A small glimpse into my writing process.

Thanks to Russell Smith for the invite, and huge thanks to IC Publishing for making this tour happen.

I’ve been invited to participate in the IC Publishing tour where authors are invited to share a bit of their writing process.
1. Share how you start your writing project(s). For example, where do you find inspiration? Do you outline? Do you jump right into the writing? Do you do all of your research first?
Writing for me often comes in the form of being figuratively hit across the face with an idea. For example, the idea for the young adult urban fantasy series i’m currently developing came to me between stepping from the dining room into the kitchen. I spent the next couple of weeks documenting down every creative fire that caught from that one spark. Then, much to Stephan King’s chagrin, I outline the hell out of the thing.
Once I have the idea I do my research to make sure my characters are not going to say or do anything too ridiculous. Then I do some more research so I write like someone that knows what they’re talking about.
2. How do you continue your writing project? i.e. How do you find motivation to write on the non-creative days? Do you keep to a schedule? How do you find the time to write?
I’m not at a place in my life right now when I can have time for non-creative days. Writing time is at a premium, so when I have it, I use it, no matter what. I find time to write when the kiddos are in bed, but i’ve also recently changed jobs, just so I can have an hour lunch in which to write. That hour a day has improved my life in so many different ways. It’s been very therapeutic.
And on those days when I simply cannot write, I research character development by watching anime.
3. How do you finish your project? i.e. When do you know the project is complete? Do you have a hard time letting go? Do you tend to start a new project before you finish the last one?
I do have a hard time letting go, what author doesn’t? I know the project is finished because I typically have a very clear idea of where the story will end, even if I don’t know exactly how that ending will play out. I let my characters relate their journey to that end, and when they are there and the final tears have been shed, then I know it’s done. But I could polish my books forever. Once the story is told I just close my eyes, grit my teeth, and let my editor have at it.
4. Include one challenge or additional tip that our collective communities could help with or benefit from.
I don’t have time to write, despite having a very supporting wife. I spent a lot of my earlier writing days waiting for the right ambiance, or the right time, but I found that those moments came less and less as I grew older. It’s always great fun to write when it’s rainy outside and I have my chocolate milk in hand–but those times are rare. I decided one day that the worlds of my stories really are just inside my head. So if I can’t have the right ambiance in the room around me, I can always make the right ambiance in my mind, that is, after all, what we’re trying to do for our readers.
And noise canceling headphones. Invest in some of those.

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