The super-awesome Sabaa Tahir was nice enough to tag me in the Writing Process Blog Tour (you can read her post here. ). For those of you who don’t know, Sabaa’s book, AN EMBER IN THE ASHES, has already been acquired by Paramount in a major deal! And the book doesn’t even come out until next year! Plus, she’s, like, really funny and stuff—don’t believe me? Check out her bio. You should all definitely be keeping an eye on her! And following her on Twitter @sabaatahir!
Now for the blog tour questions:
1. What am I working on?
I’m currently working on edits for NOT AFTER EVERYTHING (FKA The End of the Beginning), which will be out next year. And I’m revising another YA contemporary book.
2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
There are so many things that could be considered contemporary these days. So I’m just going to go with contemporary romance. NOT AFTER EVERYTHING is different from other contemporary romances because it’s a love story from a guy’s point of view. I mean, I don’t know of too many other books told from the perspective of a seventeen-year-old former football player falling in love, do you?
3. Why do I write what I do?
I write what write, whether it’s contemporary/speculative/romance/whatever, because I’ll hear* bits and pieces of a particular character’s dialogue in the back of my mind, and they won’t shut up until I give in and tell their story. For NOT AFTER EVERYTHING I was actually in the shower when I heard Tyler. He was really pissed off and needed me to help him figure out why. I ignored him, obv. Because A) I was in the shower hearing the voice* of a teenage boy, which was disconcerting to say the least. And B) I wasn’t sure how I was going to write a story from the POV of a seventeen-year-old former running back. But he wouldn’t give up. And I’m glad he didn’t.
*I don’t mean that I literally hear voices. No need to call for a straightjacket. Yet.
4. What’s my writing process like?
Before I begin drafting I usually have a brief general outline, which includes all the things I want to have happen in the story as well as the ending. Plotting is my favorite thing in the world. It’s like dating the character—they tell me all the important things without going into too much detail because they don’t want to scare me off. It’s not until the drafting stage where, after the dating has evolved into a full-blown relationship, they really start to open up and I discover that they’re totally nuts. But by that time I’m too invested and it’s too late to bail so I might as well see it through. After that comes revisions, aka couples counseling, where all the actions and feelings are defined and understood, and the relationship has been picked apart and put back together until we both feel that we’re being heard. Wow do I sound crazy.
Here’s the non-cray version: Basically, I plot/outline for as long as it takes, draft really fast so I can’t overthink it—NOT AFTER EVERYTHING took me five weeks—and then I revise the hell out of it.
On the next episode of The Writing Process Blog Tour…
Andrea Hannah is one of my brilliant critique partners and all-around awesome person. Plus she has a pug that can open the refrigerator. I know, right?! Her debut, OF SCARS AND STARDUST, comes out October 8th. I got to read an earlier version of this and I absolutely loved it. Andrea told me it’s changed quite a bit from when I read it so now it’ll be like I get to read it for the first time all over again! I can’t wait! OF SCARS AND STARDUST is a psychological mystery that will keep you thinking about it long after you finish reading it. I can’t say enough good things! Her Writing Process post will be up May 26th. And you should definitely follow her on Twitter @andeehannah!
N.K. Traver (Nat) is a fellow Fearless Fifteener and Coloradan! Only she obviously doesn’t hate driving in the snow as much as I do, because she still lives there. Her debut, DUPLICITY, was pitched as BREAKING BAD meets THE MATRIX for teens. Enough said. I’m sold. This intriguing Cyberthriller comes out next winter. Her Writing Process post will be up May 26th. And you should totally be following her on Twitter @NKTraver!