Monday, May 5, 2014

Writers Talking Writing

My friend and fellow Bookanista and 2014 debut author Rebecca Behrens tagged me in this fun little blog hop on the writing process. You can see her post about her writing process here. I'm tagging my writing besties Liz Briggs and Dana Elmendorf. Their posts will go up on their blogs May 12, so keep an eye out!

Now for the questions...

What are you currently writing?
I'm working on edits for IN REAL LIFE, my book that's coming out in 2015. I got some awesome notes from my editor, so I'm going through everything trying to make this book the best it can be. It's difficult because it involves re-imagining some things I've come to accept about my story as being true. It's a huge challenge, and it's scaring me a lot. BUT on we blindly stumble. I know it will all work out.

I also started outlining something new. I have to have a new story to get workshopped at my MFA residency in July, so I need to get started on it now. I outlined the beginning and wrote about 850 words so far, just to get it down on paper. I even came up with a title! I'm feeling very proud of myself, and I have to admit that it's fun to dip my toe into something new. 

What makes your work different?

I've been staring at this question for the longest time, and I honestly have no idea. I try to be funny, I guess? I mean, I think there's a lot of humor in my writing, even in the serious stories like PUSH GIRL. I'm sure I do have it in my to write something all serious and literary, but it would feel so unnatural. I love sprinkling as much humor as I can into my stories. 

Why do you write what you do?

I write YA because I love teenagers, and I think books you read as a teen can carve a special place in your heart and also let you know you aren't alone. I write contemporary realistic stories because that's just how my brain works. I don't think I could come up with a fantasy world if I tried forever. I write a lot of romance because I like romance and kissing is fun. And I write books with diverse characters because I don't know anyone whose life is full of nothing but white, straight, able people, and I like to make my books look like reality. 

What is your writing process?

You guys...I don't KNOW. I've written three complete books now, and they have all come about so completely differently. I have no real idea what my process is all about. I know I need an outline. NEED. But I've found I can't come up with an outline until I write the book almost all the way through completely wrong. So I write a totally mess of a draft, figure out what doesn't work at all, and outline from there? I don't know. Once I have an outline, I draft as quickly as I can. The draft ends up too long with too many needless scenes, so then I go back and cut all that stuff out and somehow manage to make the book make sense. At some point I add in the funny bits. 

I have a feeling the next book I write will also be completely different. Maybe my book ten or twelve I will have a little better idea of what I'm doing here. Let's hope, anyway.

So, what's your writing process all about?


  1. You are definitely good at humor, but smart humor, not silly stuff. I love it. :-) And I want to hear all about your new project!

  2. I'm also still learning the process so it's nice to know other writers go through the same thing. We've talked before about writing diverse characters; it's definitely on my heart. I appreciate authors who thoughtfully consider character choices beyond stereotypes and what's easy.

  3. So glad I'm not the only writer who can't identify a "process" after a couple of manuscripts. It changes for every book!
    Love your humor and your diverse characters! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. I still don't know what my process is either, but I've only written two manuscripts, so we'll see! Like you, I'm all contemp all the way, and I also really enjoy incorporating humor. Good luck with your IRL edits - it's going to be great!

  5. Ooooh new project :-) That sounds exciting! And...I know what you mean about having to change something you accepted as true. I had to that for ONE TWO THREE and it's crazy scary...Can´t wait to read PUSH GIRLS and IN REAL LIFE!

  6. Your writing process sounds an awful lot like mine. Good luck on your edits! :)