So my wonderful friend and author Cree Walker invited me to be hosted on her blog. Thank you so much, Cree! Love ya, babe. MWAH!
So the theme of this blog tour is My Writing Process.
So what am I working on right now?
Well, I just finished the first draft of the sequel to my novella. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009AHSDC6/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B009AHSDC6&linkCode=as2&tag=igoddess-20
Hallowed Fiends and Darkest Fortune. This is a full-length novel following Anya and the Duke after their first night together. It’s titled, Duchess of War and I tell people, “Think of it as The War of the Roses meets the French Revolution.”
I’m in the process of editing right now, then it’ll go to a few beta readers. My editor is cracking the whip, because she’s anxious to finally get her hands on it, lol. It’s always a great feeling when your editor is one of your biggest cheerleaders.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Well, I can honestly say I make a lot of people angry. My style of writing isn’t their cuppa, and that’s okay. I don’t write the fluffy, soft, romantic kind of romance novels. Mine are gritty. They’re not always pretty. My stories make my readers look at topics like rape, child abuse, domestic violence, and hatred square in the face. My characters are flawed. It hurts when they grow, and they fight it tooth and nail at times. The hero, like in my first paperback, Devil’s Bitch, punches the heroine square in the jaw during a confrontation. The war between the sexes takes on aspects of psychological warfare.
My heroines are confident with a strong sense of self, usually foul-mouthed, and have no problem telling someone to f*ck off. They will go toe-to-toe with anyone –usually the hero– who tries to intimidate them, and sometimes they win. Sometimes they don’t. No cheese-spined milksop heroines in my books!
Loving a person involves sacrificing ego, self-delusions, pride, and the need to win. It means being vulnerable, and for some that is a massive struggle. Learning to go from self-interest to mutual interest, learning to choose forgiveness, learning humility and to admit when you’re wrong…those are all very difficult things to learn. And sometimes that learning process is painful and ugly…but love, real love, is worth the growing pains.
Some people don’t like that. They want fluff and happy and perfect characters. They want their love-at-first-sight, and they want their heroines emotionally floppy the moment the hero comes onto the scene. That’s fine, and there are plenty of books like that. Mine aren’t, though.
Which leads into why I write what I do.
Frankly, I wrote what I wanted to read. I was so tired of the floppy milksop heroines, so tired of them putting down everything and identifying solely through the hero, so tired of these intelligent and confident woman letting the man wrestle the lead away from her for no other reason than that he has a penis. These goddesses became “little lady,” and I couldn’t stand it.
Then one day I read this Harlequin Treasury book, and it was the most terrible thing I’d ever read. And I was angry! When I finished it, I threw it down in disgust, because here I’d thought there was no way I could be good enough to be a published author, and here was Harlequin –the king of romance, back in the day– publishing this drivel! I could write better than this! So I started steering my writing, which had been more fantasy, into fantasy romance.
When Cree first told me about this topic, my reaction was kind of all over the place. You know the time when you were a kid and your experiment in the blender exploded at the exact same time your little brother fell off the chandelier, just as the cat went tearing through the living room after the hamster that your little sister let run free right before coloring the couch with Sharpie, and your parents walked in and asked you, “What is going here?!” and you kinda just went, “Um…yeah…”
That’s kind of how my reaction went, yeah. My writing process is about that chaotic, and trying to explain it is a little overwhelming.
I don’t even know where my writing process begins, really. When I have an idea, I don’t write it down immediately. I look at it, tell it hello, and then let it sit in the back of my brain and simmer for as long as it needs to. Sometimes this can be years. But while it’s simmering, weird and magical things are happening in the primordial soup of my subconscious.
Character development is evolving from little flagellum-propelled amoeboid creatures swimming around as a spark of an idea, slowly growing legs, then lungs, and then crawling up on land and going all Lord of the Flies in there. I might read an article about some completely unrelated topic and it sparks another idea, or builds on an existing one. All of these tiny pieces of ideas get added to my Primordial Idea Soup.
One day something happens, and at the most inconvenient moment possible when there’s absolutely no possible way I can get to a pen and paper, or my computer, or even my phone to use my voice recorder app to take notes, I get the sudden urge to write Right Now because all of those pieces in my subconscious have broken the surface –like the hissing, boiling birth of a volcanic island– and the story is a now a tangible thing.
In this way, sometimes I say my characters spring fully formed from my mind, like Minerva from Zeus’ head, because there’s no other way to describe it. But in reality, those characters have been growing and evolving deep in my mind for a very long time, and by the time they’re finally born, I know them on a very deep and visceral level. All of those character development exercises are useless to me because I don’t have to build anything; I let them evolve on their own.
After that comes the note-taking. Random and unconnected ideas go into one big hodge-podge document in Open Office. Any and everything related to the story –from characters eye color to quotes to historic details that help build the world but will never make it into the story– go there. While I’m taking these notes, again this process can take weeks or years depending, I’m trying to find the overall theme. Is the story about redemption? Forgiveness? Overcoming fear?
When I feel it’s time, I begin using Randy Ingermanson’s http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/ Snowflake Method in Snowflake Pro. For me, this process helps me a ton because it helps me separate all of those jumbled details into a discernable order. It’s how I begin to organize my thoughts, and through this entire process the characters and world are speaking to me, helping me fill in the blanks.
By this time I’m neck-deep in notes: different-colored Post-It notes decorate every available surface of my desk. They line my computer monitor, the edges of my bathroom mirror, cling to the back of my phone. My voice recorder app is filled with hours of voice notes, and the Steno notepad that lives in my purse is also filled to capacity. My desk is piled with how-to writing and research books. I rack up my Amazon account, tucking away every receipt for tax season, and wonder if my desk will ever be organized again.
When I’m done with Step 6 of the Snowflake Method, my book is just about half written. There are usually about 50k words in notes alone: writing out scenes, bits of dialogue, describing scenes like a director with a screenplay. By the time I’m ready to sit down and crank out the book, I can write three thousand words a night in two hours after my daughter goes to bed, and have a book finished in a couple of months. Easy as pie.
(Ha ha! Yeah right.)
Of course, then the editing process starts.
Delena Silverfox is a fantasy romance author and exhausted mom of a preschooler. When she’s not writing, she’s chasing a naked three year-old around a messy house decorated in finger paints and sharpie on the walls. She misses sleep, and has a secret celebrity crush on Alton Brown.
Find her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/delenasilverfox
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Delena-Silverfox/e/B009LP3W5U”>Delena Silverfox