I’ve been asked by my friend Robin Pearson to participate in a blog hop to discuss my writing process by answering four questions. I’m a writing newbie who still has a lot to learn, and I appreciate this opportunity to connect with other writers who’ve been at this for a while.
1. What am I working on?
I’m currently revising the manuscript of my first romance novel. It’s a story about a divorced woman in her 40s who moves back to North Carolina with her two young sons after the death of her best friend. She’s accomplished a lot in her life, and is now ready to try her hand at love again. But she discovers that dating rules have changed since she was young, and it might be harder to find the right guy than she thought. Or is it?
In walks her hero, a divorced, retired Marine with two college-age sons, who has a lot to offer and is willing to do whatever it takes to be with her, even if it means sacrificing that one thing a lot of men hold near and dear to their hearts. It’s basically a story about two people trying to navigate through life in the hopes of having a second chance at love.
2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?
I was a crime/political drama reader when I started writing this novel (title to be determined later) so I’m learning as I go along. I read my first romance novel a week after I started writing to get a feel for the genre—which I discovered had a whole list of subgenres within it—and to dispel some of my preconceived notions about romance novels. Debbie Macomber’s A Turn in the Road was the first book. I enjoyed it, mainly because it was about a woman of a certain age that I could relate to, and I liked Ms. Macomber’s easy style of writing.
My novel is contemporary and easy to read. My goal was not to bog it down with a lot of flowery, descriptive language that took away from the story. It’s sweet, adult, edgy and sometimes funny and politically incorrect.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I can only write what I know. I love love and marriage, so I decided to focus on that when I set out to write my novel. Nowadays, there is so much animosity between the sexes and you’d be hard pressed to find couples who truly love being together. I wanted to create a story that didn’t feed into the “us versus them” mentality that is so prevalent in the relationships we read about, see on TV or witness in real life.
This is not to say that love is easy, but I believe that it shouldn’t hurt or make you feel bad about yourself or less than human. It should lift you up, make you want to be better and inspire you to bring some happiness to your loved one’s life, not more pain. Life is hard enough as it is, you don’t need your partner making it more difficult.
We each have different talents, drives and missions in life that make us who we are. But love is the one thing that God called all of us to do. And I think that’s pretty cool and it’s free.
4. How does my writing process work?
I’m all over the place with my writing process. In the beginning, I wrote an outline because that’s what I read online as a good way to start a novel. I lost it before I finished my first chapter. Instead of carrying a notebook with me for when I get inspired, I write on the back of receipts, napkins, my hand—whatever’s available when an idea comes. I would probably get writer’s block if I was organized.
The one thing I can say that is consistent, is that I write in scenes. It’s a process that just came naturally for me. It helps me keep the story going even if the scenes are not written in order. I write a scene and fit it wherever it needs to go in the story.
There you have it, my writing process. Thank you Robin for inviting me to share.