March 23rd, 2010
Writing is a Mysterious Process

Cross-posted from the Witchy Chicks blog

I’ve been writing since I was 21. That’s…uhm….well, let’s just say that’s about fifteen years now. 😉 It’s a long time, yet, even so, the writing process continues to amaze and mystify me.

Every writer has her own process and every writer goes at her own speed. Compared to many of my friends, I’m a fairly slow writer. My process is blocked often by the questions I seem to ask myself twenty five times a day. What happens next? Or I know what happens next, but how should it happen? Or What is this character feeling right now? Or What would this character do now? These questions rule my writing days. And for every book I’ve written (lots and lots) I have been a slow writer stopping to ask myself these questions at multiple times throughout the day.

Then came JADED.

JADED is the second book in a two-book series I’m writing for Berkley Heat. I finished the first book, JEWELED, at the end of 2009. JEWELED was a pretty difficult book for me to write mostly because of the heroine. In the beginning of the book she’s emotionally stunted because of the type of magick she wields. She’s also arrogant and self-centered. Evangeline is not very likable at first, but there are reasons for it.

In JEWELED, Evangeline grows and changes a lot from the beginning to the end. The book didn’t start to become easier for me to write until about mid to halfway through when she started to warm up and care about others besides herself. This was a really painstakingly slow book for me to write because of that, but I was very happy with it when I reached the end.

JADED follows the story of a female secondary character from JEWELED. Lilya also grows and changes a lot from the first page to the last. I tend to write heroines who do that. Women who start out damaged or powerless and who heal and/or find their power throughout the story. Lilya of JADED is no exception. She’s an incredibly damaged character to begin with, and she’s jaded (hence the title). She’s really no picnic to write.

Yet, JADED is flying for me. I have never had a book come so easily. I’ve never written a book this fast, either. I’ve been trying to figure out why this book is different from all the other books I’ve written and I just don’t know. But when I sit down to write these character’s stories (Lilya is not the only character, of course, this is romance…a ménage à trois romance at that) it’s just….flowing.

Not that I’m complaining. I’ll take it. 🙂

It’s just got me thinking about the writing process and how mysterious it is–where characters come from in the writer’s mind, and how the plot develops as a result of the author’s worldviews and opinions. Because even if the writer isn’t deliberately inserting her worldviews and opinions into the plot and characters, it’s happening anyway. It’s unavoidable. It might be subtle, but it’s there.

When I open up JADED, it’s almost like I’m just channeling for these characters. I’m merely a conduit. I always feel somewhat that way–as if the characters exist somewhere in my subconscious and all I need to do is open up a pathway to them and let them speak. But with JADED it’s especially strong.

And, why? I still have no idea. It remains a mystery.

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