Writing Process Blog Hop
As crazy as it might seem people seem to want to know what is going through my mind, at least where writing is concerned. My friend JeriWB (ya, I have friends, stranger things have happened) told me that I should do this. She said it would be fun. She said people want to know things (No I can’t say where I buried them). So here I am giving away the home world. Before I get into this beast, I have to do some preliminary announcements.
1. Remain seated until the vehicle comes to a complete stop.
2. The person you should blame for this drivel is Jeri Walker-Bickett
Jeri Walker-Bickett (@JeriWB) writes short stories, creative nonfiction, and psychological suspense. The rough mining town she grew up in—with its mix of bars, churches, and whorehouses—populates her literary landscape. Food, travel, and photography also inspire her creativity. She lives in Idaho with her wonderful husband and their demanding pets. You can connect with her on her site where she pursues good writing in all its forms. Please explore her titles via Amazon. She also works as a freelance editor.
Okay, enough of this. Let’s get into some questions…
1) What am I working on?
The short answer: far too much. The long answer: I have my Murder and Mayhem anthology slated to come out by the end of the month. This anthology is focused around Wonderland Casino. The world I have created within this framework tends to be dark with quite a bit of death (usually in a violent way).
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write within the bubble of speculative fiction. This includes not only fantasy and science fiction but also horror and other harder to define genres. Basically within this realm I have a much larger sand box to play in. I have stories that fall into a specific genre within this realm but many times I tend to cross genres.
I am a big fan of noir but not in its usual framework. When I write in that area I bring in elements from others to make something uniquely my own. (wow talk about saying alot of words but not really saying anything).
I guess the reality here is what makes my work different than others of my genre is that I am the one writing it. My dark and twisted sense of humor comes through my work. Sometimes I am in a world of gruesome body parts strewn all over the place and other times I am in the middle of a field of lillies that smell pretty and remind you of a nice summer day (at least until the guy with the knife behind you slits your throat).
3) Why do I write what I do?
It’s the way stuff comes out of me. It just happens. I have a dark and twisted sense of humor (you know those weirdos that laugh at a funeral, I’ve done that). Sometimes I wonder why I don’t dress more like a goth. But that would just be weird or maybe expected. Instead I like to think my writing much like myself is a twist that you don’t necessarily expect. Sometimes when you think I am going to flay the skin from a characters face (happens on Wednesdays) I switch it up a little and let them smell a flower. It’s just the way things happen I guess.
I like the dark places. They are the places in our minds where we are afraid to go. They are the places in the world where we walk with trepidation. Most of the time we are fighting for the light and for the air of the world in daylight. For me those dark places have a special warmth you won’t find anywhere else.
Maybe I am giving away too much when I say this but my nightmares aren’t the same as a normal person’s. My worst nightmare is the dream about the Sound of Music. When Julie Andrews opens up her pipes and lets us know about the music in the hills or tells us her favorite things, these are the things that terrify me.
Not sure I ever mentioned this but my grandmother was an Adams…
4) How does your writing process work?
I am a pantser and a discovery writer. I can not set up an outline to save my life and even when I some how manage to do such a thing my mind flips and makes me go a completely different direction. To make matters worse, I have never understood anything you might learn in an English class. But I can hear the words. I can see how they flow together.
Everyone’s process is different. My normal process begins with the blank sheet of paper. Sometimes I have a title, sometimes a few thoughts of what I will include in the story. But in the end it is always a blank sheet of paper (computer screen).
I get a flash of the first line and then I go. It seems crazy at times but that’s the gist of what works for me. When I am writing a longer piece I will pick up where I left off and go from there.
Now here is the thing. I follow the rule that no words are sacred. I will throw out thousands of words if it isn’t working. Sometimes that is what needs to be done. The ideas are stored and may show up again in the future in a different story but if it isn’t working it isn’t working.
I had to do this recently. A story I am working on has gone through three changes at a specific point. At this point I realized the problem, the other two weren’t allowing the character to be himself. After I went back and let him talk to me again it fell into place and the elements that I had been using came into focus.
Sometimes stories are like that. They want to be told in their own way and they don’t really care what you think. That works for me, I am merely a conduit for the story to find its way out into the world.
This is one of the interesting things about writing. We are all different and our process will always reflect this. What works for me most likely will not work for you. Writing into the dark can be a scary path for many people. But I find the dark places are where my kind of stories like to hide. The only way I can find them is by accepting their darkness.
Now with all of that said, I have to tell you that I invited a couple people to spread their good cheer on you… or something.
Be sure to check them out.
Eden Royce is a writer and editor from Charleston, South Carolina whose stories have been published by Kerlak/Dark Oak Press, Sirens Call Publications, and Blood Bound Books. She also reviews books for Hellnotes, a website dedicated to horror in fiction, art and movies and is a contributor to Graveyard Shift Sisters, a blog dedicated to purging the black female horror fan from the margins. Eden is also the horror submissions editor for Mocha Memoirs Press. Besides writing, her passions include roller-skating and listening to thunderstorms. You can find out more at Eden Royce and Dark Geisha.
Katherine Hajer is a regular contributor to Friday Flash, a flash fiction community, and she maintains the blog The Eyrea. Her short story “The Expected Ghost” was published in Descant in issue 152: Ghosts and the Uncanny