My Stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour

This particular blog tour has been awesome. I’ve read dozens and dozens of these and enjoyed all of them. It’s helpful to know that we all go about things differently, and yet aim for the same goals.

I was invited by two different bloggers to participate, and I’m thrilled. These are both blogs I really enjoy.

The first one is Karen over at My Train of Thoughts On and In a Small Compass. She’s been very helpful to me, and I can’t say enough nice things about her. Please visit her blogs and give a thought to following her.

The other invite came from Michelle Joelle over at Soliloquies. When she invited me she called Entertaining Stories, “One of the most fun writing blogs I’ve ever found.” She’s obviously a genius. Please visit her blog and give her a follow too. You can learn a lot from a genius.

Now it’s time for the tour questions:

What am I working on?  I knew almost two years ago that I wanted to self publish some of my old stories. I put it off for a long time, because writing new material is just so much fun. The self publishing part, well it isn’t, to put it bluntly. I started this blog to do a bit of self promotion and to learn from others. The blog took on a life of its own, and has been the best part so far.

I’ve been putting all my efforts into getting the older work out there. I have a new idea that’s begging me to start, but sometimes you have to pick a lane and drive in it.

I’ve met some amazing cover artists, learned what it takes to get permission from a Copyright holder, struggled to write blurbs, and studied Amazon’s promotional tools until my brain hurts. I’ll get to a point where all the old material is posted one day. After that, the smarter Craig won’t have much trouble forging ahead.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? I’m a little bit pragmatic here. I’m of the school where every story has already been told. What makes any of our stories different is what we bring to the table.

Nobody has lived my life. My experiences are unique, and I try to include a bit of that in my tales. I grew up in a very small town that was isolated by distance from the rest of the world. There are still places in my home county where you can get a hundred miles from the nearest house. My every day world was a page from an earlier era, and I try to include some of that when it’s appropriate.

Why do I write what I do? I try to write the kind of stories I want to read. I get tired of the evening news, celebrity gossip, and reality shows. My work is escapist. If that’s a bad thing, so be it.

I like stories where the little guy overcomes the odds. This isn’t saying it’s going to be easy for my character. I like stories that end a bit differently. They might not be the standard “happily ever after”, but I think they work.

I always write about a world we don’t have access to otherwise. My wheelhouse is science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. If you enjoy stories like that, I’ve got a couple of books to tell you about.

Then there’s my blog, which has become a writing project all on its own. My characters never really leave me when the story ends. They show up in my blog from time to time, like old friends coming to visit. I don’t believe in posting random chapters of work, because those who miss chapter one have no reason to read anything else. So I create new bits of fiction using my characters in hopes that you’ll want to read their novels.

How does my writing process work? (Process? There has to be a process?) I have random thoughts all the time. I enter these into the Notes app on my iPhone, because it’s always with me. When one of these ideas sprouts like a seed, I make some notes with my fountain pen into a notebook for just that purpose.

I dwell on notebook items until a story creates itself. Then I outline it. I use a storyboard app and move index cards around while paying attention to three act structure. While I could make a card per chapter, I don’t. I add in what has to happen between the important parts to set up each section. This is when I start writing. This let’s me free flow as the characters take over. If I have to, I change the outline.

Other than that, it’s setting an alarm to get up early, add a quart or so of black coffee, and forge ahead. I don’t set daily goals, and am satisfied with forward motion of any kind.

I always read my last chapter before typing the first word. Some folks recommend not doing this, but I prefer it. I’m a weekend warrior with a full time job. I’m simply not able to write every day. I like to remember whether it’s mid day heat, evening snow, windy, and other details before I start.

I’m not afraid to stop mid sentence and go online for research. Sometimes you just need to know a few details about crossroads magic or how to shrink a head. I never have a problem returning to the writing.

The self promotion part: This is still one of my weaker areas. I just don’t like being in your face about it all the time. I’ll simply tell you what I have available today, and wilt if you don’t check it out.

Wild Concept is a science fiction tale about robotics. Atlantic Robotics borrowed a page from the auto industry and decided to build a concept robot. They crammed all the newest cutting edge technology into it and watched as it learned and grew. The robot, Lisa, was debuted as a spokes model for the company. When they decide to tear her down at the end of her experiment, she has different ideas. The cover is off to the right, and I’d appreciate it if you’d click on it and check it out.

