Friday, September 12, 2008

How I Write

My friend WordVixen posted about how she writes on her blog and invited others to do so as well, answering the same questions. Alright, I'm game! Here goes:

What is your genre(s)?

I write contemporary fiction right now. Some would call it women's fiction, I suppose, because most of the main characters are women. I resist that label slightly because I don't want to alienate male readers. No romance in my stories, guys, so don't worry!

How many books are you working on now?
Two. I'm still tweaking my first novel as I submit it to publishers. I'm just finishing up a draft of my second novel that I hope will be one of the last. However, I know I'll be tweaking this one soon, too. In a way I guess I'm working on a third book as well. I'm always thinking about what to write next, trying not to freak out that I don't have a fully realized plotline yet.

Are you a linear or a chunk writer?
Assuming linear means writing from the beginning through to the end (rather than jumping around writing various scenes), I am definitely a linear writer. I wrote the first draft of my second novel straight through without allowing myself to re-read any of what I wrote the previous day. It was the only way to force myself to get a draft finished!

What POV are you partial to?
Third person because it's more common. Though I wrote a short story in first person present tense once that was my most successful story to date.

What tense do you use?
For third person, past tense. I'm not too keen on present tense as a reader, so I'm not sure it would be wise to attempt it in novel form. That's me personally though. In skilled hands it can be very effective.

What theme keeps cropping up in your books?
Oh, wow. Great question. A theme that flows through both of my novels is that no one's ever too far gone for God. It's kinda the message I want to share with everyone. I was surprised about the theme that presented itself in my second novel. I didn't plan to write about the mother/daughter relationship at all, but it happened.

How many days a week do you write?
It's my goal to write at least five days a week, but I have to admit I'm not always successful in accomplishing this.

What time of day do you get your best writing done?
Probably in the evening because that's when I do it the most. The other responsibilities of my life are done, and I can devote all my energy to writing down the stories in my head. I don't really care what time it is though. As long as I have my coffee or tea, I'm good!

Who are your mentors?
Hands down, author James Scott Bell. He influences me with every novel he writes, and his books on writing have been a tremendous blessing as well.

Who are your favorite authors to read?
How much time do you have? :) This list could be very long! Frank Peretti has been a favorite author ever since I picked up Piercing the Darkness as a teenager. More recently though, James Scott Bell's legal thrillers are always great reading. I love Jenny B. Jones' YA fiction. Sibella Giorello's only written one novel so far (her second is coming out soon!), but it was a wonderful read. Thinking here . . .

I've enjoyed every single Tim Downs novel (I've read all he's written). F.P. Lione's Midtown Blue series was a fascinating series. I recently read and reviewed Feeling for Bones by Bethany Pierce, and it's highly recommended. Sharon Hinck's Sword of Lyric series was great fun...

That's only scratching the surface! Aren't you glad you asked?


WordVixen said...

Awesome responses, and I so love the that title "Sword of Lyric".

Rel said...

That's great, CJ. Looking forward to reading more than 3 chapters of your book/s!!

Hugs :)

Travis Erwin said...

I always enjoy hearing about others writing style.