Something a little different today. Nickie at Meadow Orchard invited me to take part in a fortuitously timed 'Around the World' blog hop about the creative process. Hello to anyone who may have followed her to me! I'll be passing the baton on to two friends of my own:
Rebecca at Parsnip Buttering who blogs about mad recipes and cures unearthed from a treasure trove of old books. Rebecca will also be mentioned in the answers to the blog hop questions below.
Angharad at Life with Anorexia who blogs, writes, draws, paints and creates collages as a means of exploring her mental health. I'm terribly terribly envious of her ability to create celtic knots in something other than a square or rectangle shape.
Question: What am I working on?
I'm working on a detective story based (very loosely) on characters from Beauty and the Beast, using a detective I've written about before called Henrietta Whitlock. I thought it was going to be a straightish murder mystery (the Beast is murdered, Beauty suspected) but I've found that in the writing process it changes and develops in a way I find quite thrilling and now there almost has to be a werewolf in it...
Question: How does my work differ from others of its genre?
I haven't quite worked that out yet... Henrietta Whitlock was originally conceived as a steampunk Victoria era detective but having scrapped that manuscript I'm not sure what period I'm setting this in now. Nor have I completely decided whether or not there will be magic. It is definitely not going to be a police procedural in the modern crime fiction style. I could use magic to justify its being more of a Golden Age locked-room mystery. That would fit nicely with the werewolf.
Question: Why do I write?
I've been asked this before (in my creative writing module at uni) but I've never really had an answer. I suppose because I day dream a lot and there's only so much day dreaming I can do about myself? Or because I want people to be able to invest in my characters as much as I can invest in the characters I love? Because it's something I can do and no one can quite take that away from me?
Question: How does my creative process work?
The several times I've entered (and completed) NaNoWriMo, I've had a plan in place from the beginning. Not always a very clear plan, but definitely enough material for several days, a set viewpoint character, a set tense to write in. It's worked, I can't complain, but it doesn't feel fun.
Now, I've got no plan, things keep changing and developing in ways I didn't expect, I have no idea how I'm going to drop clues about the murderer, what method they used, how my detective is going to solve the case... but I'm having a blast doing it!
In terms of how do I actually sit down and do the writing - I either need full on pressure or none at all. NaNoWriMo worked for me because I only had 30 days, I had to keep on top of my word count. In later years, when I had a full time job and other hobbies to juggle this became exhausting. And yet, when I was at school trying to pass the most important exams of my life, it was my break from that. Now, I go to a pub with Rebecca, write, eat some food, people watch. There's no pressure at all. No one except me cares if I write any words at all. That's freeing and is, I suspect, a large part of what's made writing fun again.