Panama is set during the building of the Panama Canal. It’s a paranormal story where people from all over the world converge on Panama to build the canal. This means magic from all over the world converged on the canal too. Ethan and Coop are sent to deal with a problem plaguing the construction workers. What they find is the Panamanian bid for independence, a Colombian army, and a Carlist zealot who wants to replace the King of Spain and reclaim all the Spanish territories in the New World. There’s witchcraft, a demon, deadly wildlife, voodoo, shamanism, yellow fever, prejudice, and cowboys. Literally fun for everyone. The cover off to the right is a link. Click on it, all the cool kids are doing it.

Passing the torch:

I have to pass this blog hop on to two other amazing bloggers for next weekend. It’s been fun, but these people are fun too. I really encourage you to check out their blogs and give them a follow.

Michael J. McDonagh is a wealth of information. I’ve learned a lot about Copyright and other deep subjects from him. He lives in Boise, just like me. He’s also a fisherman, a sourdough, and all around good guy. I believe he’s a recovering attorney, but I won’t hold that against him. Please give him a visit, and watch for his Writing Process next weekend.

Sarah J Carlson is an American living in Singapore. How is that not cool? She is a great resource for cultural melting pot ideas. She’s already done the blog tour once, and generously offered to do it again when I asked. Anyone with that much enthusiasm for writing has to be interesting. Check her out too. I think you’ll find her interesting.

Thank you to the wonderful bloggers who passed me the torch. Thank you to the wonderful people who accepted the torch from me. Make sure to check out their blogs, and give a thought to following them.

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26 Comments

Filed under Blogging, Writing

26 responses to “My Stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour

  1. Mariam Tsaturyan

    I agree about the “writing process” part. I don’t really have one either. I write when I have time, although I have been thinking about purchasing one of those writer softwares. Wish you much success with your books and promoting them. Let me know if I can help with anything. I enjoyed reading your Q & A.

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  2. Great post! Feel like Im getting to know you…

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  3. I have done self publishing for a long time and I’ve had both success and failure from it. Now, I want to be with a traditional publisher.

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  4. Thank you so much to introducing me to the blog tour, sharing your own process and showing me some great blogs. Myself, I am not yet “author,” and I am trying to understand how to put together a partly non-fiction, partly memoir book about overcoming deep depression…which thankfully, I have done. Am 72, so have to learn quickly, lol. I use Evernote to collect notes and chapter ideas, thanks to a WP blogger sharing, but it is easy to get sidetracked blogging and getting to know people instead of focusing on my project. I also am interested in the storyboard app you mention, as I believe good non-fiction needs to borrow from fiction to keep the pages moving. I love wordpress and am every bit as much student as I am writer when I am here, perhaps more, actually. It is actually quite daunting, to declare I will write a book. Yikes. I may take mini-bites first and create a relevant few e-books. I wrote a 10,000 word ebook on assignment for a client and I can probably do so on my own subject. More than you wanted to know about me, your post just made me want to introduce self. Thanks, Gerry

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    • No problem, Gerry. Writing is a journey not a destination. You can learn a lot by checking out others who’ve been on this blog tour.

      The app I use is called Corkulous Pro. I learned this style from Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff.

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  5. Great blog post, Craig! You try to write the kind of stories you want to read – this was the reason for Carlos Ruiz Zafรณn to write his YA trilogy.

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  6. Haha thanks for all the positive praise! Since I’ve actually just started a new book, I suppose it’s fitting that I do a new blog hop! Self promotion is really tough for me, too. Happy writing, friend!

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  7. I enjoyed reading your post and I had a few things in common with what you said. As I have limited time to write I have to use it when it’s available (as in make it available!), I often stop mid-sentence to do research because I hate leaving blank holes I’ll fill in later, and I will often read at least the last few pages, if not the chapter that I wrote to re-immerse myself into the world of my WIP. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Hi Craig! I enjoyed reading about your writing process. I love what you wrote about using your characters in different stories instead of sharing a chapter from the book. I’m doing something similar so we have that in common among other things. Very cool!

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    • I can only speak to what I like. Others may find it annoying, but that’s what I do. My posts in the “Muse” category have been pretty popular though.

      Thanks for visiting several of my posts today.

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  9. Pingback: Writing Process Blog Hop: Hey, they let me on the bus! | Jennifer Austin – Author

  10. Pingback: Michael J. McDonagh

  11. Your post title is so much more informative than mine, lol. Great answers, btw. I agree, there’s no new story ideas, but stories are like music, with only 8 notes, every song is different. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    • That music line was inspirational. I’ve been pondering a post about how much we can accomplish with 26 characters. Maybe I should revisit the idea. Sorry to give you a hard time. I really enjoy your blog.

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  12. Hi Craig. Enjoyed reading about your writing process. You sound a lot more organised than I am. Could do with a bit of that! Nice to find you here today. Thanks for the links to other blogs too! ๐Ÿ™‚

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