Monday, May 12, 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour

I am thrilled to be a part of the Writing Process Blog Tour, a dynamic event where I share a bit about my writing process then tag three fellow writers to do the same.

Special thanks to the amazingly talented Lissa Bryan who tagged me!

A Little about Lissa:

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete's foot ... though only in her head. Real life isn't so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

She is the author of three novels. Ghostwriter is available through The Writer's Coffee ShopAmazoniTunes, and KoboThe End of All Things is available through TWCS,Amazon, and iTunesUnder These Restless Skies is available through AmazoniTunesBarnes & Noble, and directly from the publisher
She also has a short story in the Romantic Interludes anthology, available from TWCSAmazon and iTunes, or can be purchased separately from Amazon. A short story collection featuring the characters from The End of All Things is also available from Amazon.

And Now, My Answers:

What am I working on?

Having published "Diary of a Naive Mom" in The Motherhood Diaries 2I’m back to rewriting my first novel and editing a short story for June 1st submission to an online quarterly. I also have three incomplete novels in which I dibble and dabble when the main novel doesn't want to cooperate.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Though I appreciate the uniqueness of African-American life, I believe our stories have a unifying universality, emotions and experiences to which anyone can relate. So my contemporary African-American stories showcase those commonalities in a witty, organic way. They feature people you might see every day, people who could be you.

Why do I write what I do?

My “normal” always sits just-left-of-center, my life defined by seemingly odd decisions which make total sense to me. I find everyday life compelling and complex, so my stories feature women in ordinary situations discovering extraordinary truths about themselves.

How does my writing process work?

For each story, I first create a brainstorm document for capturing ideas—plot points, main characters, key scenes, etc. Once I have a working title, I open a new document and start writing. But rewriting my first novel has shown me the power of the outline, so I will add that to the rotation going forward. I can only write sequentially, so any future chapters idle in the brainstorm document until previous chapters are complete. This recovering overachieving perfectionist struggles with edit-free draft writing, but she does her best. Most of the time.

But the most critical aspect of my writing process is difficult to define. It’s a feeling, a sense of inertia and flow. Each story has an innate rhythm, and when I write, I seek to unearth that rhythm. So if a scene stalls or otherwise doesn't work, I rewind to the last point of fluidity in the story and try to tap into the rhythm again. Sometimes it takes days to uncover, but the wait is always worth it.

(I’m also a singer/songwriter, so chalk up the latter explanation to the musical part of my brain!)


Next time on the Writing Process Blog Tour:

Marcena Hooks

Marcena Hooks is a stay-at-home mom who is married to a pastor. Originally from Oklahoma City, she and her family now reside in the Los Angeles, California area. They are the proud parents of two small children named Brianna (age 7) and Terrynce (age 5). She recently published "Diary of a Mom Who Laughs A Lot" in The Motherhood Diaries 2She will share her answers here next Monday, so don't miss it! 

Connect with Marcena: Facebook 


NiaShanta McClellan-Ross

NiaShanta is a native Oklahoman, born and raised in Tulsa. After receiving her BA in English and MS in education from Southern University and Oklahoma State University respectively, NiaShanta moved to Dallas, TX to pursue one of her greatest passions: teaching. She currently teaches American Literature in a suburb outside of Dallas, TX. Her essay, "Diary of a Stepmother," appears in The Motherhood Diaries 2, the new release from Brown Girls Publishing. Her guest post and answers will appear next Tuesday, so come back and join us!

Connect with NiaShanta: Facebook | Twitter


Chinyere Osuji

Dr. Chinyere Osuji is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Rutgers University-Camden in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminal Justice. Her research interests lie in the fields of race and ethnicity, immigration, sociology of the family, and inequality. Prior to coming to Rutgers, she was the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Africana Studies Postdoctoral Fellow from 2011-2013. She is the recipient of fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the Fulbright Commission. 

Currently, she is writing a book comparing racial boundaries in Brazil and the U.S. through the experiences of interracial couples in both countries. Her work has been published in Ethnic and Racial Studies and DuBois Review: Social Science Research on Race. In addition, she has articles forthcoming in Latino Studies and Qualitative Sociology.

Connect with Chinyere: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn 


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