My Writing Process: Writers’ Blog Tour

When author and inspirational speaker Sloan Rawlins, at Taming the Invisible Dragon, asked me if I would be interested in participating in a Writers’ Blog Hop tour, I hesitated. You’re not an author, a thought mocked. Since its source sounded like one of those pesky dragons that pop up from time to time to plague me, I poked it in the eye by saying “Yes” to Sloan, and accepted author Cat McMahon’s invitation to join. Thank you, ladies!

I found Cat’s life and writing journey quite moving and encouraging. You can learn more about her “Pawsitive Catitude”, and her books and projects by visiting her author website at Cat’s Stories.

The idea behind this Blog Tour is for each writer to share a bit about his or her writing process by answering a few questions. It’s also a fun way to learn about other writers and their writing journey.

Now, let’s pretend that I’m being interviewed.

What are you working on, Nadine?

In addition to a few minor projects, I’m working on my first book, a novel with a Jamaican setting. As someone who has written only short stories before this venture, I learned an important first lesson at the outset: writing a novel (or any book, for that matter) requires a certain type of stamina.

My WIP is about a young woman who makes a life-changing discovery that could prove dangerous for her. Sorry, folks, but I’ll have to leave it at that. Some of you bright sparks may put two-and-two together if I share more, including the title, and I cannot chance that happening. 🙂

You’re not an author… yet. How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I’ll know that after I have a few books under my belt. 🙂 However, I’ve observed something about my writing, which may answer the question. I’m a Caribbean writer, but my still-evolving, still-developing voice isn’t strictly Caribbean, even with certain elements in place. I think my writing style hopefully transcends any kind of boundary or definition, because I want my work to resonate with readers everywhere.

Why do you write what you do?

I’m extremely interested in issues of the heart, societal taboos (among others), and social issues. I want to explore these topics and themes in my writing, without making any postulations. If, by doing that, someone comes away with a new, more helpful way of thinking, or a sense that someone understands his or her struggle and shame and secrets, if that person can then rise from beneath that awful weight after reading something that I’ve written, then I’m that much closer to becoming the writer that I intend to be.

I’ll always be a fiction writer. I’ve always loved making up stories and sharing them, orally and in writing. Stephen King defines fiction as “the truth inside the lie”. I want to lay the truth bare, like exposed bones. Why? Because truth, especially owning and speaking our truth, liberates us.

How does your writing process work?

I hear voices.

No, seriously. Ask any writer, and they’ll say the same thing.

The voices start after I get an idea or two, which usually happens while I’m in the shower or washing the dishes. Even after making detailed notes and plotting, I don’t start any serious writing until I’ve drafted the beginning and the end.

For those of you who watch “Da Vinci’s Demons”, you’ll be familiar with how we’re allowed to see Leonardo’s ideas unfolding before him, leaving him awestruck and excited. That’s exactly how I feel when scenes for my WIP flow before my mind’s eye. It’s like watching a film. That happens on my best writing days. On the other hand, when I don’t hear the voices, the words drip like molasses in the middle of a Winterfell-winter.

After I’ve completed the first draft, I let it sit for a few days, before returning to it for the first of many edits. Actually, editing is my most favourite part of the writing process.

A confession: I edit as I write. It’s not recommended. I remain unrepentant.

Next week, the blog tour continues with…

Shauna Jackson

SJ

Shauna likes to write, read, draw, and blog. You can learn more about her by following her blog writeshianwrite, and connecting with her on Twitter. Her first book, In a Matter of Days, is now available on Kindle.

Rethabile Masilo

Rethabile is a Mosotho poet. He left his country in 1980 and moved to the USA, and then to France, where he currently lives with his wife and  two children. He enjoys reading and writing poems, as well as cooking, and playing veteran football. He co-edits Canopic Jar, an arts journal.

You can connect with Rethabile by following his blog Poéfrika, buying his book Things That Are Silent, and following him on Twitter.

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12 Comments on "My Writing Process: Writers’ Blog Tour"

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Robyn Jones
Guest

I’m new here and what a wonderful introduction to your writing. I love the Stephen King quote. And I’m glad you poked the dragon in the eye. Characters speaking to us is one thing, but there is no room in creativity for doubt. We just have to keep writing until we hear the good voices again. I wish you the best with your long list of books to come.

Nadine
Admin

Hi Robyn! So nice to “meet” you. You’re right about that dream-killer, doubt. It’s one of the dragons with which I contend. I’m gonna keep on poking ’em in the eye. 🙂

Long list of books to come. I LIKE that! 😀

I appreciate you stopping by, and the good wishes.

~ N

writeshianwrite
Guest

Nadine I can’t wait to read your work. Everything you write is always so well written. I wish you all the best.
Thank you for the opportunity and shout out. I appreciate you.

Nadine
Admin

I appreciate you, too, Shauna. Thanks for the good wishes and your support. They mean a lot to me.

Sloan Rawlins
Guest

Great post, Nadine! I’m looking forward to reading your book. You know, you ARE an author: “a person who writes books, articles, or reports.” Shine On, Sweet Nadine!

Nadine
Admin

Bless you, Sloan. I appreciate the encouragement. xxx

emxcharlie
Guest

Thanks for sharing your writing process, Nadine, I have always been interested in what makes writers tick, and it’s nice to hear from one I actually know personally! Happy writing.

Nadine
Admin

Thank you, Charlie! 🙂

Cat McMahon
Guest
Dear Nadine, Thank you for such a touching introduction. Getting to know you through your writing process has been a delight. I really connected with you when you admitted to, “I hear voices”. Even non-fiction writers “hear” voices as their subject matter speaks to them; there’s a story to tell that must be told. An exciting phenomenon is building with this blog hop as we all work together and get to know one another; it’s taking on a wonderful life of its own. I look forward to meet new friends and to working with you again. I wish you all… Read more »
Nadine
Admin

Bless you, Cat! I’m so happy to be a part of this venture, and I look forward to working with you in the future. Thank you for the beautiful wishes and encouragement. I appreciate this connection we’ve made. Wishing you greatness in all your plans and projects.

~ N

Akilah Richards
Guest

I’m glad you didn’t let the taunting voice stop you from sharing with us. Your writing process is so interesting! I read that part three times; it was like its own short story! And I feel you on being a Caribbean writer who endeavors for her work to transcend geography and instead, use her background, culture, and experiences to weave worlds that resonate with many people. Thanks for sharing, Nadine!

Nadine
Admin

Three times! Wow! Thank you, Akilah! 🙂

For me, writing, as an art, is a humbling and magical experience. I wouldn’t exchange it for any other talent in the world. I’m constantly amazed by how it works. As a fellow writer, I know you get that. 🙂