I was super excited when Ingrid asked me to be a participant in her blog tour. Not too long ago I'd blogged about her book after catching sight of it on Goodreads. Intrigued only partly defines how I felt. Who doesn't love a time travel romance? Today she's here with a lovely blog post about her writing process and a giveaway. So sit back, relax, and be prepared to fall in love.
Stephen King said, “When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees. When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.” (Yes, I am quoting the supreme On Writing.)
Of course, when you do step back you might realize that you need to take an axe to half of the forest and then replant some saplings. You might even need to kill your darlings. The writing process is naught if not long and repetitive (but, oh, so exhilarating!).
Below I share my process for writing a story from go to whoa (with whoa being a book deal).
I will not lift a pen (or open my laptop) to start a new story without a spark of inspiration (if it is an existing story I will push ahead with or without inspiration). Inspiration can come from anywhere at anytime. I have tried to keep an ideas journal, but end up scribbling notes on scraps of paper or typing them into the notes app on my iPhone. I will usually dwell on an idea for at least a couple of days or weeks so that I can work through the narrative in my mind, which brings me to…
I am a mix of a pantser (write by the seat of your pants) and a planner. I like to at least know where the story is headed so that I can guide my characters down that path. Of course, by the time we get to the end of the path I have taken them around the block a few times and on a couple of wrong turns.
I try to bang out a first draft as fast as my fingers will fly, but nearly always get bogged down in editing before I am finished. This is an area I am trying to be stricter with myself on – not getting too caught up with editing before I get the story onto paper (or screen).
I research as I write, but I generally do the most research between the first and second drafts. This means I can write the first draft without getting too bogged down in the details. I tend to undertake my research through a combination of the internet, non-fiction books and documentaries.
This is when I rewrite the first draft based on my research. This can result in significant changes, including adding or deleting scenes or even changing the ending. I also tend to undertake some of the next stage at this point… editing.
This is both my most and least favorite part of the process! I spend a lot of time on this step, adding layers to the story like an artist layering paint on a canvas. This is usually the time when I get a bright spark and decide to take the story in another direction, requiring me to go back to Step 3.
7. Beta Reader
At this stage I get a friend or friends whose opinions I trust to read the manuscript. I find it is important to have a combination of cheerleaders and critics. If you end up with too many critics then you will sit on the story for another year, convinced it is destined for the recycle bin. But if you only have cheerleaders then you will never know why it is rejected over and over again by agents or publishers. Feedback from beta readers can mean going back to Steps 3 to 6 again (these are what I call the Rinse and Repeat Steps!).
I am no good at writing synopses (which I understand is a common problem with authors) and prefer to write blurbs or pitches instead (unfortunately this is not always an option). Usually, a synopsis will clarify a few things about the story for me and lead me to go back to Steps 3 to 6 (Rinse and Repeat). I think the trick with writing synopses is to keep them short (no more than two pages). This is not really an issue for me, as I tend to write very tightly.
9. Submission to Agent
This is the stage where I would start submitting to agents if I was unagented. But, now, it is the stage where I send the manuscript to my agent for her feedback (Rinse and Repeat). You might think I would be sick of the sight of the manuscript at this stage, but this is actually one of the most exciting (and nerve wracking) stages, because it is all about getting it ready for the next step…
10. Submission to Publisher
This is where my agent takes the reins and I move onto my next manuscript (which means going back to Step 1!). Of course, if the book is sold then I know I will be spending more time Rinsing and Repeating!
When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
Author: Ingrid Jonach
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: 3 September 2013 in the US and Canada, and 5 September 2013 in the UK, as well as worldwide as ebook and audio.
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.
When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it’s like fireworks — for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.
But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind — memories of the two of them, together and in love.
When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger — and much more terrifying and beautiful — than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.
An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein’s theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There will be two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
- a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
- a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
- a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark.
The competition will run until 21 October 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com