Virtual Blog Tour – Writing Process

Imelda at My Word Wall asked me to participate in a virtual blog tour. Its goal is to introduce talented bloggers as they share insight into their creative process and current projects. You can visit her tour post here.

Here is Imelda’s bio in her words: “I am Imelda Santore. I came from the Philippines. Eleven years ago, I left family, friends, and a legal career to marry the wonderful man I met online. We are now the parents of four boys. I keep myself busy homeschooling the elder children, gardening, and doing things necessary to keep our home in a livable state. I take refuge in writing poems to sort out my thoughts and to keep my sanity.”

This is where my head is most of the time!
This is my writing process…

Before I move on to the interesting part of this post (the bloggers I’ve asked to share their creative process) my responses to the questions are below.  My feelings won’t be hurt if you skip to the bottom!

1.  What am I working on?

Right now, my writing time is limited due to other priorities (house/family) but I have a few projects begging me to pay them some attention. The biggest one is writing the novel-length version of Darlene’s Story, which I posted as a serial on my blog last year. I also write poems and short stories, many of which I share on my blog.

2.  How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I can’t begin to answer this because I’m not even sure which genre(s) I write! With most of my stories, I work in a ‘twist’ or an aspect that the reader may not have expected. I love the comments that are along the lines of, “I had no idea where you were going with this until the end.”

3.  Why do I write/create what I do?

Mostly, I write as a creative outlet. Writing for my day job is technical and, well, a little boring (sorry, I wish I could say insurance was exciting!) I participate regularly in writing prompts because I like the challenge of the writing within given parameters and since the pieces are short, I have the satisfaction of “completing” something. (I also enjoy reading how others interpret the prompts. The human mind is so fascinating!) I also write for me, to sort things out in my mind (often poetry.) I rarely share this type of poetry on my blog because others might figure me out 🙂

4.  How does your writing/creating process work?

My process varies depending on what I’m writing. When writing prompts, I read the prompt and think on it for it while. I’ll jot down some ideas- if one grabs me, I’ll write it. If not, I’ll step away, reading the prompt again right before going to bed. (I know that sounds weird, but sometimes, ideas come to me as I fall asleep or when I wake up.) When I write novel-length, I like to write a chapter summary – basically the one main thing I want to accomplish in that chapter. As I’m writing, other plot lines generally emerge, so I update the outline as I go. I’d like to say I write every day, but that wouldn’t be truthful! Poetry just happens when the mood strikes. I write mainly haiku or free-form as I’m not disciplined enough to explore other forms.

Now for the fun part: the bloggers who will post next week with their own responses to the above questions. The whole blog tour thing could collapse because I’ve broken the rules: I only have two. I should have been more diligent in setting this up.

06-08 EA (L) 2014Eric Alagan: Eric writes engaging stories on his blog, often as serials. Also, he’s written several novels and I’m really interested in his writing process! Here is Eric in his own words:

Eric, married with three adult children, lives in Singapore. He and his wife of 33 years, Lisa, have a good thing going. She lets him be the boss and he believes he is the boss.

Click here to check out Eric’s blog.

06-08 MichaelBlogTourMichael at Hypothetically Writing: Michael’s quirky, often humorous stories are truly unique. I enjoy his stories because I rarely (okay never) can predict what will happen. Here is Michael in his own words:

I am from Southern Indiana, right across the river from Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville is primarily known for our basketball team, our horse racing, and the fact that there are at least six different ways to say our city’s name (Loo-ah-vul, Loo-ey-ville, NEVER Lewisville). As for myself, I am a newly graduated law student, and I’ve been writing stories since before there were smartphones (so, like, mid-90s).

Click here to check out Michael’s blog.

Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you visit Eric and Michael, if you haven’t read them already!

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41 thoughts on “Virtual Blog Tour – Writing Process

  1. shirleyjdietz June 9, 2014 / 4:19 AM

    Well that was interesting. There is evidence that the mind can sort things out at night when you aren’t looking – I totally believe in it. I will read some from your Eric and Michael, and also Imelda. Thanks.

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:06 PM

      Thanks for reading, Shirley! I appreciate you stopping by – I hope you enjoy my fellow bloggers as much as I do 🙂

  2. suzicate June 9, 2014 / 4:25 AM

    Glad you are turning Darlene’s Story into a novel. Many of those prompts have sparked your creativity into works I think are worthy to go on to novel length.

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:08 PM

      Thanks for your support, Suzicate! The novel version of Darlene’s story is challenging because I’m going to alternate chapters between Darlene’s POV and Myrtle’s POV in order to fill in much of the story left out in the shorter pieces.

