Archive for July, 2014

Alice Adams at http://aliceadams.blogspot.co.uk/  invited me to write about myself as part of the MY WRITING PROCESS BLOG TOUR

 

1) What are you working on?

 

Although I have written many screenplays I am currently trying my hand at writing a novel after winning a writing competition last year.

At the moment I am working on my second in a trilogy of books I am attempting. It is linked to the first book by the main police investigators and set in the city of Exeter. My first book is still in the edit phase (which I am also working on) But so as to make sure it is as ‘complete’ as humanly possible, working out the future of my characters helps me in the editing process. I am also working on getting my blog up and running, I have started several blogs in the past but deleted them as I have not been able to maintain them to a standard I am happy with. At the moment all I have are a couple of short stories that were written for the women’s writing group I attend once a month. But I will be adding to it as I go.

 

2) How does you work differ from others of its genre?

Maybe it’s in the way I work, which is to have several storylines going at once, that all impact each other in the end but to a point I write them completely independently, aware that things happen to influence our lives that occur completely separately and autonomously. I also try to remember that everyone is a protagonist from their own perspective, everyone has a mission; everyone believes that their story is the most important. There are no minor characters, just as in life, just because you only cross paths with a person once, doesn’t mean that that’s all there is to that person. Even ‘bad’ people have a purpose, feelings, hopes, fears and insecurities. I try to play devil’s advocate to my ‘audience’ rather than be the judge for them.

 

 3) Why do you write what you do?

I am an avid reader (or I used to be before I started writing) I have read some good books and some bad books. I am not fussy in what I read although I have never been one for romance or ‘chick-lit’, I love all kinds of books but if there is one specific genre I keep coming back to then its crime. I love to read a good crime/thriller book.

I have written across several genres in the past, from Kids to Historical to Sci-Fi and something I have noticed about myself particularly is my ability to empathise with most people. I think my strength lies in dissecting the human thought process down to its most basic urges. I like people, I like people who are complicated, I love the idea that there is no black and white, that everyone has a darkness inside them and yet we don’t all need to use it. I like the fragility of morality and how given the right circumstances a person can compromise themselves or even identify with someone who is ‘sick’.

I also write because I am quite critical of others work and I don’t think one should be critical of something if they think they can do better, which in many cases I do when I read some books within the genre that I have selected to work in. I think it’s easy to criticise and in many respects me writing is kind of like me “putting my money where my mouth is”.

 

 4) How does your writing process work?

I start with one idea; then I try and form some kind of plot around that one idea. Then usually all hell breaks loose in my head and I am hit with a deluge of ideas for plot twists which I completely forget. Usually at the start I just free associate things that could pertain to my overall plot, for instance in my second book human trafficking plays a big part and therefore I have read up on trafficking and tried to pull out incidences from real life that I could twist to fit in with my story. I also think about the ‘journey’ I want my recurring characters to go on, how I want them to be in the end, and what circumstances would force them to change their ideologies and which ideologies of theirs are unchangeable. I also like to think of the stories I have read/watched and which small human interactions have had the most impact on me as a member of the audience, which things have forced me to examine my own personality and question my own prejudices and ideas. At the end of that I tend to have way too many ideas and so I make a chart on excel. I generally work on a 4×6 chapters, 4 subplots within my overall story – 7 chapters of each at roughly 3000 words each (not a hard and fast rule, can be more or less) which takes me to roughly 70-75 thousand words, and then for the final section of the book I bring all the stories together. I tie up all the loose ends (hopefully) and then everyone ends up where they are supposed to. I often write long hand, I Just take a notepad around with me and go somewhere nice and write write write. Eventually I come back to my computer and type those things in, elaborating or cutting where needs be. I am trying to get into the habit of typing straight into the computer because it can be a bit of a drag doing it the other way ha ha!

 

I would like to nominate my friend Karen Bellamy to complete this task. She provides me with invaluable advice as the Woman who runs  The Ramsgate womens fiction writing group.

I would also like to nominate Dario Shields. Dario is a fiction writer, screenwriter and poet from Jamaica

And Vanessa von Mollendorf a writer from south africa.

and finally my friend Wilson Kemp with the blog PIQUEYOU  the most morally ambiguous person I know (better?)

I know we are only supposed to nominate 3 but I am hedging my bets LOL