Sunday, 20 July 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

The Writing Process Blog Tour is an ongoing tour which is passed from one author to the next with a set of questions. Thanks to C Robert Cales for passing the torch on to me, you can see his post here:

I'll be passing the tour onto Kath Middleton, keep an eye out for her post in a week's time on her blog:

And now onto the questions:

What am I working on?
I'm currently balancing three book projects. The first and the nearest to completion is 'Sun Dragon'. This is the story of the first manned mission to Mars after the Curiosity rover discovers life there. On their approach to Mars the astronauts discover a series of anomolies and have to determine what it is they have found. This needs another edit pass and then a final trip to the editor and I'm hoping it will be out before the end of the year.

The other book is also a science fiction story. This is the official tie in novel for the game I'm currently working on - Elite: Dangerous. You can discover more about the game here: More information on this book will be comming soon :-)

And the third novel in progress is 'The Last True Demon' which is the final book in 'The Third Path' trilogy. I know there are many readers eager to read the conclusion to the series, unfortunately there's still quite a lot of work to be done on this book to get it into shape. However I am aiming for early next year.

As I also work full time (including weekends) things are pretty busy!

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Although for marketing purposes it makes things easier to classify books within genres I don't actually set out to write books within a certain genre. My goal is to tell stories and I'll take whatever works from any genre to tell a story.

Why do I write what I do?
My books tend to come from big questions that I find interesting. For example Faust 2.0 was inspired not only the Faust legend but also from wondering about technology being the modern supernatural. I call it techno-horror but it delves into aspects of technology that need more thought and highlights some of the potential dangers of taking technology to extremes. A perfect example of this is a concept known as the technological singularity. This is a point where technology reaches a stage where it can self-evolve and grow beyond our capacity to understand it.

How does my writing process work?
For short stories I just dive straight in and write the story that has been bubbling in my head. For books it's a more involved process. I let the idea ferment for a while without writing it down, although sometimes I'll write a drabble to explore the idea. Once the idea has settled I'll put together a chapter plan. I won't start writing until the chapter plan is firmed up. Of course when I do start writing that plan can change!

I'll then dash through the first draft. At this stage the language is usually awful. The intent of the first draft isn't to craft the language but to get the story down. Then I'll leave it for a few weeks before starting an edit pass (or two) to craft the language into something decent and then send it off for test reading. I have a few regular test readers whose input is valuable.

When the feedback comes back I'll do another edit pass and then it goes off to my editor for a final line edit and proofread. Once those changes are done the planning of the actual release starts and that can be almost as much work as writing the book!

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