Hey there writing Peeps. The writing community is playing a game of tag known as the Writer Blog Hop. Jenni (see her post here) has tagged me. So I’m ‘it’ and here is my post answering their questions.
What am I working on/writing?
My focus is Picture Books. At any given time I have about three stories that are at the forefront of my mind. The Primary is a non-fiction about working animals. The story balances the goal of the animal, from their point of view, along with the facts about the animal’s job and training. My goal is to keep it under 800 words
My fiction works are funny, silly, and sparse. My secondary focus is a story of a child who refuses to have a pet, even though his parents want one. Keeping it under 300 words. I love Picture Books for their ability to weave an amazing story without any wasted words.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
I am an eclectic person and my writing style is the same. I like to look at things from other angles. I want to know both sides of the story. I like to try different techniques. I am comfortable looking into darker issues, like loss, and equally comfortable acting like a clown. My characters are willing to do the same.
Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always been a dreamer. Long car rides could give me the time to build entire worlds in my head. As a child, books were my safe haven, they were constant. No matter where you moved, there is a library. No matter what you are curious about, there is a book written on the subject. Books can help you escape. Books can help you find yourself.
I write for children because I want to inspire a child to love books. I want to create stories that are fun, entertaining, engaging, and if the child learns something, they don’t even notice that they were learning. Non-fiction can be entertaining too!
I write to, hopefully, make children happy.
How does my writing process work?
My process is simple. I dream. My best ideas come on quiet Saturday mornings. I listen to birds, watch my dogs play, and just let my mind wander before my family is up and about. Then an idea starts to form… sometimes.
Other times ideas just pop up like stray animals. You weren’t expecting to find them, but now that it followed you home, you have to keep it, clean it up, and show it off.
After the idea hits, I like to hand write rough drafts. My mind works a little slower when writing on paper and this helps a scatterbrain like me focus.
Sometimes there are web diagrams or lists to help get my ideas in order. Other times the words flow like candy from a piñata.
Next, I enter it onto my computer and edit/change/add/whatever as I go.
Then rewrite…cut… revise… wait….wait some more… look at it again, while trying to be objective… hit head against desk a few times…love it/hate it… edit again.
Read to my family, for only the most obvious corrections and the needed pats on the back that family gives you even when you
aren’t quite there yet.
Finally, to the critique groups! This step is so important. They will find the missing commas, the ‘there’ that was supposed to be ‘their’ and the apple pie desert that spell check didn’t tell you was there (Unless you wanted a barren apple pie). But more importantly they will help you with pacing, character development, letting you know if the words you paint with created the picture you were going for. Critique partners are vital to getting your work agent/editor ready.
Want to know more?
I don’t do everything in the same order. Sometimes, I like to revise backwards so that I truly look at each paragraph separate from the story (I doubt I could do this for a novel, but for Picture Books it works).
I am involved in more than one critique group and not afraid to hand my work to anyone willing to read and literally say, “Tell me what you hate about this, so I know what to fix.”
I get so lost in books that I walk into things while reading. If you aren't reading, then you probably aren’t really writing either. They go hand in hand.