To me writing what you know is key to completing the novel.
Yet everyone knows just because you completed a novel does not mean it will be great.
To write a truly phenomenal novel, you should care deeply about what you are writing.
Jocelyn Adams, author of The Glass Man and Crossing Hathaway, talks about being a paranormal and contemporary romance author, genres she chose for love instead of money.
The Glass Man, a paranormal romance, was released in October of last year. Crossing Hathaway, a contemporary romance, will be released August 6, 2012.
She talks about both of these novels below, while also providing a unique, but welcomed perspective to editing and outlining.
This author does not outline, she watches the ideas of her novel unfold like movies in her head.
For all you non-outliners out there, you have the chance to make a new friend.
After you check out The Glass Man and Crossing Hathaway, connect with the author through social media.
Straight From The Author’s Mouth
Thanks so much for having me today! Hmm, yes, The Glass Man. My very first published novel, my baby. It came from a dream of a man with ice blue eyes. The next day, in my twisted little mind, my villain was born, and the rest of the story exploded around him. This is a trilogy opener about a woman, Lila Gray, who is trying to survive in a dystopian world after The Glass Man murdered her family. They sacrificed their lives to run interference when he first came for Lila at the age of thirteen. She doesn’t know what she is or why he’s hunting her, so the reader learns about Lila and her situation as she, herself, does.
Crossing Hathaway isn’t my typical genre of book. I wrote it on a lark a few years ago just to see if I could write contemporary romance, and I’m just now contemplating submitting it to publishers under my other persona, who writes mainly erotica, to keep it separate from my UF & PNR works. Crossing Hathaway is steeped with humor, and is about an I.T. girl, Evangeline Ross, who’s sworn off men. She comes up against the big cheese of her company, Ben Hathaway, who is reclusive, charming and gorgeous, and doesn’t usually allow women into his office. Let the sparks of sexual tension fly!
Romance, specifically paranormal romance, and urban fantasy are what I love to read, so naturally it’s what I write best. I’ve tried writing other genres, but my lack of interest bled through into the writing and it just didn’t work. I have three full novels in my laptop that nobody will ever read. Learning tools is what they were, a rite of passage of the author I was becoming.
2. Can you describe your writing process? How long does it take you to finish a novel?
My writing process is pretty simple, actually. I don’t outline anything. Ever. Well, except in the case of the Muskoka Novel Marathon, in which I participated in last year (write a novel in 3 days – satisfying but totally exhausting).
Normally an idea pops into my head and I let it stew there for a while. At night, when the house is quiet just before I go to sleep, my mind starts chewing over scene possibilities and general story arc, like movies in my head. The next day I write the scene(s). The following night I contemplate the next step in the path along the story, and so the pattern continues. I let it drive me, take me wherever it wants to go even if it doesn’t make sense to me at first. In the end, it always comes back together somehow.
The first draft is always a bare skeleton with very little description and detail. During the editing process, I flesh it out with color and texture, add quirks to my characters, furniture to rooms and such. I know most authors cut tons during editing, but I usually add 5-10,000 words during the process.
I finished the first draft of The Glass Man in just under six weeks, and Crossing Hathaway wasn’t much longer. The first draft of book one of my new Ironhill Jinn series, Stone Chameleon, I wrote in seventeen days. Sometimes the story just comes bursting out so fast I can hardly get my fingers moving quickly enough to capture it all. It’s awesome.
3. Any editing tips?
I usually do several passes of editing. The first pass, the rough pass, is where I tidy up story holes, stuff that doesn’t work for one reason or another, details that don’t mesh, etc.
The second pass is where I look at sentence structure to make sure it’s varied enough, while adding in description and personality to everything along the way.
The third pass is for punctuation, spelling and flow from sentence to sentence, scene to scene, and chapter to chapter, as well as ensuring I have character reactions everywhere they’re needed. I tend to follow the scene and sequel method of writing scenes as much as possible. (goal, crisis, disaster, emotion, thought, decision, action). Not all elements are in every scene, but the ones that are I try to make sure appear in the proper order.
The final pass I read on my Kindle, looking for the last few straggling errors. I was shocked at what a great tool that is, at what I found on the Kindle that I didn’t see while reading on my computer.
Then the story goes to my beta readers (who are made of awesome, by the way!). Once I receive their feedback, I make the story changes and start the editing process over again.
4. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be?
Hmm, I think I’d have to say don’t be seduced into writing what’s currently hot for the market. If you aren’t enjoying the story you’re writing, nobody else will, either. You need to feel it in your bones, in your heart and soul. Let your enthusiasm spill into the words, and it won’t matter what genre it is, others will enjoy reading it, and word will spread. If you’re in it for the money, chances are you’re not going to go very far in the industry. You need to be writing because you love it. If you end up getting paid, great, it’s gravy on the top.
Perseverance is the key. You’ll get rejected. A lot. It’s the nature of the beast. Let it thicken your skin. Sub out some short stories to begin building a resume and your confidence. Start a blog and develop an author “brand” that suits you and the genre you write. These are all building blocks that can lead up to publishing a novel.
Good luck to you all! Please feel free to ask me anything, just stop by my author blog for my contact details. I’ve also started a book review & author feature site, http://www.booksandeatsbistro.wordpress.com for anyone who would like their book reviewed (PNR or UF only) or to have a stop for their book release blog tours.