Posted by: Betsy Devany | May 23, 2014

My Writing Process

ImageToday I join the blog tour where writers and authors answer questions about their writing process. Author Rebecca Colby preceded me. Please check out her writing process here: www.rebeccacolbybooks.com/2014/04/writing-process-blog-tour/

What am I working on now?

My present focus is on eight-year-old E. B. Louise, who is determined to save her shredding and too-small elephant slippers given to her by her recently deceased Grandma Hubble. E. B. Louise is precocious and always getting into trouble, which makes her utterly delicious and intoxicating to be around. Especially when you add her bestie, Melvin Fitch, who returns from his summer vacation at Alien World greener than E. B. Louise’s lawn. I work with second graders on a weekly basis and absolutely adore their age group. Oh, that E. B. Louise and her antics! Revising this lower middle grade lets me spend my mornings laughing out loud before I return to my second young adult in free verse, which has a darker and more serious tone, with a plot that gives me chills.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Paying no attention to market trends, I write what I am called to write, what speaks to my heart. If a voice leads to less-explored topics like early-onset Alzheimer’s, stealing, and secrets that turn families upside down, I’m not afraid to go there. I’m also not afraid to push the limits if I wholeheartedly believe that a certain plot point or a particular dialogue exchange is honest to what truly happens in children’s lives.

Why do I write what I do?

As for picture books, I adore them, I always have. And I love the challenge of writing a heartfelt and funny story in under 700 words. In terms of novels, once a voice comes to me—whether in a whisper, a single line of dialogue, or sometimes a scene in which I see the unfamiliar character doing something and wonder why—I have to follow them. For the most part, I write character-driven contemporary fiction.

How does your writing process work?

Because I live a full life—I work at an old-fashioned toy store part-time, regularly watch my two grandkids, volunteer weekly in my granddaughter’s second-grade classroom, and I am an avid photographer—I’ve learned to set aside time in each day to write. As writers, we must do this. Nearly three years ago, right after my father died, I made a vow to become an early riser for the sake of my writing. And now, on most days, I welcome the sun from my writing room where I am head down, butt in chair, giving free rein to Sleepy Mind. This is when my creative juices flow best. Overall, I write up to four hours per day, some days more than that.

A first draft of a novel can take up to three months, while I write picture books fairly quickly. Though I play with the story’s concept and characters for weeks in my mind. I see pictures, like screen shots, and jot those down. The real writing follows after I’ve let the fresh manuscript simmer for a while and then hunker down for revision. Revising is, hands down, my favorite part of writing.

Thank you so much for stopping by! Please visit my author friends who will share their writing process in the next week or so.

SONY DSCDebbie LaCroix is the author of “It’s Almost Time.” We met at Jane Yolen’s Picture Book Boot Camp in March. Debbie is a book addict. She loves to read, write and even sells children’s books for Usborne Books and More. She is a Mom to 2 boys, and loves jumping into her imagination. She is currently searching for an agent. Please visit Debbie at: www.littledebbiewrites.wordpress.com

 

 

A_Denise_Author_PhotoAnika Denise is the author of PIGS LOVE POTATOES and BELLA AND STELLA COME HOME, both of which were illustrated by her husband, Christopher Denise. Her forthcoming titles include BAKING DAY AT GRANDMA’S (Philomel, August, 2014/ also illustrated by Chris) and MONSTER TRUCKS! (Harper Children’s, 2016/ illustrated by Nate Wragg.) She lives with her husband and three daughters in Barrington, Rhode Island. Learn more about Anika’s books at her author website www.anikadenise.com, and blog http://thelittlecrookedcottage.blogspot.com.

 

 

 


Responses

  1. Betsy, Great post! Look forward to reading more about E.B. Louise and her adventures.

  2. Thanks, Robin! I love E. B. Louise, and I can’t wait to finish this current revision. This kid is a hoot!

  3. Betsy, it’s hard to believe it’s been nearly 3 years since your dad passed. And how wonderful that you’ve kept your vow, sticking with it and obviously writing up a storm! Your dad would be so proud 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

    • I know, it is hard to believe my dad’s been gone that long. He was, and still is, a huge inspiration in my life. I am writing as much as I can and loving every minute of it. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’m with you–I love picture books and the challenge of writing a complete story in so few words! I’m amazed you manage to write up to 4 hours a day with all the other things you do. You’ve inspired me to start getting up early again! Enjoyed reading about your writing process!

    • Yay to inspiring you, Rebecca! It took about a month to train myself-I was a late riser before then-but now I no longer need to set an alarm clock. I also read for an hour before I go to sleep, and as I am drifting off, I’m thinking about my WIP. Thanks for tagging me in this blog tour!

  5. […] Thank you so much to Betsy Devany for tagging me in her blog post, “My Writing Process.” I met Betsy at Jane Yolen’s Picture Book Boot Camp.  You can read her blog post here: https://betsydevany.wordpress.com/2014/05/23/my-writing-process/ […]

    • Thanks for your contribution to the blog tour, Debbie! I loved your post. Fingers crossed for the “right” agent to come your way.

  6. Your cup runneth over! And it shows, in a good way, in your work and in your personality. Thanks for letting us peek at your process!


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