I 100% forgot to post this when I intended. Oops? Natalie and I had some technical difficulties that resulted in me getting her post at the last minute, but the late post is totally my fault, SO…today I have author Natalie Richards posting about her writing process! I’m excited to have her as I just finished her book Six Months Later. Read the post below and then check out her book!
My Writing Process
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away I imagined what it would be like to be a writer. I had this whole dream of me plunking out masterpieces in the top room of a beautiful three story house. The floor would be wood. I would drink tea. The windows surrounding my desk would overlook the sea but all that natural sunlight would never give me a migraine or create a glare on my screen.
The sad truth is, my writing process is ugly. I jitter and have to move my laptop and walk around. I want to cross my legs and put my feet up and sometimes just lay down altogether. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to figure out how to type while reclining on my side. Sad, but true. My process requires access to snacks in between chapt—okay, fine, in between pages. Between paragraphs if it’s bad enough. And my old dreamy self can keep the stupid windows. I can’t stand a glare on my screen!
I know the writing process is about more than that. There are amazing writers out there that have beautiful descriptions of the steps they take and the wisdom behind their methods. They sound so totally together and I wish I was like that. My writing process is like herding cats. Cats cracked out on powerful hallucinogenic drugs. If it was a twelve step program (and maybe it should be) it would be like this.
1. Have a brain-flash (think daydream on speed) with a scene/character/idea that’s completely and totally insane. But a little awesome.
2. Call and tell five people (they know who they are) about said idea.
3. Begin obsessive questions involving idea. How did it start? Why would it happen? What in heaven’s name could happen next?
4. Have the Moment of Reckoning. There are three choices for me with every idea.
a. YES. Write it right now. Right this minute. Why are you still thinking about it?! Get to a keyboard!
b. Um, now that you’ve thought it through, this idea is horrible. Very bad. Terrible. Pretend you never thought of it. Move on.
c. Maybe. It still needs some stewing.
5. Once an idea is hatched and I decide to go, I start drafting. I’m a linear writer and I’m a planster. I sort of have a vague plan of where I’m going to end up, but I’m flying by the seat of my pants page to page and scene to scene.
6. Get the first part right and then MOTOR. I let myself edit that first 50 pages a bit until I feel like I know the characters and I have my bearings in the book. And then, I plow through my first draft with no mercy. Just. Get. To. The. End.
7. Oh, and then I edit.
8. And edit again.
9. At some point around here I decide I hate the book so much I want to divorce it. And maybe hit it. I start dreaming about new books. Younger books. Books with better hair.
10. Very soon after this, I have a moment of panic where I’m sure there is no way I will ever, ever fix the book. There are a few people I call during this dark hour. Pity them.
11. Resolve hits next. The book has a deadline and I’m tired of hearing myself whine. So, I force myself to look at it in the hairy eyeballs and sort it out.
12. I finish the final edits soon after this. There isn’t much sleep happening during this last stretch. But, alas it’s done.
Of course as I know now, it’s not really done. An editor will have it soon and I’ll have to start back at Step 7. As for my last writing process secret? Editors are WAY nicer to me than I am. 😉
Thank you so much for having me, I’m so super excited to be here!
Summary taken from Amazon:
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
Eli and his family have lived in the Compound for six years.
The world they knew is gone.
Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. Now, they can’t get out.
He won’t let them.
I read The Compound over just a couple hours yesterday afternoon. As in…I started and then- the next thing I knew- I was done. I could not put it down. I couldn’t get over how intrigued I was…yet also, how insanely creeped out I was.
Eli’s father convinced his family that they were going to stay in an underground compound to stay safe during a nuclear attack. He took the family and left out the children’s grandmother and Eli’s twin brother Eddy. Little-by-little the family realizes that there never was an attack and that Eli’s father and been building lie-upon-lie for his family. When they try to escape, he already has another plan.
The Compound is just one of those books that, while it is a quick read, sticks around. I found myself thinking ahead and considering different outcomes. I already have the second book, The FallOut, and am anxious to start it and learn what becomes of Eli and his family when they rejoin the real-world. I’m going to say that is not a spoiler because I didn’t share any details between now and then.
All in all, I recommend The Compound who wants a quick, thrilling read to escape the everyday!
