Dawn Colclasure's Blog

Author and poet Dawn Colclasure

Friday, July 25, 2014

My Writing Process

 Last week my friend, ML John, (http://mljohn.wordpress.com/2014/07/20/writing-process-blog-tour/) invited me to participate in the world-famous Writing Process Blog Tour. She asked me to answer a series of questions about my process and to share them on my blog. This post isn't exactly similar to all the other "My Writing Process" blog posts because I was supposed to feature 3 other authors to participate. But everybody I asked said no. However, since I took the time to answer these questions, I will post them. 

1. What am I working on?

I am working on many books at one time. I am currently writing the next book in my middle grade paranormal series, The GHOST Group, as well as writing a spin-off book of my book, 365 Tips for Writers. This one will be for authors. I am also writing two poetry books which will be released next year, as well as a health book.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I bring a bit of myself to every book I am writing. One book I wrote, Parenting Pauses: Life as a Deaf Parent, obviously had a lot about my personal life in it, but for every book, I come to it with some aspect of my life that relates to it in some way. My novel, Shadow of Samhain, was based on a dream experience I had, and I also have family who have battled breast cancer, thus why I did an ebook on breast cancer.

Also, I always try to bring something original to my books. I try to get information, stories and quotes that aren’t out there on the Internet. I strive to get the latest and most important information on a subject I write about so that this book will be able to hold its own against the many others it will compete against. An author must really make his/her book stand out.

Basically, it is important to find a need and fill it with your book. I always ask, what can my book bring to the table that all the other books don’t have?

3. Why do I write what I do?

Why do I write the books I write? Because I am a storyteller. A truthseeker. Someone who is curious about so many things in this world and wants to explore it in a book.

Also, if I see a story or a book, but there is not a book out there on this subject or with this story, then I’ll jump on that and write it.

On the other hand, some of my personal experiences will inspire a book. I start asking questions and if I don’t get those answers from a book, I’ll write the book myself to get those answers.

Sometimes my dreams inspire a book idea, but usually a short story idea. Several of my short stories were inspired by my dreams, but my dreams have also inspired book ideas. A children’s book I have coming out in the near future was inspired by a dream.

And sometimes someone inspires me to write a book. Someone in my family inspired me to write the health book.

Additionally, sometimes I am approached by a writer and asked to collaborate on a book with them. If the subject grabs me, I’ll say “yes.”

4. How does my writing process work?

My writing process differs with the type of book I am working on.

I don’t start writing a novel right away. I allow the story to “grow” and build up first. I tinker with it in that workshop in my mind. I spend some time getting to know the characters, understanding their world and witnessing what their lives are like. I really need to get comfortable with my characters before I can write their stories. I need to literally be in their skin, in their thoughts, in their dreams and actions. I have to know my characters and get a better idea of the story before I write that first draft. When I feel I am ready, that’s when I’ll start writing the story. After that first draft, I let the manuscript sit for several months while I work on other things, then when the time is right, I will revise it, get feedback on it, revise it some more, then send it out.

For nonfiction, I think about my idea first and jot down a bunch of notes. I’ll do a bit of research on the subject and check to see if there’s already a book out there on this subject. If there is, I ask myself if I can make mine different. If there isn’t, I do more research to see if this could actually be a book. Once I decide that an idea could actually be a book, I go further with my notes and create a basic outline. Something to give me an idea of where I want to go with this book. Next, I spend a year doing research, gathering information and interviewing people. After that, I’ll write a first draft. Then I do more research to see if I can add anything new. From there, I work on finalizing the manuscript and get it ready for submission. I am very fortunate to have publishers who I can send a manuscript to without worrying about finding a publisher or drafting a proposal while I’m busy writing my next book.

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