Bird Face Wendy

Things relevant to reading, writing, publishing or marketing teen fiction.

The Writing Process: A Blog Tour

on June 30, 2014

TouringPaddleBoat  This image of a family touring in India was too cute not to use.

But in case you’re unfamiliar with what a blog tour is (also known as a blog hop), let me explain. Bloggers who have a common interest can tag other bloggers––with their permission–-for a future date, in order to continue a discussion and provide exposure for one another. Visitors to our sites see links to those other blog sites and can choose whether to keep touring.

If bloggers keep the system going, it will never have to end, so think about starting one for a topic of your choice!

This one is about the WRITING PROCESS, so––you guessed it––each of us participating is an author of fiction, nonfiction, and/or other types of writing, and we’re sharing how and why we write what we do.

Charlotte Ostermann kindly tagged me last week. She is the author of Souls at Rest, Souls at Work, and Souls at Play. She blogs at Chatty Catholic Doll.

Here are my answers to the 4 questions answered by each of us on the Writing Process Tour:

What am I working on?

I’m currently working on two novels. One, which is in the formative stage, is a sequel to my recently published contemporary teen novel, Bird Face. The other is a completed manuscript titled The Other Side of Freedom that has a boy protagonist who’s involved in a crime against his will. It’s historical fiction for teens, and its setting is a rural farming community in 1925.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Teens’ lives are complex, and I wrote the story of Bird Face with that in mind, incorporating several major plot lines that intersect and weave, instead of one main plot line. I hope to accomplish the same thing in the sequel.

The Other Side of Freedom is different from a lot of new historical fiction for teens because it takes place in the 20th Century instead of during ancient or European medieval times, and the main characters are Italian immigrants.

Why do I write what I do?

I love talking to tweens and teens. They are full of love and hope, and writing for them just comes naturally to me. And I prefer reading fiction for that age group because it is imaginative and entertaining in content and style,  so I’m inspired by some really good fiction there.

How does your writing process work?

Something has to grab me emotionally for me to write a story surrounding it. I’m not the type to study popular trends and search for an idea for a book that way. Bird Face came about because of the things I saw kids experiencing, and I was moved to write about them to try to help other kids. A story I write may be inspired by a current event or by history, but it will be a lesser known aspect of that event or period, an aspect that finds a soft spot in my heart.

Once I have an idea of the conflict I want my main character to experience and how I want him or her to grow because of it, I decide how I want to write the point of view (POV). I’ve always used a single POV so everything is seen and experienced through one person’s eyes instead of switching between two or more characters, and I write in past tense, either first or third person.

I envision a beginning, a middle, and an end for the story. I get those down in rough form, knowing they’ll change a little or a lot. Then I start filling in the steps in between, and often the opportunity for additional plot lines arise as I’m trying to make the original plot idea flow. I rely on scraps from my life’s experiences to provide details that are the right tone for a scene. At some point I write chapter summaries, and I study them to determine if scenes or chapters need to be rearranged for better effect. And all along the way, I revisit my favorite books on the writing craft for help with plot structure, setting, dialogue, and characterization.

Well, that’s how I work! Check out the writing process of these two bloggers I’m tagging for next week, July 7:

Amy Cattapan is an author and teacher who shares her love of books for teens and tweens at AJ Cattapan. Her upcoming novel is titled Angelhood.

Vanessa Morton is an author and archaeologist who writes for young adults. She reviews books at VanessaMorton. Her debut novel is titled Moonfall: Tales from the Levant.




2 responses to “The Writing Process: A Blog Tour

  1. AJ Cattapan says:

    Thanks for tagging me, Cynthia! I’m looking forward to adding my post to this blog hop next week.

    I’m with you when it comes to needing something to grab me emotionally in order to write a story. If I’m not invested in the characters and their story, how could I ever expect a reader to be invested?


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