Beautiful People #26-Author Writing Process Edition

I'm joking, I'm joking. But when I looked at the Beautiful People for this month, that is a little bit of how I felt. (Thanks Cait and Skye 😉). Sure, I know how to write, and I know how I write and what my process of doing so is, but describing this method seems like a bit of a struggle. Not to mention, it's private, darn it! Nonetheless, since I can never resist participating in a Beautiful People link up, I will take a stab at describing my writing process.

In case you read this far, and have no idea what I'm talking about, Beautiful People is a more or less monthly writing link up hosted by the delightful Cait @ Paper Fury and Sky @ Further Up And Further In. If you'd like to learn more, click on the links a few lines up.

Now, onto the questions:

1. How do you decide what project to work on?

To be perfectly honest, it's whichever one is calling my name the loudest or that is easiest to access and work on. That tends to be my Art of War series/book. My other projects are saved on my computer, and I can't always bring that with me, not to mention using a screen hurts my eyes if I do it for too long (though I often ignore this feeling). So it really depends on my mood and how I'm feeling physically. If I feel pretty good all-around, I work on my computer-saved WIPs or Art of War editing. If I'm not feeling so wonderful or just have unexpected free time, I work on Shattered Glass (the current in-progress volume of Art of War).

2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Er...the thing is I haven't finished that many major projects. So...let's see. If I'm writing a short story, it usually takes a few days, maybe a week or two at the most. But I don't write a lot of those. If I'm writing poetry, it takes a day or two. Major stories, on the other hand...well. Poisoned Hearts, at least the current version, took probably a year or two. Shattered Glass, may take a little less, I'm not sure. I don't keep track vigilantly. My other projects aren't even close to being finished, so they don't provide any useful data.

3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Being alone. Not kidding. Whenever I try to write when my family and friends are around, I get extremely nervous about the possibility that they may read what I'm writing (part of this is being a self-conscious writer, and some of it is because some family members may actually have an issue with what I'm writing). Besides that, though, my other routines include: listening to music before/while I write, sitting in a comfortable chair, going to a coffee shop, and going to the library. But not eating or drinking. Definitely not those. They're distracting (though I usually try to have a glass or bottle of water nearby...whether I pay attention to it or not is the real question).

4. What time of day do you write best?

Whenever is most inconvenient when I'm at home (by which I mean whenever my family needs me to do something else, because I have 'fantastic' timing). When I'm not home, it's whenever I have free time and there is natural light outside. So, a rough estimate would be between the hours of 8 AM to 6 PM, though this block of time of course expands when the days are longer.

5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

I mean...not particularly. Maybe vaguely to Cassandra Clare, because we both have characters who are sometimes bitingly sarcastic and enjoy being very wordy and descriptive, but it's still a very vague comparison (her characters are much sassier). I do ramble a bit sometimes, esp. when it comes to world building, so maybe there's a faint resemblance to Tolkien and other high fantasy authors who ramble with world-building, but that's about it. On the other hand, I really admire Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, and Katherine Catmull's style/s, though my writing bears little to no resemblance.

6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

This is true, but as to why I started writing in the first place...hmm. It was so long ago that I'm not sure, but if I had to make a guess, I'd probably say because I have always loved to read, and I wanted to make what I loved (though I now wince at my early attempts). As to why I keep writing, well, that's easier to remember, though there are now more reasons. One is that I want to get published, one is still that I love to read and I want to make what I love, one is that I want to see myself in books, one is that I want more realistic and representative stories, and one is that I write because I must, because I can't leave my ideas unwritten, even if they need a lot of editing. 

7. What's the hardest thing you've written? 
Honestly, I don't know. Every work I write or work on is challenging in its own way, because I have to make everything at least somewhat cohesive and at least roughly fit my original plot outline (unless it was bad and/or needs to be rearranged), and I can't think of any one work for which that was harder to accomplish than any of the others. This may change in the future, but for now that's all I have. 

8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but don't feel ready yet? 
...maybe just a little. The first is one that I've mentioned already; the one set in the middle east (Qatar, specifically) that I made an excerpt for when I participated in the A Novel Idea linkup a while ago. I just have so much to do right now, so many other projects going. I also feel that I need to do some more research on Islam, Qatar, and the '90s before I keep working on it. A queer 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea AU is another project that I don't feel ready for yet. For this one, it's mostly due to the fact that I feel like I need to finish at least one of my current WIPs first, otherwise I'll feel (even more) overwhelmed. The last I'm going to mention is a book/series set after Art Of War. For obvious reasons, I need to finish Art of War before attempting that project in particular. 

9. What writing goals did you make for 2017, and how are they going? 

Finish the first draft of one of my new WIPs: Welp. That didn't happen. For either of them. 
Finish the first draft of Shattered Glass: It's getting there. I should be able to do that by 2018 (knock on wood). 
Start writing the next book after Shattered Glass: Haha. Hah. Could happen, but probably not till fall at the earliest. By next year at the latest. 
Improve my writing skills: I think I've been doing that. I'm trying at least. 
Edit: Yeah, I've done that. Not as much as I'd like, but I've done some. 
And I don't think I have anything beta reader ready yet. 

10. Describe your writing process in three words or a gif!

 writing in blood

Sorry, that was rather macabre. But I feel it's accurate. It's either as painful as that, or what I'm writing is so personal and/or emotional that that is what it feels like. 

Hey guys. 
What do you think of my answers?
What would yours be? 
Am I alone in being dismayed in my progress (or lack thereof) when it comes to my 2017 goals? 
Anyone else panicked that summer is about halfway through?
Tell me in the comments!


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