My last post was more an overview of my writing. Why I write and the misconceptions of Romance Writers. But this post is going to be more about my process.
I’ve been asked how I come up with my stories. The truth is, I’m not sure. Just like I explained in It’s Not Me. It just happens. Crazy, I know. But it’s the truth.
I will say I always have a few things planned out first before I start my drafted manuscript. I know all the characters to a series—for the most part.
For example, right now I’m writing a new series, the All Series, about the Harper Clan. I had all three Harper brothers set in my mind. Their names, ages, professions and personalities. But I didn’t necessarily have the heroines by the time I started the first book. I also always have a beginning and either a middle or an end before I start. Then somewhere along the line when I start writing it all comes together. Almost like it writes itself.
Sometimes my middle or my end changes. Sometimes I go back and change my beginning. Whatever works to get me to where I feel I need to be.
What I love the most is when I start a series and realize I can expand it. I never imagined the All Series would come out of the Road Series. And now that I’m halfway through the manuscript for the third book in the All Series, I potentially have another three books I could add to that series. It just evolved that way. It’s kind of neat when I think about it.
Anyway, back to my process. I’m a fairly fast writer. While I’m writing a manuscript, I try to stay on a one-chapter-a-day schedule. But plenty of times I have to put the manuscript away because another book has come back from the editor and I need to work on that. But before I write a chapter each day, I go back and reread/edit the one from the day before. Then halfway through I start at the beginning again. More reading, more editing and even more editing.
I always have 1-2 books in ‘cue’. Right now All or Nothing is at the editor’s for the final proofread, but All of Me is done and waiting to go to the editor’s in another month. And All the Way is halfway drafted.
I like to be able to go back and reread the previous books in the series while writing additional ones. Maybe I missed or forgot something I mentioned about the character early on and now I want to elaborate on it. It’s easier to do that by holding onto the stories for a bit before publishing.
And like any process, I change things as I go. Nothing is ever set in stone. I originally thought Jack in Road to Redemption was going to be this grouchy sort of surly hero. But I found I couldn’t write him that way. He ended up being shy, awkward and a pretty loving guy in the end. Not to mention fairly romantic and sentimental.
No matter how you look at it, I have a process that works for me. It’s not always easily explained, or followed exactly how I stated. But it’s a start and somehow it gets me to the end.
As always, if you would like to find out how to receive free books, just read this post. And of course, you know I love to hear from you and read your feedback!