Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Writing Process

Anna Belfrage tagged me for this blog hop about my writing process.

Anna is the author of the Graham Saga, a time travel about modern-day Alexandra who slips through time to 1658 Scotland, where she meets Matthew Graham. The story is now five novels long with more to come. Visit Anna on her blog here:

There are four questions for me to answer:

1. What are you working on?

I write mainly sweet Regency romances with comedy, and sometimes add paranormal, fantasy and science fiction. My current project is straight historical, the third book of my Love and the Library series, wherein four gentlemen meet their matches over a copy of Pride and Prejudice at the library.

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

Most Regencies are Cinderella stories: filthy rich, powerful, gorgeous noblemen, beautiful, if generally poor ladies who are nice and nothing more, and opulent houses, clothes and jewels. I call these “Georgians in disguise” because they hark back to the 18th century when noblemen ruled the roost. But the Regency was the start of our modern world, when what people did became more important than their parentage. I like the era because it’s far enough in the past for some fantasy, but not too far back to be unrecognizable.

Although my leads are all gentry, most of my heroes are younger sons who have to work for a living. My heroines are also usually poor: widows or ladies with small dowries who also must work. My heroes can be mathematicians, bankers, teachers and tutors. My heroines can be botanists, teachers, companions, ladies interested in finance, and mathematicians. While I can have filthy rich noblemen in my stories, they realize the world is changing, and they change along with it.

3. Why do you write what you do?

I like comedy, Regency, happy endings, astronomy and birds, mainly ducks. So, I write comedy Regency romances, and I often put birds and astronomy into the stories.

There can be birds all over the place, as in An Inheritance for the Birds. The “birds” in the title are mallard ducks, fourteen of them with names like Felizarda, Obadiah (the star) and Busick. A cranky goose is a main character in my Halloween story, Pumpkinnapper. And there are ducks in all of my Love and the Library books. If you want a really cranky goose, wait until you see the Christmas story I’m going to put out in the fall.

Astronomy and science fiction figure in my time travel, Lady of the Stars. The twenty-first century heroine is an astronomer, and the hero is a mathematician interested in astronomy. For more science fiction, I have A Gift from the Stars. Both hero and heroine are interested in astronomy, and the heroine finds a miraculous stone a man who landed in a spaceship left behind.

There’s fantasy in my Christmas story, Mistletoe Everywhere, and Gifts Gone Astray is my how-to-write-sex-without-writing-sex story. :)

4. How does your writing process work?

I’m a pantser, which means I don’t plot, per se. The more polite term is organic writer because the story grows as I go along. I start with an idea, and let it take me where it will. I have to change things and move sections around a lot, but, somehow, everything gets together in the end.

I write and I rewrite and then I rewrite some more. I like to rewrite. I find it amazing how much better a sentence can become when I rewrite it. And when I’m all done, I go through and vary the words I use most often because repeated words can wear on you after a while. So, for “face” I will alternate with “visage”, “aspect” and “countenance”. I doubt anyone notices, but that’s part of what I do. Then I go through the spell checker and send the story off for editing. I let the book rest for a week or two, and reread it and rewrite some more. Even a short break lets me see things I didn't notice before. Also, reading the story from the beginning brings up things that don’t fit or that I repeated. Then the spell checker again, a final read to catch the typos the spell checker missed, and then I format.

To give you some idea of how much I rewrite, I number the versions as I go along. The story starts with version 1. Whenever I make significant changes, writing new material or rewriting, I increment the number. As an example, A Gift from the Stars, 71,000 words, had 207 versions before I called it done.

On to the New

Lindsay Townsend
Lindsey writes across a large range of romance, from contemporaries to historicals to mysteries to thrillers. Her main focus now is medieval romance. Great minds must think alike, because her characters, like mine, are usually ordinary people. Her stories put them in extraordinary circumstances, which brings out their latent heroism. Her latest book is the medieval, Bride for a Champion, and she’s now working on the sequel to another medieval romance, Mistress Angel. I’ve read the new story in ARC, and if you liked Mistress Angel, you’ll love this one. See her post here:

Thank you all,

The picture is a page from The Canterbury Tales from Wikipedia

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