Hello my Freaky Darlings,
As I start work on a new novel, I’m thinking about my writing process. It’s also something that many people ask when they interview writers, and it’s something that writers often compare notes on with each other. My writing process is … well … it’s a little on the chaotic side. I don’t really plot it out like quite a few authors, I’m more of a pantster.
But the one thing I always do when I’m starting a new book is bounce ideas off my big brother. If he tells me it sounds like the biggest load of crap, I know I need to go back to the drawing board, but if he tells me it sounds interesting and promptly starts Googling things that I’m going to need for the story, I know I have a winner.
Then the writing begins in fits and starts. There are times when the story flows and my fingers can’t keep up with my brain, and then there are times, which can last a few months, where I don’t write a single word. It’s usually during those periods that I need to figure out the best way to kill someone in a rather spectacularly bloody way or the story is simply percolating at the back of my mind and I need to decide how a certain character would really react under a specific set of circumstances.
If I’m trying to decide how to kill someone, a phone call to my brother is also usually involved. Over the years he’s gotten used to my texting him at strange hours of the day and night asking anything from the best calibre bullet to the best body dump site in the city, or the best chemicals to use when cleaning up after a murder. Having a brother who was a cop comes in very handy. If the government were keeping an eye on the texts people sent each other, the ones I send my brother would probably raise a few eyebrows. Once I’ve figured out whatever was holding me back, the story flows again until the next hurdle.
I do quite a bit of research before I start a book. Like now for Awakening, book one in The Cursed Witch series, I’m researching Celtic and Pict culture around the year 122 AD. It’s a fascinating time. The Romans were still in occupation. Hadrian’s wall had just started being built. Christianity hadn’t taken over the world yet. It’s before the Vikings found their way to the UK. Clan chieftains fought amongst themselves and against the Romans.
It’s only once I have a grasp on who, what, and where, that work on the story can begin in earnest. Right now I’m trying to figure out who my cursed witch truly is. I have an idea of what her backstory is and why she’s going to do the things she does. But the devil is in the details.
Now I need to decide if she’s a Pict or a Celt, what her name is, and whether or not she’s going to kill two young boys right at the beginning of the book.
I shall keep you posted on how things progress.