a thriller set in this city of contrasts, took shape.

In 2008 she traveled through Chile, supposedly the safest country in South America. Stopped at a red light in their rented SUV, she and her partner were sandwiched between two trucks on the Pan-American highway. An unplanned excursion to the local hos­pital and the Carabineros de Chile allowed her insights she never meant to gain but wouldn’t want to miss. A new story idea sparked: Crumple Zone.

Together with British author Francene Stanley, she co-wrote the Higher Ground Series of four post-apocalyptic fantasy adventures.

Currently she’s completing the Adventure Treks Trilogy, humorous action adventures with depth—and dizzying heights. The first book, Snow White’s Slide, has just been released.

 Stacy Green 

Mystery/Thriller writer Stacy Green was born in Indiana and raised in Iowa. Stacy Green earned degrees in journalism and sociology from Drake University. After a successful advertising career, Stacy became a proud stay-at-home mom to her miracle child. Now a full-time author, Stacy juggles her time between her demanding characters and supportive family. She loves reading, cooking, and the occasional gardening excursion. Stacy lives in Marion, Iowa with her husband Rob, their daughter Grace, and the family’s three obnoxious but lovable canine children.


Anne Stenhouse said...

Hi Wendy, I really enjoyed reading your Process. I'm doing this on 23rd December and I hope some folk will still be around!
Your dog is very attractive, I agree, but I was seduced by the header photo. Gorgeous hills/mountains and just how I like my snow - at a safe distance.
Happy Christmas, Anne Stenhouse

Wendy said...

Hello Anne, so lovely to see you here. I'll pop across to your blog on 23rd. (It will be my 24th).
Thanks for complimenting Spitzli, she is lovely. Part of the family with a voice to boot. :)
Those Swiss mountains in the header are the setting for The Unhewn Stone. I took that photo when we were there researching the setting and the legend for the novel.
Thanks so much for stopping by.

Edith Parzefall said...

I hope you'll finish your NaNoWriMo project soon, Wendy! I love your stories and can't wait to read your next one.

Wendy said...

Thanks for being here, Edith. Cover Story was my 2006 NaNo 'winner'. Have been trying to find the time to edit it ever since. And thank you for your motivating compliment. That's just what I need. :)

Edith Parzefall said...

You've been teasing me with this story pretty much all those seven years, Wendy. :-)

Rosalie Skinner said...

Hi Wendy, Your stories are worth waiting for. Even if it does take seven years. :)
Spitzli looks like a bundle of energy. :)
She isn't disrupting your train of thought, so no real excuse not to be writing. :)

Wendy said...

Hi Rosalie, thanks for the encouragement!! The desk with the sun streaming in has the same effect on me as it does on Spitzli. That's my excuse. :)

Gaby Laharnar said...

Hi Grandy! This was a great read, enjoyed it immensely :). Looking forward to reading Cover Story and finding out who is the real villan haha. Also I'm keen to read any new instalments to The Elfen Bride :).

Btw all this time I had no idea Spitzli was the author! :P ... If by a 'Dog's life' you mean Spitzli's life I think you've got it pretty good ;) Xx

Wendy said...

Hi Gee La, Thank you so much for stopping by. Glad you are interested to find out who the real villain is. Me to, hehehe. You are quite right. A dog's life in this household is pretty good! :)