I was tagged by the naughty minx, Bella Bryce, an author in the domestic discipline fiction genre, to talk about my writing process. Bella and I became acquainted through Facebook and have had some hysterical interactions where she was mischievous, funny, and a talented writer. She also takes excellent photos of food. And we all know how I feel about food.
I’m pleased to participate in this particular blog hop because Nikki and I don’t talk much about how we write. Usually we’re talking about sex or other people having sex or come in our eyes. Er, my eye. Today I have the opportunity to talk about what goes on behind the writing scenes, not only for our blog posts but also our books. Thank you, Bella! I hope we don’t disappoint. xoxo ~Heather
1. What Am I Currently Working On? Currently I’m writing the TRILOGY THAT WILL NEVER END. Just kidding. It will end, dammit. Just not quite yet. I’m in the third short novella in a religious/BDSM trilogy: Sins, Penance, and the final installment, Absolved. The problem is that in the third book I’m at the edge of the denouement, and the hero declares that he doesn’t believe in God. <headdesk> The setting of my story takes place in an obscure Catholic sect that explores sexual congress as a path to discovering the divine. So to have my male lead volunteer that he doesn’t believe in God… well… sigh… I want them to have sex, not debate theology. To solve my stalemate, I went back to the first book to edit, hoping to find my character’s way again. I’ll let you know how that works out.
2. How Does My Work Differ From Others in the Genre? Well, it’s better. HA! I’m only sort of kidding about that. Erotica is a broad and varied genre, and I swear that there is something for everyone. I write short pieces, 10,000 – 13000 words, and my overall goal is to give the reader a quality viewpoint into a character’s sex life. Technically I don’t believe in Happily Ever After. Or perhaps it’s that my version of HEA looks different because of the BDSM/power exchange elements that I include. I want to offer an escape, but I want that escape to inspire genuine feeling. Sure, I want there to be orgasms, for my readers and my characters. But the thing I truly desire is for you, the reader, to walk away thinking about what a fantastic ride that was because of the feelings you’re left with. And maybe your soaked panties.
3. Why Do I Write What I Do? I have a confession. One of my secret projects belongs in the Urban Fantasy/Paranormal genre. It’s a full-length novel, and I have a second novel-in-progress that is an older lady-detective story (imagine Golden Girls set in the south with a dash of magic). My day-to-day writing, though, is about sex. This blog is about sex, and as my master pointed out to me one fine day, I should be selling novels about sex. See? Perfect alignment. My secret projects are in medically induced comas for the moment while I capitalize on my sex life. Well, the creatively enhanced version of all the sexual adventures I would ever want to have in my head.
4. How Does My Writing Process Work? Writing is my job. Most of the time I love it, but there are days when every word feels like it was dragged out from underneath a giant boulder. I even wrote out a schedule to balance writing, my freelance work, my child, and my sir. Writing happens first thing in the morning for a couple hours, and then later in the afternoon, right before I begin cooking dinner. My brain, however, is always sifting through those words. My rough draft, the first version I commit to a document, is bare bones. It’s mostly ‘she went there and then she said this’, etc. It’s a framework of the idea built from the blueprint in my head. The rough draft is created to see if the building of a story will be able to stand. My next go-through is about stabilizing the foundation. I reexamine my characters’ motivations and the trajectory of the plot. There are more details that time around, and I add in more of the senses. I check to see if the feelings are portrayed effectively, and I dive into the crux of the theme. The last time through is more for tweaking and praying and maybe some crying before I send it to my editor. That’s also when I make sir read it and then plague him with endless questions, “Are you CERTAIN that you liked it? Did you think this was believable? How did it make you feel?” That might also include a caning for being annoying. Sooooo not kidding about that.
For next week I nominate Nikki Blue. Because she’s my soulmate clone and deserves it.