Writing is messy and sometimes we can be more than a little self-conscious about it. I’ve learned a lot from others about what works for them, so here goes…a peek behind the curtain into my writing life!
I also tried to follow the axiom of “write what you know.” My father is from Barbados and surrounded by West Indian culture growing up, I decided to set my story in the Caribbean. It is the kind of story I would have enjoyed reading as a kid. When the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign gained attention this spring, it reminded me even more why I wanted to write this story. Hopefully, my book will help some children see themselves in a way they haven’t had the opportunity to before.
I'd like to explore other genres in the future. I have several story ideas tucked away, some of which are contemporary realistic or historical. For example, I grew up in Boston in the 70’s during the turmoil around busing. I have experiences related to that which I feel would make a great YA story some day.
I tend to be a perpetual reviser and what was liberating about NaNoWriMo was the push to keep moving forward. I just wrote. When I didn’t know exactly what to say, I left notes in the text and kept going.
That pace is hard to sustain though, so currently I focus on drafting or revising a chapter or so a week. My writing critique group meets bi-weekly and that gives me motivation to produce something new to share.
I’m a bit of a geek, so technology is a big part of my writing process. I recently moved to Scrivener as my writing platform and like the structure it provides. I have my story broken up by chapter and scene and have folders for notes, deleted scenes, my synopsis, and other information. I am still a newbie though and have only scratched the surface of what the program can do.
I like to use the social bookmarking tool Diigo for my research. I created a private list for each of my WIPs and articles, websites, videos, or any online information I find can be tagged and bookmarked to the list. For example, my main character in Dark Tide Rising knows a lot about shells, so I have all of the resources on that topic bookmarked in a searchable list. It definitely helps with organization.
So, there’s the messy truth of my writing process! Thanks to my brother Dudley Bryan for tagging me on the Writing Process Blog Tour and to his friend G. G. Silverman for tagging him. In asking writing friends about their processes, several had already been tagged and answered the questions. I'm linking to recent posts by fellow SCBWI Midsouth writers Debbie Emory and Gail Nall. Gail's debut book Breaking the Ice will be released by Aladdin/Simon & Schuster in January 2015. Be sure to check out both posts!