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Monday, March 17, 2014

My Writing Process (A Blog Tour)

My amazingly talented friend Kir invited me to take part in a "My Writing Process" blog tour. Each Monday, a new batch of bloggers answers a set of four questions about writing. Today is my turn. Check out Kir's post from last week at Prepare to be inspired. She certainly has that effect on me.

What I am working on

I am working on an erotic novel which I hope to develop into a trilogy. (Because don’t all erotic novels come in threes?) Mine is a story of love, loss, friendship and betrayal. The sex in my book furthers the narrative of the various relationships. I would like to think if you deleted all the naughty parts of my book, what remains would still be compelling. I want my characters to be captivating even if they weren’t having hot, sexy sex. But they do have hot, sexy sex.

How my work differs from others of its genre

I’m relying on hearsay to answer this one. Oddly enough, I don’t actually read erotica. And—once I started writing my book—I made a concerted effort not to read books in that genre. I don’t want to be influenced by what someone else has written.

Based on common complaints I’ve heard from erotica-devouring friends, I hope to deliver a series that doesn’t:

  • contain copius grammatical errors
  • dissolve into farfetched scenarios by the final installment
  • feature a woman who is an infuriating doormat

Ouch. That sounded bitchy. Blame my friends.

My book has humor—probably not terribly common in erotic novels. My main character is a snarky, quick-witted and frank narrator. You get to be privy to her uncensored thoughts. And there’s plenty of fun dialogue and comic situations sprinkled among the serious plot stuff and sex scenes. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You’ll burn through batteries.

Why I write what I do

Writing inspiration is everywhere: a phrase uttered on television, the way my dogs' paws smell like corn chips. Strange things. Mundane things. Anything can jumpstart my imagination. Man, I love that rush of inspiration. It's such a high. Writing truly is my drug.

My erotic novel arose out of sheer, unbridled envy. All the hoopla over the Fifty Shades trilogy got to me. For months it seemed every of-age, literate female I encountered recommended the series to me. It dawned on me that writing erotica is right up my alley. I love sex and I have a dirty mind. I can take any discussion down an inappropriate road--just ask my friends ... or my mom.

Also, I wanted to write a novel that’s relatable to women like me. This isn’t a story about 20-something singles. My main characters are full-fledged grownups. They’ve been married and they have children. I want to show that women like that—women like me—can still have steamy, fulfilling sex lives.

How my writing process works

When I get an idea, I have to stop what I’m doing and write it down. I’ve actually pulled into a parking lot to jot down my thoughts. At the beginning of a large writing project, I have a pile of notes written on all sorts of things: ads, bills, my kid’s report card. I use those notes to create an outline of the major plot points.

My next step is to sketch out my characters. The draft I’m currently writing spans several years, so I created a spreadsheet that helps me keep track of characters’ ages at the time of specific plot points. So, as you can imagine, I spend a lot of time planning before ever writing a sentence.

This isn’t the case for short stories. That’s more of a stream of consciousness thing. And then I revise it and hack it to all hell until it becomes something I can live with.

I try to commit a couple hours a day to my novel. When I start writing, I tend to get carried away, though. I get lost in my story, and my characters refuse to be silenced. They couldn’t care less that clothes need folded, kids need fed and my ass needs to be worked out.

At each new writing session, I review what I last wrote, make any necessary changes, and then I'm off and running again.


Now it's my turn to introduce the next stop on your blog tour:

Glynis Rankin is a poet and author of inspirational women's fiction, The Between and Linger and other short stories. Glynis writes at Imaginings of a Nubian Mind. Pay her a visit. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Ivy,
    you're amazing.
    I am so thankful to Trifecta for introducing us and then so happy that we not only became fellow authors but FRIENDS too.

    Your novel is going to be intense and spectacular. I'm waiting on the hot and steamy knowing full well that it will be well written and entertaining too.

    I feel honored to read your words. Thanks for taking the blog tour with me and for being such a good friend.
    You're pretty AWESOME girlfriend. xo


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