Sunday, 22 June 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

I was recently invited by Melissa to take part in the Writing Process Blog Tour. It’s a great way to learn from, and get to know, other writers, so I’d first like to thank Mel for allowing me this opportunity.
The tour involves answering four questions, so here’s a little more about how it works for me!
Why do I write what I do?
I’m a bit of a maverick in that I don’t have a favourite genre. I love science fiction but I’m equally happy writing contemporary romance. Or urban fantasy. Or poetry. Or horror. Or even non-fiction. And my reading habits are equally eclectic. But there is a common thread behind much of it.
I’m a person who loves a strong story with real characters in a vivid world. Full colour with the contrast turned up high. Hyper-reality to the nth degree. That’s not to say that I don’t like monochrome fiction. I mean, there’s a place and a time for everything. It’s just that I like to read to escape from Greysville and, when I write, I’m just the same.
And so, you’ll get sex and female protagonists. Space and townscapes. Vampires, robots, halflings and the man-next-door. But occasionally I might also write an article on music or writing or even computing in general.
How does my writing process work?
Now that’s a question and a half. I’m a writer who likes to create my characters first. I’ll work up a character and a general location and set him, her or it loose. Make them walk about, talk and generally interact with their world and whoever they meet up with. Sometimes they’ll meet up with someone else who I can use and then the two or the three or even the four of them will get to play for keeps in a bigger sandpit than the one I originally dreamt up. And then I get to go all anal and start playing with scene lists and structures, sketching the whole story out until I’ve got a framework I can use to guide myself through my first draft.
How does my work differ from others in the genre?
I’m an individual and I love twists. And if I can work a joke or two in, all the better. Obviously, that’s not always going to work but I do like to stretch the genre if I can. So you may still get a zombie violinist who does stand-up in the local bar. But not every time. I mean, maybe sometimes they’ll get to play guitar instead…
What am I working on at the moment?
I’m currently working on about half a dozen things at once. Flash fiction, four or five novels and maybe a short story or two. And that’s been my problem until recently. But now I’ve been taking the time to structure and plot and story-board a novel set in a contemporary world, featuring a whole host of characters who can change reality and make almost anything happen. It’s gonna be a tough story to pull off because almost anything can happen. Making that seem real is going to quite a challenge. I’ve enrolled myself on next month’s Camp Nano event, so maybe that’ll give me a little more impetus to see it through - and perhaps the urge to spend less time on the social networks while I’m writing it.

So that’s me. I’m a mature male Brit writing unworldly tales and I’ve a highly developed sense of humour. I’ve the attention span of a may-fly with ADD and a whole host of visions dragging me every-which-way. But I can write...


  1. As I expected the answers are funny, inspiring, well crafted and engaging. I love your writing style, whether fact, fiction or somewhere in between! Your processes are intriguing, and I can relate to your style on many levels. I love this post. I want to re-blog it, but as I can't, I'll add a link to it instead. Thanks for sharing, Mark :-)

  2. I'm essentially an organic writer but lose impetus if I haven't got a plan to write to. I've prone to having thought showers when inspiration - and the novelty of having something new to write - send me careening off wildly, so I need to make things as easy as possible for myself.

  3. That sounds like sound advice. Something I've learnt personally, and am working on :-) I'm supposed to be editing one novel, but find myself in the grip of something new. I have to stop being so fickle and commit to something!