Writing Process Blog Hop is taking kid lit by storm. I was tagged by a talented
writer named Vicky Lorencen. Hop on over to Frog on a Dime to see her responses
to the four questions. I am tagging two
great writers, Kristin Nitz and Kim Van Sickler. You can read more about
Kristin and Kim at the end of this post. Kristin will post on Nitz Bits on June
24, and Kim will post on Swagger on June 30.
now, on to the questions.
am I working on now?
finishing a YA fantasy novel that involves time travel. My next project will be
a contemporary YA novel about a girl who learns about herself by discovering
her mother’s and grandmother’s secrets. While my current project is an
action-packed adventure, the next novel will be a character-driven story with a
smattering of mystery and intrigue to keep the pages turning.
does my work differ from others in its genre?
hope my characters’ voices, their relationships, the plot twists and the
details I’ve gleaned from research will help my novels stand out.
do I write what I do?
writing for teens, I find the transition years most interesting. Moving from
middle school to high school is hard, and I wrote a couple manuscripts that
explored that time period. Lately, my characters have been facing the end of
high school, the year when they leave the security of all they have known and
does my writing process work? My
favorite time to write is in the morning. My brain seems to be most active
early in the day, but when I’m engrossed in a project, new ideas pop up all
day. My younger son’s metal band used to
practice in our basement. Some of my best writing occurred when they were
jamming, and the house was literally vibrating with creative energy.
Unfortunately, the band no longer practices here. I’m a member of The World’s
Greatest Critique Group. We meet once a month to get feedback on our projects,
share successes, and support each other through tough times. My critique group
has a writing retreat every summer where we spend a long weekend writing and
sharing our work.
tagged Kristin Nitz and Kim Van Sickler:
Kristin Wolden Nitz will read almost anything from cereal boxes to the
classics, she tends to avoid horror and extremely edgy YA. In her own work,
Kristin is a bit of a genre hopper. Saving the Griffin is a contemporary
fantasy for younger middle grade readers. Suspect is a young adult
mystery. Defending Irene, a
sports novel, has been shelved in the children’s and YA section. Her books have
been nominated for such things as the Kentucky Bluegrass Children’s Choice
award and YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults.
At the urging of a human trafficking
expert at OSU, Kim Van Sickler is in the midst of self-publishing her debut
novel, Snatched in Gullybrook. Some of her short stories are published
and have won awards. Visit her group blog, Swagger.
summer, I have been tutoring a student who wishes to retake the ACT. The
quickest way to solve some of the math problems (for a student who has not
taken advanced high school math) is to work backward from the answers. That’s
right – trial and error on a timed test.
does this have to do with novel writing? Working backward may help with novel
Every novel has a similar structure. One of the easiest blueprints to
follow is Blake Snyder’s Beat Sheet from Save the Cat. If I know, for example,
that my character must make a choice at the beginning of Act 2, then I can put
that into my outline, early in the planning stages. I don’t have to plan the
novel in chronological order or figure out all of the events that influence or
lead up to the decision. The next time I outline a novel, I’m going to fill in
the bones first, then flesh it out. I may even begin with the “Dark Night of
the Soul” and work toward the beginning.