      • suzicate June 9, 2014 / 5:48 PM

        I think that’s an awesome way to write it.

        • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 11:14 PM

          Thanks, Suzicate. I hope I can pull it off 🙂

  3. Debbie June 9, 2014 / 7:35 AM

    I was invited to participate in this writing process thingy, too, but I couldn’t fathom anyone being interested in my responses! Since I read every word of yours, I see how fascinating the writing process is. Love that you let your subconscious work things out for you while you sleep — that’s why I keep a notebook next to my pillow, ha!

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:11 PM

      Haha, I almost passed on it as well, Debbie. The only reason I didn’t is that Imelda seemed like she genuinely wanted to read about my process. (Can’t figure out why on earth why!) I wish you would’ve done it because I actually do like reading these!

  4. Lance June 9, 2014 / 7:59 AM

    Thanks for the two blog recommendations and I love Darlene.

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:13 PM

      I hope you enjoy the blogs, Lance! I’m glad you like Darlene… hope you’ll read her when I finally get the novel done 🙂 (You may have forgotten about her by then, haha…)

  5. nrhatch June 9, 2014 / 9:08 AM

    Great share, Janna. I like your reason for responding to prompts ~ parameters, ability to complete, and chance to compare “take on the prompt” with other writers.

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:13 PM

      Thanks, Nancy! The social part of the prompts is the best 🙂

  6. Kathy Combs (@Kathy29156) June 9, 2014 / 11:01 AM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about your writing process. You are truly one of my favorites of all the blogs I read. I love your stories and writing style. I know when I read your story that it is going to be exceptional and you never disappoint me. ♥

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:18 PM

      Oh wow, thanks, Kathy! I’m thrilled that you enjoy reading my writing. I just don’t know what to say, other than I appreciate it 🙂

  7. Tessa June 9, 2014 / 2:50 PM

    I agree with Kathy Combs, you are by far one of my favorite writers and I always love your little twists at the end. My process is a process in the works. I have no real process. When the spirit hits me I write, otherwise nothing comes and I don’t. Simple 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:20 PM

      Thanks so much, Tessa! I’m happy that you read so much of what I write. And about your process – sounds like a good one to me. I agree about not writing if there’s nothing there. I’ve tried and it’s a total waste of time 🙂

  8. Imelda June 9, 2014 / 3:44 PM

    Thanks, Janna.
    Darlene’s story will be one heck of a thriller. 🙂 All the best in writing her novel. I was interested with your writing/creative process because I have followed your long stories. I was always wondering how you keep the interest going.
    Thanks for the recommendations. I will check them out. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 4:25 PM

      Thank you so much for extending the invite, Imelda. I couldn’t imagine that anyone would be interested in my process! I appreciate your supportive comments throughout the Darlene series. I am excited about the novel because I’m going to alternate views between Darlene and Myrtle, which is important to clue in the readers about how their paths crossing is much deeper than the the recent events. I hope you enjoy the bloggers I chose as much as I do!

  9. philosophermouseofthehedge June 9, 2014 / 5:14 PM

    I like to write short, too. ( But poetry of any form is complex and mind boggling – not for lazy readers or writers – you always create some remarkable verses)

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 10:54 PM

      Thanks, Phil! Some poetry can take more concentration to follow.

  10. Eric Alagan June 9, 2014 / 8:07 PM

    Hello and thank you, Janna,

    For sharing the back stories to your writing.

    I’ve followed the episodes, and look forward to reading Darlene’s Story. You’ve done well from a marketing/creating awareness aspect and have a ready following. Good job 🙂

    And yes, it’s exactly the twists in your plot endings that first drew me to your blog and kept me returning ever since.

    Thank you for including me in this Blog Tour and I’ll see what I can do about taking this forward.

    All good wishes with your writing,
    Eric

    • jannatwrites June 9, 2014 / 11:13 PM

      I’m glad you’ve found my stories interesting, Eric. It would be nice if I could’ve followed up with a novel a bit sooner after finishing the series, but since it was prompt driven, I never wrote ahead on it. Now, I can’t wait to see how you respond to the questions 🙂

  11. Michael June 10, 2014 / 4:26 AM

    Oh, I can’t wait to read the full-length version of Darlene’s Story. Myrtle rocked in that, as I recall, so this should be good. 🙂 Thanks for including me in the blog tour; I shall try and respond myself soonest. 🙂

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:30 PM

      I liked Myrtle, too, Michael 🙂 I appreciate you accepting the invitation to join in and I look forward to reading your responses soon!

