My Writing Process, part 1

Daughter's RevengeWith my third book, Daughter’s Revenge, now available, I can say my writing process has become more formalized and I am now able to do the actual ‘writing’ in just a few weeks.  It is amazing to look back upon what had once taken me years to do and is now no longer a daunting task.

I am not saying writing is easy; it can still be challenging at times, but the mechanics that used to get in my way are no longer the roadblocks under which I once suffered.  What is even more interesting is that the change was not as gradual as one might expect.  If fact, the change in my approach resulted in a rather sudden change in my output.

A little bit of background

When I first started writing, which was when I was in Jr. High, I approached writing very much as a ‘discover’ writer.  I had a vague concept of where the story was going, knew a little bit about the characters, but I needed to learn about the world, who was in it, and what was happening just as the characters did.  I often waited for my muse and when it struck, I’d rocket through a few chapters and then crash squarely into a wall.

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The Power of Magic

TN0_5834Magic is a mainstay of fantasy stories.  In practically all fantasy novels there will be some power or ability that certain people/creatures have that could be considered magic.  The mechanics for each world and setting tend to be varied, sometimes significantly.  In some stories, the magic system is well-defined, in others, it can be vague and even inconsistent.  In some worlds everyone understands magic, in others only a select few are graced with knowledge while the rest believe only in folklore.

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Pictures on the trail

Water fallThis post is overdue and I still have tons of other images to process, but I wanted to get a couple of pictures posted for everyone to enjoy.

I’m a fan of soft water, so I often have to stop and get a few shots when I comes across any falls.  The trouble is, stopping, getting out the gear, getting the shots, moving around, getting more shots, and then packing up the gear to move on down the trail takes a lot of time.  This trip I didn’t end up with as many shots as I normally take.  Hopefully the ones I did get will yield a few more decent shots.  (Plus I have video to edit; lots of video.)

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The Ancients Foretold the Coming of This Post

radiometerI have always loved the fantasy genre. Ever since I first started reading books of my own choosing, I read fantasy and SciFi novels. Perhaps I loved the idea of being transported away to another world or to another time and place. Maybe I was fascinated by learning about beings who are different from myself. Whatever the reason, these stories felt and still feel like home to me.

Happily, today there is less social awkwardness attached to these genres. In fact, shows like The Big Bang Theory on CBS are helping to make being a geek mainstream. So when I hear people tell me they do not like fantasy novels, I always want to understand why. Deep down I hope it might just be a simple misconception that I can resolve; I really want others to embrace my beloved genre as much as I do.

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The Evocative

wet trailThere are certain things that when we see, hear, or smell them, they just put us into that proper state of mind where we are instantly transported to another time or place, or perhaps even another world.  For each person, it’s always something a little different.  However, I expect that history, tradition, and some instinctual programming in the back of our minds gives us all a fair amount of overlap.

I love spending time outdoors and I must admit that some trips are just more fun than others.  Often what makes something more memorable is the unexpected, when something that should by all logic and reason be unpleasant, actually turns out to be fun.  I’ve mentioned it before, but some of the best hiking I have done has been in the rain and for me a wet woodland road can easily send my imagination running wild.  Who else has traveled the road?  Where were they going and why?  Was someone chasing them?  Were they chasing some?  Were they on a simple afternoon stroll?  Visiting a friend? A colleague? A lover?  The road exists, so someone at some point made this journey before me, yet only the faded memory of their passage remains.

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Strong Female Heroines from a Male Point of View

Last week I was talking with someone about writing and the subject of what I write, specifically the fact that I prefer to write strong female protagonists, came up.

Stephenie head shotI can say that I have always been drawn to read stories with strong female leads.  As far back as I can remember, that has always just seemed to be my preference.  I am not exclusive in reading books with a female protagonist, but I definitely read more of those stories than ones with a male lead.  For that reason, it seemed very natural that I would prefer to write strong female characters in my own stories.

However, last week I was asked something I had not been asked before: “Why does that appeal to you so much?”

The question gave me pause; I didn’t have a ready answer, I just knew that was what I liked.  I had to stop and think about the reasons for a while and below are a couple of theories I have.

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