Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Writing Process by Connie Vines

The Writing Process

I was tagged in a recent Blog Hop by a fellow board member of the
GothRom Chapter of Romance Writers, and I'd though I'd share the the topic: The Writing Process with everyone visiting "Dishin' It Out' today.

1. What am I working on right now?

I work on multiple projects at once.  Is this a good thing?  Probably not—but I do it anyway.  I’ve almost completed my novella, Bell, Book & Gargoyle (the 2nd in my Sassy & Fun  Fantasy Series)  while revising anthology: Gumbo Ya Ya (for who like romance Cajun). And I’m outlining Rand, Book 3 and Cochise, Book 4 in my Rodeo Romance Series.

2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I write in multiple genres and each of genres have a different “tone and focus”—in other words, a different ‘voice’.  My YA novel, Whisper upon the Water (Dream Award Winner, Nat’l Book Award nominee), is told in the 1st person.  The novel is complex; not only a coming-of-age but a transformation of society as a whole (Tay is Apache, Nde). My heroine begins as a girl on the verge of womanhood, a member of her band, speaking her native tongue. She is kidnapped, held hostage, and escapes. Taken to a Native American boarding school, she learns a new language, skills, and encounters prejudice but also kindness.  Later, she must make a very difficult choice.  Her decision will impact her life, as well as the lives of others.  The novel is written for YA level and is reading selection for the G.A.T.E. program in numerous SoCal schools, but the subject matter is not light, however, it is historical accurate.

In my Rodeo Romance Series: Lynx, Book 1, is a contemporary western romance and set in Montana and Texas. This book is lively.  Rachel is spirited and Lynx is hot and sexy—but both have had hardships in life.  My secondary characters add elements of comedy and unexpected plot twists. (Winner of the Award of Excellence, Finalist: H.O.L.T. Medallion, Orange Rose and Rocky Mt. Gold).  Brede, Book 2, is a western romantic suspense, set in New Mexico (99 cents this month on Amazon).  Since the novel is romantic suspense, I do not wish create a spoiler in this blog.  I will say everyone one loves old Caldwell, the ornery old cook, and his cohorts.  Brede is strong-willed and caring; Amberlynn is beautiful and in mortal danger.  Rand, Book 3, is told in the 1st person: ChickLit meets the Wild West and goes Hollywood. Lights, Camera, and a boot-full of Action! I am having, fun, fun with this novel! While, once again, in Cochise, Book 4, I draw upon my personal background and experiences--every wonder what goes on in planning a Pow-wow?  This novel will also address social issues.

My stories are different, because I am different.  My stories take place in places I have lived, or where I have vacationed. I know my subject matter--my father rodeoed while in high school; I have been involved in Native America culture and education programs; my husband is a Louisiana country boy; and, finally, I live in SoCal—of course I have met several Hollywood television stars (and facilitated workshops), actors are often spotted at local SoCal tourist spots, and preform in local theater.

3. Why do I write what I do?

The story calls to me, it is really that simple.  I have a feeling of time and place.  Then I begin hearing snatches of dialogue (like when you are sitting in a coffee shop and you over hear snippets of conversation).  The story invades my life (well it does, just ask my husband).  At the moment, I’m listening to Zydeco music and I have gumbo in my crockpot.  He’s complaining (only half kiddingly) that I brought bayou weather to our house (92 degrees, 50% humidity with full cloud cover and rain at 3 PM).  I am compelled to complete the story.  Native American culture says, “The story comes to the Story Teller to bring it to life.”  And this is what I, as are all writers, tellers of stories.

The French Quarter, New Orleans
4. How does my writing process work?

For short stories, novellas and anthologies, I utilize the basic W-plot with extra twists and pivotal points.  When I am writing a novel, or a novel series, I plot in acts and work with three chapters at a time (1-3, 4-6, etc.).  With the exception of short stories, I compile detailed backgrounds, motivation, and personality traits. I also conduct interviews, research, and immerse myself in the ‘culture/environment I am creating.  It is then I begin the first draft of my novel.  This will change as my characters begin to take over the book.  Any writer will agree with me, under no circumstances can you force you characters to act against his/her will.  You can, however, place huge obstacles in the way and see what happens.

Hollywood, CA

Is my first draft perfect? No.  Is my third draft publishable? It’s probably close.  At this point in the writing process, I have writer friend (usually Geeta Kakade) read my novel. She will give her opinion and suggestions—which I may, or may not follow.  Writing, after all, is subjective—as is a reader’s preference for one novel over another.

Coming Soon

To read the first chapter teasers or to purchase one (or all ) of my novels please follow this link:

Remember to watch my book trailers!

Thank you for stopping by.

Connie Vines

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