  12. Sean June 10, 2014 / 7:14 AM

    It is great to have an outlet that you can use to help with understanding what your brain is telling you. Although I think my brain just does stuff to thoroughly confuse me most of the time. This gave everyone a little more insight of who JannaT is. I think everyone has a mysterious side. That’s one of the things that draw people to others. Thanks

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:32 PM

      Sometimes our brains do that just for fun, I think 🙂 I might have to re-read this… I hope I didn’t give away the key to my brain here, haha. Thanks for reading, Sean!

  13. imab00kworm June 10, 2014 / 1:31 PM

    I was thinking about those personal poems you mentioned: the trick is passing it all off as fiction, it’s like hiding things in plain sight, people won’t go looking for it where they know it’s not… Did that make sense? Because I’m not very good at making sense when trying to say something…

    • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 10:46 PM

      Sneaky! It makes sense to me… I have written some fiction that is rather close to home but distanced myself by POV or characters. (Just like in high school, I never kept a diary, but coded my emotions into poetry. No names were ever mentioned, so it didn’t feel like my innermost feelings were there for someone to snoop around and read.)

      • imab00kworm June 10, 2014 / 11:34 PM

        Nice! I tried starting a diary a few times but it failed because I’m not regular enough and I don’t have enough to say every day.

        • jannatwrites June 10, 2014 / 11:43 PM

          I’m with you on that. My diary would be a perfect bedtime story: put you to sleep every time.

        • imab00kworm June 10, 2014 / 11:50 PM

          My diary (or at least the first part) could have people seriously wondering what the hell was going on in my head when I was 10. Of course I understand what I wrote but I’d be the only one. At the same time that was kind of the point.

  14. unpackedwriter.com June 13, 2014 / 8:02 AM

    I totally agree about taking on the human mind in writing – it’s both about content and process when we consider the mind. I touched on that very same idea in My Writing Process Blog Tour this morning. Glad to see it may be a more universal idea than I expected! As well as writing prompts before bed – that’s a great idea – I set up my writing to do’s before bed… but not too late, as I won’t sleep 😉 Great post! – Renee

    • jannatwrites June 13, 2014 / 10:10 PM

      I read your blog tour post tonight – I wish my ‘process’ was organized like yours, Renee. Had to laugh at the not working on writing too late… I do that all the time.

      • unpackedwriter.com June 16, 2014 / 7:37 AM

        I used to work late– and early– but can’t anymore… I”m likely getting old– 🙂

        • jannatwrites June 16, 2014 / 10:33 PM

          I can’t really do it either… but do anyway. I know I’m getting old, haha!

  15. mbarkersimpson June 20, 2014 / 8:24 AM

    I will definitely check out the other blogs. I’m familiar with Michael’s work from the speakeasy. I really enjoyed learning about your process, and I have another ‘architect’ to add to my list. The next time I take part in a prompt I’m going to think about it before I start and make some notes. I can’t decide whether to use one of the 30 days of June prompts or wait until Sunday for the next round of speakeasy! I’ll think on that too 🙂 I’m also going to aim at creating a chapter breakdown of my next project. It might give me the direction I need – I love gaining access to so many talented people within the community. I’ve learnt so much already.
    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of this post.

    • jannatwrites June 23, 2014 / 7:36 AM

      I like reading others’ processes as well… sometimes there’s a nugget in there that just might work for me (a better way to do something!) I’m glad you found something to experiment with in my process… though it’s not much of a process, haha! Thanks for reading, Mel!

  16. Sarah Ann July 29, 2014 / 1:12 PM

    It is ridiculous that I am coming to this so long after you posted. I’m really looking forward to novel length Darlene. If you want and beta-reader, then I’m volunteering. I wouldn’t be able to answer the genre question either. I haven’t been able to pigeonhole my writing and don’t think I want to. With regard to prompts I often have ideas on how to answer as I drift off to sleep. The problem is I lose them by morning so now have a torch and notepad at the end of the bed to stop that happening. Thanks for sharing your writing process, even if you won’t share your poetry 😉

    • jannatwrites July 30, 2014 / 9:21 PM

      Life is really hectic, so I’m glad whenever you stop by, Sarah Ann! Wow, thanks for the volunteer to be a beta reader… I just might take you up on that!

      Pen and paper nearby are a must. There’s not much more frustrating than forgetting an idea (you know, the best idea we EVER had, hahaha!)

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