Baton Blog Hop: My Writing

The marvelous Kait Nolan tagged me for the baton blog hop. So I’m answering the questions and tagging three others at the end of the post.* 

Julie sitting at laptop
Writing at my local coffee shop

What am I working on? Two major projects right now. The first is my series of six young adult paranormal short stories, which begins with the first story, My Sister’s Demon. I’m editing, polishing, formatting, and loading them up one at a time. This self-published series is titled Paranormal Playground. (See the first cover here.)

Then I’m editing again through Sharing Hunter, my young adult contemporary novel — which has been a labor of love and madness, depending on which day you ask me. Actually, I adore these characters and their story, so I’ve taken extra time and effort to get it right. I’m planning to pursue traditional publishing with this novel.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? If you’ve visited my blog for a while, you might have noticed a new tag line up there: A handful of real life, a heartful of story. Writing YA paranormal and contemporary, my tag line is true for both of these. I hope to capture a slice of real life, something we can all relate to, but then tell a story that brings your heart into the equation. That “heartful” could be the tender feelings of romance, the intense desire to solve a mystery, the pounding nerves of fear, etc. But I hope having my characters deal with whatever they face — be it a crush on the boy next door or the need to exorcise a demon — can encourage the reader to take life on and come out a winner.

As for the uniqueness of my writing, I’m a snarky girl. And it comes across on the page. So I hope to bring some wit to the stories as well.

Why do I write what I do? I actually answered this question recently in a post I did for the A Round of Words in 80 Days blog:

I think part of what keeps me wanting to write YA and MG is when I ask myself, “If I could write for one and only one niche group, who would it be?” And it’s young girls struggling with who they are in those formative ages. That’s when I fell in love with stories, when books sent me to worlds I didn’t know and got me out of the frustrating one I was in, when fiction sometimes seemed far more real than the stupid drama of junior high and high school. It’s when I realized that books could be friends.

How does my writing process work? I call myself a “plantser” (I think I got that word from author Roni Loren). For me, what tends to happen is I write a first chapter by the seat of my pants based on some scene, premise, character, etc. If I can tell there’s something to this, I step back and develop the idea further.

I write a plot outline, which at this point includes things like the opening, inciting incident, plot points, setbacks, climax, wrap-it-up. I don’t get much more detailed than that before I start writing. My story often changes as I write, and that’s fine. I can easily adjust a plot outline, but when I try to plot individual scenes in advance, my brain tends to get overwhelmed and my writing gets stymied.

One part of the “writing process” that’s often ignored is editing! I’ve written about editing tips I’ve learned, and Margie Lawson’s Deep Edits program has also really helped. Quality writers have to be willing to dig into their WIPs again and again to get them to the level they can and should be for readers to fully enjoy the story. I continue to learn how to best do that, but I love seeing the story take shape.

Tag, you’re it.

Since I know they have upcoming releases, I’m tagging Melinda VanLone, Catie Rhodes, and S.J. Maylee for this blog hop. If they wish to participate, they can answer these questions on their own blogs and tag 3 more writers to pass the baton.

ROW80 Update

1. Read 12 books. Read Stupid Cupid short story by Tina Ferraro, but I’m not counting that. I also read a nonfiction book and started North of Beautiful by Justina Chen. Halfway through — 6 of 12 books read.

2. Finish editing SHARING HUNTER, a young adult contemporary novel. I edited a little bit, which was something. But now that my short stories are in a good place, I am moving this goal to the forefront. A little forward progress — like a Mother May I baby step.

3. Edit one short story to publication quality. I finished the rewrite of one short story, and I’m happy with the result. This was the last story in the Paranormal Playground series that needed to be completed, and it will be released this fall. Meanwhile, I read through the next release of the series, A Little Fairy Dust, and made editing notes. I need to rewrite sections of the first chapter, but the rest of the story seems solid. Once I get that first chapter in place, I’ll send it to my beta reader. Happy with this progress.

4. Publish and promote two short stories. I finished the Scrivener Compile course offered by Gwen Hernandez, compiled and uploaded the first story — My Sister’s Demon — to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It should go up this week. *fingers crossed* Halfway there!

5. Stay on top of ROW80 sponsor duties. Visited 8 blogs this week. Done!

So what projects — writing or otherwise — are you working on? And how was your week?

*For future reference, I’m hit or miss with these things, so if the chain letter means a lot to you, I’m probably not the best person to tag! :S)

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7 thoughts on “Baton Blog Hop: My Writing

  1. I do love your new tag line. It captures your style which I love. Thanks for sharing your process and for reminding me I need to get back to my Margie packet. Oh and the tag, you’re so sweet..
    Forefront for Sharing Hunter, nice! I just one clicked on My Sister’s Demon. Congratulations, Julie!! I’m so happy for you. 😀 Have a fabulous week.

  2. I got tagged by writer friend, Valerie Biel, so I am contemplating my answers. Kind of fun to read everyone’s writing processes. I love the variety. You have much lots of fun going on; keep it up and happy writing Julie!

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