Sunday, April 6, 2014


Hi there! Happy Sunday! My lovely agency sister, Sarah Glen Marsh, wrote about her writing process and tagged me in the blog hop to share mine. :)

1. What are you working on? 

I'm currently revising a MG novel about a twelve-year-old mummy (the daughter of a pharaoh) roaming New York City with her servant-turned best friend. I'm also doing a last read-through of my YA light sci-fi romance before sending it off to my agent. The YA manuscript includes parallel universes and immortal humans acting as the consciences of moral humans. Oh, and there's lots of kissing. :) And then there's what's going on in my head...The plotting of a dark YA contemporary romance that sheds light on a fairly private American sub-culture.

2. How does your work differ from others in your genre?

When I'm building characters, I tend to flip gender and societal stereotypes on their heads. For instance, in my YA horror, DEADLY SPLENDOR, the female protagonist is the predator/monster, not the guy. Oh! And one more, I almost forgot. My stories are deeply connected to nature. In DEADLY SPLENDOR, the plants play a big role in healing, punishing, and surviving. In my YA sci-fi, SHATTERED CHOICES, the immortal's technology, clothing, and buildings are all nature based.    

3. Why do you write what you write?

Because it's what's in me. My very first book was nowhere near the genre I write now. And while I loved the process of creating, I realized the story wasn't truly what was in me. I believe in mystical things, have a deep regard for nature, and love genuine people, flaws and all. So that's what I write about.

4. How does your writing process work?

This may sound weird, but I don't feel I have a writing process. Because although I've written four complete manuscripts, with each one I had a slightly different process. With my first one I pants'd it in nine months, edited it, and queried it way too early. With my second I pants'd it in two months, revised it, had it critiqued, queried it too soon, had it critiqued some more, rewrote it, queried it some more...You get the picture. With my third manuscript I plotted the whole thing beforehand. With my fourth I did a mishmash of plot and pants. I think it really depends on the story.

But I do have writing guidelines. Here's the guidelines I've set for myself.

1) Write the rough draft. NO EDITING!
2) Read through the completed rough draft and edit as I go.
3) Read through edited rough draft, add world-building and character layers, if need be.
4) Send manuscript to a CP or two.
5) Using CP's notes, read through manuscript, revising as I go.
6) Load manuscript onto Kindle and read it as I would any other book, with laptop nearby for changes.
7) Send manuscript to another CP or two.
8) By this time it's tiny things the CP's point out, usually personal preference stuff. I fix a couple things based on their suggestions that I agree with.
9) Send manuscript to my agent. :)

Please know, this is SOOO not the end of the process. Christa is a hands-on type of agent so once she reads my stuff, she sends great feedback and ideas to make my story sparkle.

So that about wraps it up. Interested to know what others would say about their writing process? I've tagged these writers:

Jennifer L. Alvarez is the author of the Guardian Herd Series. Book one, STARFIRE, will be out 9/23/14 from HarperCollins Kids. You can find her on Twitter here. Not only is Jennifer a great writer, she's also a wonderfully supportive friend. You can find her latest blog posts here.

Amber A. Barden is the author of FOR HER PROTECTION, coming soon from Ellora's Cave. You can find her on Twitter here. Amber is a writer friend I've known since...I'm not sure how long. But it's been awhile. We traded queries way back when. And believe me, her stories pack a sexy punch. You can find her latest blog post here.

Rayna Stiner is my best friend and has been my critique partner from the moment I finished my first manuscript. She's incredibly supportive and genuine. Her lovely prose and fantastical plots make her a gifted writer. You can find her on Twitter here. And her latest blog post you'll find here.


  1. Can't wait to read your MG, Rachel! And you really have me wondering what the subculture in that dark YA contemp might be... :)

    Love that you pointed out how sending an MS off to our awesome agent isn't anywhere near the end of the process--SO TRUE!

    Write on, lady. :)

    1. Oh I'll be calling on you when it's time for another beta read. ;)

  2. very nice post, my friend! I <3 numbered lists. :)

  3. Great post! I <3 numbered lists. :)

  4. Your current MG and YA projects all sound so intriguing! I can't help but love how varied each of them are, too. It really shows how much range you have as a storyteller... :)

    1. Thank you very much. That's a huge compliment. :)