Blog Hopping – It’s The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of.

I know some really cool people. One of the best is Michelle Lim. Today Michelle has engaged me in a blog-hopping exercise between writers. We all have different ways of approaching the craft, and we want to share that with other writers and our readers. I liked the questions, and I’m going to hit them with full disclosure. Or, perhaps, such clever lies that you’ll never know the difference.

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About me as a writer?

My writing process leans heavily on the abuse of my sleeping time and consumption of vast quantities of pretzel rods, licorice, and Nerds. If I don’t have junk-food, the keys don’t click very much. I can budget time all I want, but that just means I find excuses not to sit here and write. When the muse sings out, I have been known to lock down for days, pausing just long enough to hose off in the yard while watering the rhubarb.

As to critique partners, I abuse my friends and family. Coworkers are especially handy for reading my work and letting me know what is working and what is failing. I truly appreciate their input.

What am I currently working on?

In the last two weeks I’ve put aside my sequel (Jessica, I’m just kidding. I’m still working on the sequel like you told me to do, and I promise you, my beloved agent, that it will be done very soon) and have started a new book. My first book was really one of those “God told me to do this” kinds of book that writers dream about – wrote itself. (And, reads that way sometimes – needs editing.) The new book is similar in that it poured into my head over the space of a few hours. It’s fun to write and it will be very different from Assault On Saint Agnes, my second book. (Nope, none yet published, but Jessica is working hard on changing that in the near future.)

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

I’ve done most of the things in my books up to this point. Granted, I’ve never done the specifics, but I’ve had the life experiences of the characters and that makes it easier to write the scenes. There is a dimension of reality to the work that a lot of authors lack. It’s not that they aren’t good writers, but that nifty noise that the bullet smacking into the back of your car makes is not something you can research and know about at a gut level.

Why do I write what I do?

The first book I wrote was an inspired work. Yeah, that makes me nuts to some secular writers, but when God gives you a great story to write you write it all down and pray for guidance. The other books I’ve written/am working on are all subjects that fascinate me, or have great potential for excitement based on my experience. I know that the market for male writers of Christian fiction is smaller, but that can change. I look at guys like James L. Rubart, James Scott Bell, and Frank Peretti and know that the market is just on the edge of exploding for men. I want to be there when it happens.

There is another aspect that doesn’t always get touched upon: I want to bring the word to people. I know that I can tell stories that touch hearts and open them to God. I love that aspect of the mission.

How does my writing process work?

1. Have brilliant idea just as I’m falling asleep.

2. Forget brilliant idea for 3 weeks.

3. Go insane writing down all the details I can remember along with a story arc and some plot devices (usually takes two weeks.)

4. Write the rough draft, revise approximately 20 times, give to wife and wince when she hands back the bloody tatters of my soul.

5. Revise several more times, hand out to friends and coworkers to suffer through the mess, collect copies and read all comments. If only one person complains about something, I think about it a bit. If two people complain, I revise it for sure. If three or more lambaste that item, it’s out.

6. Have professional editor work it over.

7. Take those revisions, and revise approximately five more times.

Thanks Michelle Lim, for inviting me to the blog hop. Next week, on Monday, my esteemed colleague Brandy Vallance will be the subject.

Brandy Vallance’s blog for our next stop a week from today. Brandy was the winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel for 2013. Her award winning book, The Covered Deep, is set to publish on October 14th. I had the joy of getting to know her at the conference. She’s funny, smart, and I can’t wait to read the book. Also, she’s a Godly woman with some serious smiles. Does it get better? She is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Mangement.

Brandy Vallance

Brandy Vallance

I’ve stolen her bio right from her website:

“A completely incurable romantic, Brandy Vallance adores history and frequently has to be told at museums that it’s closing time. She loves to travel, plays the cello, and thinks all teacups should be bottomless. In 2011, she fulfilled a lifelong dream and went to England, Scotland, and Wales. Being a complete Anglophile, it was difficult to bring her home. Bribes may have been involved.”

What is your writing process like?

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