Monday, 10 February 2014

My Writing Process – Blog Tour

I was invited to join the 'My Writing Process - Blog Tour' by my good friend and awesome writer Susi Holliday. On this blog tour, writers and authors answer questions about their writing process to give a little insight about how they work and the methods they use, in an attempt to help other writers. 

Susi posted her answers last week, and they were terribly insightful, so go check it out on her website One Word At A Time.

Here are my answers:

What am I working on?

Besides going through the second editing stage of my finished novel, Jade (working title) in preparation for beta readers, I am also trying to keep pushing forward with my second novel, Sleep (also working title) that I worked on during NaNoWriMo (National November Writing Month). It is proving quite hard as I am trying to flesh out characters and build the story into what I want. It started as a piece of flash back in 1991, and I wanted to come back to it once I felt my writing skill was up to it. And although I feel it now is, this novel is putting my skills to the test. I had 7K when I started NaNo, which them helped me push out 30K more, and gave me far more in terms of new characters, new scenes and an idea of the future scenes and where I want it to end. In some ways it feels messy, but I am also really happy with it too.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
It is hard to say as I am not writing in what I consider to be a specific genre. In fact I am still trying to define the genre for my finished novel, Jade. Real life fiction suspense/reveal is the closest I can come. I read a great deal of suspense novels, although mostly in the horror genre, which this is not. This is a love story of sorts, but with some real life drama thrown in. I try and put the reader in the main characters shoes, so they can feel empathy and understand the choices of the main character.

Sleep differs from my first novel as it is more of a psychological drama/thriller. In the storyline I am trying to garner reader sympathy for the main character when she had done the ultimate deed – commit a murder. I am trying to help the reader understand what led the main character to the choices they made, much like with Jade, although in Sleep it was for a heinous act.

In flash I tend towards horror and very dark, disturbing fiction, again focusing on eliciting an emotional response, and delivering a short, sharp shock that might stay with the reader, and give them pause for thought.

Why do I write what I do?
I write what comes. Mostly it is dark and disturbing, or slightly off kilter, and I am not sure if that is a reflection of years of reading dark, horror or sci-fi fiction or just how I see life. I tend to try and write what moves me, makes me think, or what horrifies me. I also try and make it emotive, getting right into the characters and how they think and feel, so the reader can do that too, the more I do that the more satisfied I am with the end result. If I feel flat at the end of the story, I know it hasn't quite worked.

How does your writing process work?

For novel writing I tend to have an idea of several scenes, with a loose story around it. I will have a direction I want to go in and an outcome I want to arrive at, but as I write it is open to new characters, direction, ideas, and scenes - some of which might take me to completely new places, although I will usually try and pull it back to the main idea or thread that I'm following. I don’t tend to do any major planning on paper. I tend to have a line or two typed under the main body of the story as I am writing though, about what scenes I want to put in next, and I will add to this from time to time and use it for reference, but I rarely do more than that. I don’t do any character analysis or logs, although sometimes I have had to stop and do a timeline so I don’t get lost! This can also throw up issues of consistency or likelihood of events to unfold.

When I am writing flash, I tend to see a scene, or image in my mind’s eye and go with it, and see what comes, although I will stop and think, ‘How do I want to end this?’ or ‘Where do I want this to go?’ sometimes going back and altering the story to suit the outcome. I am very visual, and photo/picture prompts work better for me than just words, although when I focus both can work. If an idea doesn’t come easily or when I write it, it doesn’t work, I tend to shelve it. But I keep everything I write, however short, or unfinished, occasionally going back at a future date to use for something else. 

Details: character names turn up as I go along, I have never had trouble with them- sometimes I have had to change names and that can be difficult once I have a name in my head. And I will also keep a list of the characters, particularly smaller ones, so I don't put in the wrong name by accident and I know who is who. Whereas titles I have a real problem with. I have working titles, but struggle to come up with a title that might be more effective, eye-catching, or marketable.

Doing NaNoWriMo has enable me to learn to write without editing. I might go over the last paragraph when coming back to the novel, but I won't do any major editing until the first draft is down. I will try and always leave a piece overnight to look at with fresh eyes too, as you see so much more. And reading aloud to me is a must with all of my work, as hearing it is the best way to come across inconsistencies of all types.

In terms of process; I think it is very individual, everyone has to find their own way. Tips and ideas are great, but you have to find what works for you and be confident in it and not be dissuaded or misled by all the 'How To' blog posts, articles and books out there. Don't change your method to suit others, only to suit YOU. If you believe in your writing, so will others. 

Joining the 'My Writing Process - Blog Tour' next week:

Imran Siddiq may have tried to leave Leicester a few times, but it's become his place to wake up, freeze when the heating is off, and serve two cats. For the last 7 years, he’s been sacrificing every second that he can to writing. A veteran of writing festivals and a constant presence on Twitter, Imran hopes he can bring a smile to others through his stories. Imran’s preferred genre is YA Sci Fi and currently has 4 self published novels, although that doesn’t mean that he isn’t trying with Literary Agents. And he has a tendency to throw a droid into every novel –literally every novel. 
Find him at

Jenn Monty, also known as Brewed Bohemian is a lover of Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror and anything with "Punk" in the name. Jenn spends her days crunching data and her nights writing poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her love of horror and fantasy often lends a dark note to her prose but she also enjoys writing science-fiction, dieselpunk, and even a smidgen of romance from time to time. Jenn is an avid reader and writes flash fiction at 

Jeff Tsuruoka is a writer in search of a writing career. He got his first real opportunity to foist his work onto the world in 2013. There's been no living with him since. You can find his stories, in the form of flash fiction, on the blogs of many members of the Twitter writing community as well as on the Daily Picspiration site. You can find his blog at:



  1. I'm enjoying learning more about each writer's life in these!

  2. I loved reading about your writing process. We have a lot in common in how we approach our writing. :)

  3. Great post, Miranda. I am with you on the flash that if the idea doesn't come easily, it just ain't gonna happen :) x

  4. It's those minor characters that give the biggest headache in consistency! I forgot one and ended up cutting her out completely. Enjoyed reading about your writing Chick. x