Thanks to Millie Thom for nominating me for the Blog Tour Award. Check out her blog as she is a fantastic writer and participates in a lot of writing events which I enjoy reading – Friday Fictioneers, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers, Word of the Week (WOW) and Mondays Finish the Story.
This award involves answering four questions about writing.
Here are the rules:
- Compose a one-time post on a specific Monday (date given from your nomination – I was given either April 6 or April 13)
- Give them the rules and a specific Monday to post by. My nominees can post on Monday 27 April.
- Pass the tour on to up to four other bloggers.
- Answer four questions about your creative process which lets other bloggers and visitors know what inspires you to do what you do.
Here are the four questions and my answers . . .
Q.1. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am still working on my junior fiction chapter book that I started about 3 years ago. I first wrote the story as a 1000 word children’s story for a writing competition but then decided I wanted to turn into a chapter book. It’s now over 7000 words and I’m up to my 9th draft. However, I still have a couple of more chapters to add to it before I then read it again and again, no doubt changing and adding more adventures along the way.
My goal was to complete it and have it ready to send in to an agent by the end of June 2015 (before I go back to work) but I’ve been a bit obsessed with blogging and writing flash fiction lately that I haven’t even looked at it! Doesn’t matter. Every bit of writing is good practise and I will just aim to have it finished by the end of the year instead.
I am also working on a number of children’s picture book manuscripts – some to enter in competitions and some to send off to publishers.
Q.2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?
My children’s chapter book is about a group of boys who love books and reading. They are on a mission to find the best book ever written. However, after finding an ancient book of spells and accidentally unleashing a torrent of spells, the five friends set off on an adventure through the fun fair. They must work together and use their wits and imagination to find clues and solve riddles in order to banish the curse.
The story is for all kids but I wrote it with the idea of encouraging boys to read. I’m hoping that they will enjoy reading about all the magical adventures and fun that these boys have.
Q.3. Why do you write or create what you do?
I love writing stories for children. Picture books only have a small amount of words and you really have to make them count. I like the challenge of trying to show, not tell, letting the illustrations tell a lot of the story. I started writing stories just for fun to read to my children. I enjoyed it so much that I decided that I wanted to learn all the ins and outs of writing a children’s picture book so I got an editor to look at some of my stories, I googled lots of information, I went to a number of writing conferences and I continued writing stories every spare minute I had.
When I sent my first story off for a manuscript assessment, the editor said, “You have interesting ideas and your stories have potential… What lets you down is your writing.” Her words encouraged me to improve. I also found entering competitions very useful as the feedback is incredibly helpful.
Q.4. How does your writing/creative process work?
I do a variety of things:
* Jot down the main story line (beginning, middle and end) and the characters.
* Make a story web with the problem in the middle and the solutions/adventures branching out from it.
* I have a sheet for each character with their name, appearance, strengths, weaknesses, quirks, fears, desires etc.
* I write chapter by chapter, editing bits and pieces as I go, but also going back after a few chapters to add or rearrange.
* I have a notebook ready to write down any funny sayings or things that I might see or read about that I think would be good to add into my story.
* Once the whole story is finished I will read over it again and again and again – probably proofreading forever!
* Over the years I have been trying to win a mentorship program whereby a professional would work with me to get my story up to a publishable standard. This year I would also like to have a go at applying for a grant to have an editor assess my work.
Well, that’s enough about me…
Vanessa at Romance Done Write
Az at Tastyniblets
Ameena at Randoms by a Random