Monday, December 11, 2017

Shared WIP Tag IV: Questions on Writing

Congratulations to my Grand Prize Winner, Charlene Lutes, who won a Hattie doll and an autographed copy of Hattie On Her Way; and to Connie Saunders who won an autographed copy of the book. Thanks to so many of you who entered this giveaway. Make sure you check out Clara's blog for a wonderful writerly giveaway!


I am embarrassed to admit that I'm almost two months late for the final installment of the Shared WIP tag. Better late than never! (If you're curious, you can find the previous posts here.)

1. What do you do to get yourself in the story?

I usually re-read a few scenes prior to the one I'm working on. Sometimes I complete an exercise from a blog that I'm following or one from Donald Maass's excellent book:

2. Do you do anything extra- art, covers, character journals, glossaries, playlists, etc to help you with your story?

I have several journals (some written in long hand, some in files on my computer). I also use picture from Pinterest a lot, such as this one:

Fredi Washington refused to "pass" for white as Hollywood suggested.
Therefore she was type cast as mixed race and never allowed a flourishing career.
b-1903; d-1994

3. What is your writing process?

Simple answer: Write. Read. Revise. Repeat as often as necessary. 

Expanded answer: I try to write forward as much as possible. That means not going back to tweak previous chapters or scenes, not editing as I go, or not stopping to look up details. I have found that it's a really good idea to let your work rest before tackling revisions --but sometimes I'm too impatient. I am currently reading my manuscript aloud to a neighbor which is extremely helpful. I can't believe how many errors I'm finding!

Extra answer: I am a serious plotter. I need a road map to figure out what I should write next. As a result, I create outlines in Word, move chapters around on One Stop for Writers and Scrivener. Then I feel free to let go and write.

4. Anything you would like to share about yourself or your writing that you would like to share?

Both my protagonist, Kate Dinsmore, and I want the same thing. But you'll have to read the book to find out what that is!

5. What keeps you going when you start to worry you'll never finish?

   a. I love the story and believe the theme will touch readers.
   b. My "Aaron" friends.

6. What inspired you to start writing and how long have you been at it?

When I was in junior high my mother used to tell me that "I had a way with words." Her praise and confidence in my abilities inspired me. The answer to the second part of your question gives away my age! Since I first started sending poems to magazines when I was in high school, I suppose I've been at this for over 50 years. (YIKES!). My first published article was in the mid-1970's. 

7. What author is your writing style similar to?

I honestly don't know! I'm trying to be as scrupulous in my research and as intergenerational as Joyce Hostetter, and as able to employ imagery through similes and metaphors as Linda Phillips. But you'll have to ask them, after Half-Truths is published, if I was successful!

8. What writing goals do you set and how do you reward yourself for meeting them?

My writing goals change depending on what stage I'm in with my book. When I'm crafting new chapters, then 1500 words a day is great. Right now I'm revising and I think more in terms of spending 2-3 hours a day on it.

My reward is anything that tastes like this:

Or, checking my email or peeking at Facebook.

9. What does a regular writing day look like?

I prefer to write in the morning when I'm freshest, but life doesn't always co-operate. I'd like to think I could write, take a lunch break, and then go back to it again--but usually other commitments or lack of brain power keep me from a second writing session.

10. How many writing ideas do you currently have saved on your computer/flash drive?

Not that many. I have ideas for a prequel and some ideas for first readers/picture books. But mostly I'm focusing on Half-Truths. If you asked me how many drafts or lesson plans for teaching that would be a different story. 

There you have it. I FINALLY completed this 4-part series. Apparently the ring-leader for this Shared Tag, Julian Daventry, will be egging us on to new blogging heights in February. If she'll have me--dragging my feet as I am--you'll get another round of posts then. Meanwhile, here are the other bloggers who shared this adventure:


Connie Porter Saunders said...

I love seeing the "behind the scenes". So interesting!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for more about your process. It's interesting and often instructive to see how other writers work. I'm with you on the chocolate. I'll jump through hoops for that reward! Good luck with your WIP. Happy holidays!

Helena George said...

Seriously, Scrivener is awesome! I am using it to draft my current WIP, and it's been great! Being able to move scenes around and edit and tweak and such in Scrivener, and then compile it to a word doc is super amazing and useful!

Joan Y. Edwards said...

Dear Csrol,
Thanks for sharing more anout your writing process. You are amazing!

Rosi said...

Interesting interview with yourself. It's fun to know how you do this. Thanks for the post.

Clara Gillow Clark said...

My writing life and process are just about the same as yours, Carol, including the chocolate. Such an enjoyable interview. Thank you!

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks Rosi, Joan, and Clara. That's funny, Clara, that our processes are so similar!

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