The Writing Process Blog Hop

Thanks to writer G. R. LeBlanc for tagging me as a participant in the 2014 Writing Process Blog Hop. We met last fall through a New Adult writing class offered by the Young Adult chapter of RWA and stayed in touch. She was kind enough to beta-read an early draft of my current project and gave me great feedback. In May 2014, we joined together, along with a few other writers, to form the Winsome and Wild Blog. You can check out G.R.’s Writing Process post at her blog Ebb and Flow.

Here we go with the questions!

What am I currently working on?

I am currently working on the second round of revisions for my YA contemporary novel, FIELD RULES, with a deadline of early August. I’m hoping to start a new project in September, probably another YA contemporary. Right now, I have a few ideas floating around, but nothing definite.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

So far, I’ve tried to set my work apart from others through unique settings. I’ve done a lot of traveling, and I love incorporating my own experiences into my writing. My first novel (trunked) was a YA fantasy, set in a Middle-Eastern type world resembling 16th century Persia. My current project, FIELD RULES, is set on an archaeological dig in Cyprus, based on my background as an archaeologist. Unlike other archaeology-set MG and YA novels, FIELD RULES isn’t an adventure story (no mummies, lost treasure, aliens, or evil Nazis): instead, it’s a realistic account of life on a dig, with a heaping dash of romance thrown in.

Why do I write what I write?

For the most part, I write YA fiction. I’ve tried writing adult fantasy and New Adult romance, but I’ve been told that my voice sounds like a teenager’s. I definitely read more YA than any other age category, and I’m particularly drawn to epic fantasy and contemporary romance. I’m not sure why I love YA books so much—maybe it’s because I’m still a kid at heart, or because I haven’t forgotten how I felt, at age 17, when the world was wide open and anything seemed possible.

How does my individual writing process work?

Before I start writing, I do a lot of thinking—usually while out walking—and I brainstorm ideas with my critique partner. Then I write a “treatment” with character sketches, a rough plot outline, and a setting. This treatment inevitably changes over the course of revisions, but it serves as my initial framework. I try to write the first draft in chronological order, but if I get bogged down, I skip to scenes that I’m excited about (usually they involve kissing!).

After I finish my first draft, I let the manuscript sit for a couple of weeks, then work on revisions. Once I feel like my work is ready to be seen by others, I send it out to beta readers. Although I’m a quick first draft-writer (it takes me about 6 – 10 weeks to write 70K word manuscript), I spend much, much longer on the revision stage.

Next on the blog hop is Wendy Bennett, a NA writer from the Winsome and Wild Blog. Wendy is currently working on her first novel, a contemporary New Adult romance featuring a hot hockey player hero. Her blog features “Hot Hockey God Friday,” which is definitely worth a look!

You can learn more about Wendy at her website: http://www.wendymbennett.com/

Her writing process blog hop post will be up next Monday, on July 21.

 

 

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4 Responses to The Writing Process Blog Hop

  1. I loved reading about your process, Carla! And, I have to admit, I am so envious about how quickly you can whip up a first draft. I’m sooo slooooow. lol It’s also great that you have such wonderful travel and archeology experience to draw from and use in your writing. I loved the setting of Field Rules! It was so different than anything I’d ever read before. 🙂

    • casacullen says:

      Thanks, Gisele! First drafts do come quickly for me, but revising always takes longer than I think it will! I’d love to be one of those writers who can pull off a couple of books a year, but that won’t happen unless I learn to speed up the revision process.

  2. Fellow YA writer here. What interesting settings! Also, I get some of my best ideas while running 😀 Happy writing!

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