Monday, May 12, 2014

Writers On Writing Blog Hop

Last week Katy Upperman posted about her writing process and tagged me to share this week. She also tagged Tracey Neithercott, so check out her post. It couldn’t come at a better time. Thinking about my writing process has actually helped me write. Who’d have thought!

What Are You Currently Writing?
I’m about two weeks into a new story idea while I continue to wade my way through the querying trenches. It’s hard to share much of it at this point as a lot of it is still fluid but think: ghost story meets horror meets southern gothic meets contemporary. Yeah. So there’s a lot.

It’s funny. I actually love ghosts—the idea of the them, talking about them, watching and reading true ghost encounters. You think I would have done my own ghost story sooner.

What’s not funny? How scared I get working on this at night when my husband is at work.

What Makes Your Work Different?
I’ve been thinking about this since Katy tagged me, and I want to say voice like she did. And while I do think my voice is unique, I think what really makes my work different is that I have a mind for secondary conflicts and complicated threads. This comes from knowing the backstory to my characters (even secondary or just passing characters).

Why Do You Write What You Do?
I write YA because there’s so much that happens when you’re a teenager. I think a lot of people underestimate it or chalk it up to being young, but I think teens are strong. I like to think I was strong as a teen. Those were some of the hardest times in my life but they have made me who I am, and I like to think that I can write stories out of that, you know? I write supernatural elements into my stories (fantasy, ghosts, whatever) because I want to believe there’s more to the world than just what we can touch and see and taste. Even if that’s just our imaginations.

What Is Your Writing Process?
This changes. Usually it starts with me knowing one or two characters and the beginning, middle, and end. Then I write a terrible first draft. Then I outline. Then I rewrite. In other words, I’m not traditionally a plotter. Not at first anyway.

With this current WIP it’s a little different. I started drafting, made it through two chapters, and realized something wasn’t working. So I’m taking a step back. I’m writing about my setting (husband’s suggestion), which has really helped me get the voice for this particular story. Then I’m going to do 1-3 word character summaries (more if I feel like it…usually they turn into more, but usually they happen much later in my process). Then I’m planning to do a white board web for the mystery part of the story. Who killed the ghost. That sort of thing. Then I’ll draft. Hopefully I’ll be in drafting mode by June :) 

Thanks for sending this post my way, Katy! Next up: Stephanie Allen and Alison Miller! Can’t wait to read your posts next Monday.


  1. I am SO intrigued by your ghost story, Liz! I know there was a "ghost trend" a few years ago, but I still feel like YA is lacking in really fantastic ghost stories. I can't wait to hear more about yours, and you know that when you're ready for a reader, you are more than welcome to call on me. Thanks for sharing about your process, lady!

    1. Yeah hopefully it's out of trend enough now not to be an issue. :) And yes...I'd happily take you as a reader!

  2. I hereby offer beta reading services for your ghost story because it sounds awesome already :D

    You're so right about so much happening when you're a teenager. It's a fascinating period of our lives to go back and examine creatively.

    Good luck with querying. Here's hoping you get some super exciting news soon!

  3. This post is awesome! And so cool to see your writing process. Also, this: "How scared I get working on this at night when my husband is at work." Probably why I don't write ghost stories, lol. :)

    Thanks for tagging me, lady! I'm excited for this!

    1. Ha! Yeah...the things we do to ourselves :) Can't wait to read yours!

  4. I love ghost stories, so I'm excited you're working on one. (Even though I do and will always want more Greybar.) I'd be happy to read once you're ready for an extra pair of eyes. :)

    1. Um, yes please. Would love for you to read it. Also--I want more Greybar, too!

  5. Writing then outlining then rewriting is exactly what I do. I can't even begin to put the pieces of a story together until I've had that first draft to get my bearings.

    And I agree with Alison! There's a reason I don't write ghost stories :)