Australian writer and poet, Gabrielle Bryden has tagged me in a Writing Process Blog Tour. Gabrielle is a very talented writer/poet so please check out her lovely blog.
The Writing Process Blog Tour involves me answering four questions and tagging other writing bloggers to continue the tour.
What am I working on?
I have many project ideas begging for attention. I would get an A+ for procrastination and flitting like a bee from one project to another is not only giving me a headache but I am annoyed that I am finding it hard to focus on one project (nooooo, let me have at least ten).
So after recent deliberation I am concentrating on a collection of humorous (hopefully) children’s poems for primary school age and an irreverent Non-Fiction (NF) idea (for adults, but not adults-only); as well as keeping up with some semblance of regular blogging.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I don’t think my style is really different to other writer/poets with similar creative tastes. I love quirky and there are lots of lovely quirky children’s poetry and stories out there. My aim is to improve my work, strive to do the best I can, and view the world from a humorous point of view (where appropriate).
I think my NF idea is original (according to a publisher that I pitched the idea to), though the fundamental concept is certainly not new. I always try to look at things from a different angle. This project involves a bit of research so will keep me busy for some time.
Why do I write what I do?
I really just go with the flow of ideas in my head and what might be worthy of attention. I no longer wish to confine myself to one style of writing genre. I find my creativity needs to be stretched and challenged.
In regards to my children’s poetry writing, I don’t really have difficulty in conjuring up ideas. Lots of things spark an idea (something I see, hear or read) and I try and see from a kid’s point of view. For me, poetry writing is addictive and I enjoy it. Generally speaking, I can’t venture anywhere these days without seeing a story idea, or a poem, etc. I have pens and notebooks everywhere.
In regards to blogging, as I have a variety of passions (mainly centred around creativity) my posts tend to be an eclectic mix. I just write what I feel most passionate about.
How does my writing process work?
Once I focus, I can achieve a lot (as a former secretary I am a reasonably fast typist – Look at me, I can type whilst looking at the ceiling.) However, my writing process can change from project to project.
Generally speaking, when I write children’s poetry, I write the idea in my notebook before it decides to flit off and camp elsewhere. If I am not in the middle of a shopping aisle I will then work on creating a verse/story shape.
I enjoy working on children’s poems on paper. When I have the draft verses written down, I get to work and work on each verse till I am happy, culling unnecessary words and working on the rhyme and metre. Then I type it up and do further editing via the computer.
If I am writing haiku, I love embarking on a ginko (haiku-walk) with my camera, pad and pen in hand. I walk, sit, take pics and notes, and bathe in the wonders of the outdoor world. If I let the words flow without too much mulling over, I can capture the essence of the moment. If the poem needs a little reworking, generally speaking I do that at home. Reference to the images can help.
As my published stories to date have been short picture book tales I tend to work on a paragraph or verse at a time, once I have got the essence of the story on paper. I don’t give myself deadlines (unless I have a publishing or competition deadline) as sometimes one verse or paragraph can give me trouble for months till I get it right (or years as in the case of my children’s book, 10 Yellow Bananas). I also create a story board (using a sheet of A3 paper) and sometimes do a mock up of a book using folded A4 paper, to place the text into a 32 picture book format. With that, I can see if there are any weaknesses in development of the story/poem and how it could fit into the expected page format. I also like to forget about it for a while (weeks if possible), then look at it again with fresh eyes. When I am happy with it (ie. done the best I can), I will then have it appraised.
If I am trying to create a new story where an idea hasn’t first tumbled into my head, I usually ask myself ‘What if?” and take it from there. I spend time on finding out more about the possible characters, their likes, dislikes, etc. and toss around potential story themes. I use character cards, story line cards, etc. and I place these on a large storyboard to help me. Sometimes I use the mapping technique on a large whiteboard. I have just discovered Scrivener so am thinking of trialling that, though I am used to writing ideas on paper and filing it in a folder (my college days were pre-computer so am still a dinosaur when it comes to recording information – but I like that).
Next on the Writing Process Blog Tour:
Donna Smith, Pauline Montagna and Barbara Barth. Please do not feel you have to participate – quietly ignore if you wish. And if you are happy to participate, just do when you can do.