Before I answer four questions about my writing process, I want to introduce you to someone.
Charlotte Ashlock, writer of young adult fantasy (Not that kind – get your mind out of the gutter), works for Berrett-Koehler Publishers, which specializes in fantastical tales of a world that could never be. In her free time, she socializes with twelve chickens, cares for seven oversized man-children with hearts of gold and souls of poets, and puts up with would-be funny-people giving nonsensical answers to perfectly sensical questions. Charlotte often tweets about social justice, firm in her belief that injustice should be left to the anti-social.
Charlotte asked me to write this post as part of a series in the writing process of various writers. Her installment is on her blog. Mine of course is right here. Go ahead, check hers out if you want. I’ll wait – just be sure to come back.
Charlotte’s was good, right? OK, here we go. The four questions:
What am I working on?
Embarrassingly, I’m working on the same things I’ve been working on for months:
- Frank and Thor Save the World – A same-world story to my currently available novel And God Said, in which Frank and Thor save the world. Because otherwise it would be called Frank and Thor Don’t Save the World, and who would read that?
- Sigma House – A romantic comedy about a time-traveling sorority girl. I’m currently expecting this to be my next release, as soon as I fix some continuity things and make everything at least 10% funnier.
- The Condensary – A humorous novel about an analyst’s first day working at a poetry-producing company. This is probably unpublishable, since it incorporates a lot of poems from others. This makes me a little sad, but it is unavoidable, since it mostly stems from my own struggles to understand poetry.
- New God of the Asylum – A science-fiction novel notable for being the first novel I ever completed (not yet published), as well as being the only project on this list that contains neither humor nor a character named Frank.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Judging by this list, my work is somewhat differentiated by being funny in story form. Many humor books are memoirs or otherwise non-fictional works of comedians. All four of my humorous works (including And God Said, excluding New God of the Asylum) are also in contemporary settings, and use quite a lot of pop culture references.
Why do I write what I do?
I addressed this a little bit in a prior blog post. Since I told you what motivates me in that post, I’ll add what doesn’t motivate me to this one. I don’t write to change the world. I don’t write because I think I have some sort of deep truth to share. I don’t want to write a serious work of tremendous importance.
I just want to make you laugh. To make you smile. To make your day a little bit better.
How does your writing process work?
Lately, it doesn’t. I’ve been on the schneid for awhile, not making much progress on anything.
When it does work, it works like this: I get an idea for a scene. I write it. It may or may not be clear how the scene fits into the plot. If it does. I am what is known in the writer community as a pantser (as opposed to a plotter). I considered trying to become a plotter, but decided against it since the only people who plot are arch-villains trying to take over the world. Plus, if I stop being a pantser, I think that means I’d have to stop wearing pants. No one wants that.
My plan is to take the next month and have Sigma House edited, and work on finishing up one scene I need to redo in New God of the Asylum. Next month I’ll refocus on Frank and Thor Save the World. After that, the Condensary. Then the world.
Next up in the tour:
Michael G. Munz, no relation to Nelson Muntz (Ha, ha!), is an award-winning author of speculative fiction who has a vague resemblance to Nicolas Cage, if Nicolas Cage had a laptop bag slung over his shoulder. He also
imagines himself a geek-bard, and has the excellent taste to love the show Twin Peaks, which, sadly, was cancelled over 20 years ago. Never forget, Michael!
Cathryn K. Thompson is the author of Once In Love With Lily, a romantic dramedy that, like brunch, combines the best of both into a tasty offering that will satisfy the most discriminating palate. She is a teacher with a brown belt in karate, so don’t mess with her.