Summary from Amazon:
Making friends has never been Elise Dembowski’s strong suit. All throughout her life, she’s been the butt of every joke and the outsider in every conversation. When a final attempt at popularity fails, Elise nearly gives up. Then she stumbles upon a warehouse party where she meets Vicky, a girl in a band who accepts her; Char, a cute, yet mysterious disc jockey; Pippa, a carefree spirit from England; and most importantly, a love for DJing.
Told in a refreshingly genuine and laugh-out-loud funny voice, Leila Sales’ THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE is an exuberant novel about identity, friendship, and the power of music to bring people together.
First of all, thanks to Fierce Reads for sending me this in a prize pack! I’d been wanting to read this since hearing about it over the summer and was glad for it to arrive in the mail. Elise was a different character. She tried SO hard to gain popularity, but her plans to move up the social ladder just weren’t as on-target as she hoped they would be. In fact, a last-resort attempt at suicide just lands Elise even LOWER down the popularity scale. I think that Elise might be a good voice to many teenage girls due to her attempts at popularity and her eventual lesson. I loved the other characters though. I found myself rooting for Vicky right along with Elise. I also had hopes for Char, but I won’t spoil that ending 😉 All in all, Elise learns what she really wanted in life–and that ultimately leads to what, I think, provides a great lesson for the reader and is the exact thing makes this book so special. So many teenagers need to learn from Elise’s journey- follow what YOU want and see your acceptance in those who love you, not in those you WANT to love you. The people who really care will be there the entire time. I’m so thankful to have had the chance to read This Song even though I’m older than Elise.
I highly recommend This Song to anyone around Elise’s age or even those who need the reminder of how hurtful teenagers can be. I know that the book is a reality for some and this can be a huge reminder.
Great job, Ms. Sales!
- Book Notes – Leila Sales “This Song Will Save Your Life” (largeheartedboy.com) Check out this link to a soundtrack for the book!
Be on the lookout for two posts coming up! The first will be This Song Will Save Your Life and the second will be The Elite. Hopefully I will post one tonight and one tomorrow or Tuesday. I’ve been a reading machine this weekend and love it!
I’m currently reading Six Months Later which will have a post on the 22nd as part of the author’s blog tour. I just started it this morning and read 20% in under an hour- very interesting book!
Every child in Belle Dam is taught about the feud from an early age. There are ‘our’ people and ‘their’ people. Friends and enemies. Associates and strangers. It’s the kind of town where eyes are always watching, and you don’t need a reason to sell out your neighbors.
But the feud is a lie. As a new wave of fury sweeps through the town, creating a third front to an already overtaxed war, Braden has been broken worse than ever. His innocence? Shattered. His heart? Crushed. His magic? Gone. His new life? Ruined. And this is only the beginning.
Beneath the city lay deep wellsprings of power. The one who controls them is the one who will win the feud. In a city filled with puppet masters, Braden must elude their strings and end the feud once and for all. But first, he must outsmart his father, evade Catherine’s dark magic, regain what was stolen from him, trick a phantom who refuses to die, and foil a demon’s master plan.
Even then, he may not survive. Because power is a problem, and victory comes with a cost…
Scott wrote his autobiography at age six, and its all been downhill since then. He traveled the country on a Greyhound for a month, devoted a semester of school to starting a series of urban legends, and spent five years perfecting how to say “would you like fries with that” for a short story. Or so he claims.
Why did I put off this book for so long? I made a vow to myself before I started The Selection that I wouldn’t buy anymore books until I’d dwindled down my list of new books. I’m now wishing that I hadn’t said that because I’m now dying for the second book, The Elite.
America is such a fun character! I loved her determination and her reasoning for everything she ever did. Her attitude was perfect in a sea of girls who were there to fight for the crown.
I still can’t decide if I like Aspen. I GET his reasoning- I really do, but he still ticks me off and is no comparison to Maxon. I’ve said time and time again that I’m a sucker for anything remotely close to a fairytale and this is no exception. The Selection has great characters, an awesome story idea, and a pacing that flowed smoothly and quickly. I turned page after page and zoomed through easily and quickly. In fact, the only complaint I have is that I DON’T have The Elite waiting for me! I will also add that I’ve seen a couple complaints about how they don’t understand the backstory. It was thoroughly explained, in my opinion, and provided a strong substance to the world of pretty dresses and girls wanting to be the princess. The rebels were also a good addition and I’m assuming that we’ll see more of them in the future.
In keeping with my “only read books I already own but haven’t read” I’m now reading This Song Will Save Your Life by Leila Sales and am so far loving it, so look for that soon!