Monday, April 28, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour: How I Write

I was so excited when my friend Ilene Goldman asked me to participate in the Writing Process Blog Tour. I love to read how other writers work, and I love to discuss my own writing process.

For this tour, we were asked four questions. They, and my answers, follow.

1. What am I working on at the moment?

I'm finishing up my fifth novel, a historical set in Nebraska during World War II.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

A lot of World War II fiction is set in Europe and deals with the Holocaust, the French Resistance, Occupied Europe, England, etc. There's not a lot of work set on the American Homefront (though Kristina McMorris is a notable exception as her American homefront novels are superb!). My work also deals with a rather unorthodox view of the war from the perspective of a German exile who comes to Nebraska and actually encounters prejudice against him for being German - even though he fled Hitler's regime. It's been a lot of fun to write (and also very challenging) because I have to look at World War II with a totally different perspective than I'm used to.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

I actually just answered this question pretty thoroughly on a new blog that I am a part of - Modern Belles of History. We are a group of historical fiction writers who focus on the time period from about 1890-1950. It's a time period that usually isn't thought of as being "historical", but we are aiming to change that! So check out why I write what I do.

4.  How does my writing process work?

Actually, I'm amazed my writing process works at all! It's incredibly messy. I usually have a scenario that comes to mind first instead of characters which may be somewhat backwards. But it works. I'll usually do a general outline, character sketches, plot points, etc., though I am by no means a writer who meticulously records each scene. That would destroy the creative process for me. Many times I find out important plot points just by the sheer act of writing and then I have to go back and rework the rest of my novel.

I've tried to fine-tune this process by trying out different methods, but it hasn't worked yet. So I've just come to the conclusion that I'm a "discovery" writer in that the plot, characters, theme, symbolism, etc. really comes together through the writing process itself. And when that happens...oh, it's heavenly.
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Make sure and stop by the blogs of Elizabeth Foley and Rachel D. Muller next Monday, May 5, for their stop on the Writing Process Blog Tour!


8 comments:

  1. Great post, Melissa! I'm wondering, though, how do the Research Assistants fit into your writing process? ;-)

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    1. LOL! That is a great question! ;-)

      They usually help me stay sane. If I'm having a hard time with something, a dose of cuteness always helps. =D

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  2. Love reading this posts, and I'm totally with you on the messy process... my outline works for me maybe 40% of the way but the rest I have to discover and muddle through and then go back and make everything new fit.

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    1. It is a VERY messy process. I wish that I had a better way to do it, but this is just how my brain works, I guess!

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  3. That's really neat that you have a community of writers that share the same focus! It seems historical fiction is a dual-love field - one of both fiction (and stories), and one of history. I would guess that putting the two together is both fantastic and difficult. :)

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    1. Oh, it's indeed both of those, Heidi. But I love that I can put my two passions together. :)

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  4. As long s it works it doesnt matter how messy it is!

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