Rachel Stirling from Stirlingwriter blog invited me to take part in a Blog Tour: it is exciting, as it’s my first one. Rachel’s blog post on Writing Process was published last week, and now it is my turn to answer 4 questions. I should also be passing the baton to the next three (un)lucky writers, but unfortunately everyone seems to be enjoying the prolonged weekend and I found no volunteers yet. So I leave the three spots open and if you want to take one of them and write a post for next Monday (28/04/2014) – just let me know in the comments.
What am I working on at the moment?
At the moment I am focusing on two short stories I have planned: one of them is a sci-fi with a bit of horror flavouring, the other one will be set in an alternative history. It’s a new experience for me to write both of them as I never attempted to write anything horror-related before and the other story is a bit of an experiment as well with two worlds interwoven. But there are always other stories and ideas to be written as well, some of them partially done, some still nothing more than ideas. This way I can avoid writer’s block by jumping into another story if I hit a speed bump while writing the current one.
I also look forward to a new novel, but since I have at least 2 or 3 projects in mind and each of them still needs to be fleshed out, I take my time with world-building and plotting. Each of them has a different flavour (postapocalyptic fantasy, dark fantasy and science-fiction), so it’s hard to pick one, but in the end one of the projects will demand my full attention. Until then I am making notes and jotting down ideas for all three of them.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
That is an interesting question. Writers always strive for being original, but at the same time they are doing their best to fit in a genre they pick. As I write fantasy and science-fiction, I am aware of both freedom but alo boundaries that my genre has. I often hear from my readers that they would recongnize a story was mine even if they didn’t know the author. As a child I always read a lot, but I guessI could say that I grew up reading classic fairy tales and poetry (let’s not mention that when I was around 12 years old I read thrillers from my mom’s library) and their style is somehow reflected in my writing.
I think this questions should be answered by people who read my stories, not by me.
Why do I write what I do?
Did I mention growing up reading fairy tales? They might not be the reason I started writing science-fiction and fantasy, but definitely played a part in pushing me in this direction. With a head full of stories of kings, dragons and queens I found the genre very familiar. It also makes me push my imagination further and further in search in new alluring worlds, characters, stories and it allows me to write about things that concern me in a way that will allow the readers find their own questions and answers.
Some say that there are no new stories anymore, that we just repeat and rebuild what’s already been told. If that is true, then science-fiction and fantasy allows me to breathe some freshness into the old, allowing to tell those stories in a completely different way.
How does my writing process work?
Having a full-time job makes it hard to build any routine, though I try to write or read a bit whenever I can.
I never start writing if I don’t know the end of my story, as knowing the last scene – or even a sentence – helps me to stay focused and makes the goal clear. It’s easy to get lost when you don’t know where you going, isn’t it?
I am also planning a lot. I need to know exactly what will happen in the scene and how I want to present it, before I start writing. Such approach has its advantages as my first drafts tend to be quite clean in terms of point of view issues or structure (though it doesn’t prevent typos and weird sentences), but on the other hand it slows me down as I might spend two days going over a scene before I write it down. And it does make editing and changing a story a bit painful.
I like having several projects open, as I mentioned before as it helps me to play hide and seek with the writer’s block, but in the end there is always this one story that consumes me until I write “The End”.
So, that’s all from me, I hope you enjoyed this little insight into my work. And again – if you would like to take the baton and carry the fun to your blog – let me know. Otherwise you can always backtrack to Rachel Stirling‘s post and check out what other participants wrote.
As you can see in the comments, I have a first volunteer in our annual Hunger Ga.. I mean, a Writing Process Blog Tour.
Franny from Dr. Franny and Mrs. Myself will be writing a next week’s post on her writing process. She is Italian living in Dublin and writing was always her dream which she works hard on achieving. Be sure to check her blog next week for the next writing process blog tour stop! You can find Franny on Twitter: @FrannysWorld.
Another volunteer contestant is Bisky from Bisky Scribbles. As you can guess: she scribbles a lot. She also like books, computer games, comics and anime. At the end of the year, she will publish her eBook A Dance with Fury and the upcoming Monday you can check her blog to get an insight in her writing process or follow her on Twitter: @Bisky_Scirbbles to get in touch with her.
And the last but not least is Raytchul from Wrecking Raytchul who requested a bit of rules bending and you will see her post on the 5th of May. She is graduate student, closing in on her MBA and she is writing an urban fantasy novel. She has a bit of soft spot for villains and bittersweet endings. You can follow her on Twitter: @WreckingRaytch.
Joanna Maciejewska is a fantasy and science fiction author who enjoys all things SFF: books, movies, and video games.
Her short stories appeared in magazines and anthologies in Polish and in English.
Her epic fantasy adventure series, starting with By the Pact, is available in ebook and paperback at all major retailers.