Thank you to Juliet Greenwood for tagging me in the My Writing Process blog tour. See Juliet’s post here (and check out her two terrific books Eden’s Garden and We That Are Left).
I’ve been on this tour before here. I enjoyed it first time round and have come up with some different answers this time.
1) What am I working on?
(a) A new serial for The People’s Friend – currently writing Instalment 5.
(b) Three short stories in various stages of completion. One to be aimed at The People’s Friend and two for general competitions.
(c) One novella, two-thirds of the way through.
(d) Bits of a longer novel.
I’ve started so I’ll finish … I hope.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I write ‘women’s fiction’. I also write more generally eg I had a story called Hattie in New Writing Scotland a few years ago which was a kind of stream-of-consciousness from an elderly man with dementia. Was he imagining his mis-treatment at the hands of one of his carers or not?
Another World in the anthology Work (the short-listed stories for the Scotsman/Orange Short Story Award in 2006) was about a Gulf War veteran recuperating in the Highlands.
So I like to think that I’m versatile. I enjoy doing both types of story but I concentrate largely on women’s fiction because, frankly, it’s more sellable.
3) Why do I write what I do?
I’ll answer the question twice.
Why do I write?
I write because I love words, because I love stories. I write because I can create people and (mostly) make them do what I want …
Why do I write what I do?
Because I can.
4) How does my writing process work?
I am the world’s best procrastinator, looking at each email as it pings in, checking Facebook, daydreaming about potential writing projects, reading other people’s writing. So to discipline myself I’ve started setting a timer (an online one http://www.online-stopwatch.com/countdown-timer/) for twenty-five minutes and forcing myself to type without editing for that time. Five minutes off, and then set it again.
Many of my stories have started from prompts in the creative writing class I’ve been going to for the last ten years.
And inspiration is all around in everyday life – for me usually in the form of a setting or situation eg a university open day, mature lady having swimming lessons, holiday cottage, guests at a wedding table …
I can’t keep up with the material in the ‘Story bits’ file on my computer: currently 142 first few paragraphs waiting to be pumped into life. Not to mention the other files: 56 one-line entries in a ‘Character file’; 23 one-line entries in ‘Settings’; 199 one/two-line ‘Ideas’ and 49 ‘Titles’.
To use them up perhaps I could take a handful of ‘story bits’ and put them together in one story. Or maybe I should have a rummage sale and offload some of them. Any offers?