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Author of queer, wry sci fi/fantasy books. On Amazon.
Editor of all fiction genres.

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Blog Hop from Dianne Harman

Hello hello!

This one is straightforward. Just a blog hop, and four questions about my work and how I do it. So, let's not waste time--here you go.

1. What am I working on?

After the Garden is a book I wrote in my late teens and early twenties, and it's currently in rewrites. I have Monsters and Fools, The Meaning Wars, and Synchronicity in my queue to write and (in the case of the last) rewrite. I also have a few other things planned, but those should be out in the next year or two. Plus a few short stories here and there.  I'm reluctant to give you dates because deadlines tend to go whooshing by all too quickly, but ATG should be out this spring or summer.

2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?

I like to focus on issues of equality in my work, but I try not to do it in a preachy way. The best way, to my mind, is to incorporate the characters and treat them as normally as possible. I also like that sometimes focusing on characters with various levels of ability/diverse backgrounds means they have a more challenging platform to work from. It's also just more interesting than the same Cod Piecington, Noble Space Prince or Humble Browsley, Noble Farm Boy type adventurers that we've been fed for the last hundred years.

I also like to genre-bend. I work mostly in subgenres because I have a deep love for post-apocalyptic and dystopian settings, and that's been 'a thing' since I was in seventh grade. I also like steampunk and urban fantasy, but the last few years have seen a love for urban fantasy horror and spooky elements grow in me. Those have entered my work, and I think it rounds my feel out nicely. There's nothing as fun as scaring the pants off your readers and a little madness. Encountering Lovecraft and the Warhammer 40K universe planted the seed, and with a history of my own nightmares to draw on, I am proud to say that I have given multiple readers cold chills and nightmares with my own work. Neil Gaiman and Chuck Wendig, two of my other best-loved inspirations, also play on scary themes in their work, so really, the genre-bending and scary elements were inevitable. 

3. Why do I write what I do? 

Because it's what I want to read. Because characters walk across the stage inside my skull and start narrating. Because cinemagraphic clips play on the screen in there at random. Because writing is a compulsion. Because writing and reading are a sickness that I cannot and will not get over, and because I live for words. 

4. How does my writing process work?

I'm a pantser at heart. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of very shitty plots and messy, messy endings. In my last book, The Underlighters (previously also published in The Loved, The Lost, The Dreaming, a thematic anthology) I learned how to plot and found an outlining strategy that works for me. So, here's how it goes--I start off with some flashes, usually scenes. I stick them in a document and type them out as I see them. Then I slowly get other flashes, and then I start writing down notes for other scenes. When I have some bullet points, I start working on flow charts or mind maps. The maps let me plot out possible plot ideas and connect the plot events in chonological and logical order. It also lets me follow multiple personal plots at the same time, which is useful. I often use a timeline to refine the results of the map when I have them nailed down. I write down flashes of scenes as they come and then I slowly work through them, expanding on the bullet points and notes. If working on a series, I often reread my own book.
When I hit the revisions stage, I get to work on ensuring I have continuity and that I don't have any exposition dumps or ugly stuff. Then it goes off to my beta readers and critique buddies, and then, when it's all corrected, off to the formatter. After that come the publishing stages, of course. Large chunks of time may pass between the first few stages because I haven't nailed down my self-discipline yet, and my editing work sometimes interferes. 

The lovely Dianne Harman tagged me. She's a friend, an editing client, and a very fun writer. You can get hold of her in the following places:

Amazon: http://ow.ly/s6pN5 
Smashwords: http://ow.ly/u4Fb2
 Web Site http://www.DianneHarman.com
 Twitter: @DianneDHarman

And now...I tag Zig Zag Claybourne, Nic Wilson, and Corinne Kilgore! Get writing, guys!

Thanks for dropping by the nest once again. Don't miss any of the phuquerie. Find Michelle on TwitterFacebook, and on Tumblr, and find her work on Amazon. Check back on the blog to see when one of the irregular posts has careened onto your feed. This is the one and only SciFiMagpie, over and out! 

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