Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy Saint Patrick's Day: My Writing Process Blog Chain

Cead Mile Failte! (That means "A Hundred Thousand Welcomes!" in Gaelic.)

I’m honored on this Saint Patrick’s Day that Margo Dill has invited me to be part of a blog chain to discuss my writing process.

Margo is a full-time mom and writer, as well as a creative writing teacher and an editor. Her latest YA book, “Caught Between Two Curses,”* will be published tomorrow.

Here are my answers to Margo’s questions:

1. What am I working on?

I always seem to have several projects going on at once, which is probably why it takes so long to complete anything. Right now—well after I finish working on income taxes—my focus is on completing a thriller I started in November during National Novel Writing Month. I finished the challenge with just over 52,000 words of a manuscript, titled "Framed in Black," which will end up being around 80,000 words. I put it aside over the holidays, but I didn’t stop thinking and planning. While my manuscript simmered I decided to make some major changes and have begun rewrites. So far, I’ve rewritten the first two chapters. 

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

It’s a thriller with spiritual overtones. The main character is female; a twenty-five-year-old English teacher living in the Midwest. The setting is in Missouri and in the Bavarian State of Germany.

3. Why do I write what I do?

In the past my focus was on short stories and personal essays. I’ve always wanted to complete a novel, so last year I decided to give it a try.

4. How does your writing process work?

I’m a write-when-I-can type of writer. The mornings work best for me. I scratch down ideas in notebooks. My first drafts are messy hand-written affairs. For my novel I scratched out a rough outline. The act of writing things down before typing them up helps me clear my thoughts so when I type the basics have already taken shape.

5. The last step in this process is to invite two other authors to participate in the blog chain.

I hope that my writing friends and blogging buddies, Mary Horner and Sioux Roslawski, who both are writers and teachers, will continue this blog chain.

Mary Horner is a teacher and writer who blogs at WritRTeachR about all things editorial, including writing, publishing, authors and books, and author of "Strengthen your Nonfiction Writing."

Sioux blogs on Sioux’s Page about writing, dogs, grown-up children, menopause, the joy of a marvelous book, classroom teaching in general, and specifically, the teaching of writing.

Thanks, Margo, for inviting me to participate in the blog chain. 

And "Adh mAr ort!" May you have the luck of the Irish with your new book, "Caught Between Two Curses."* 

* In my original post I had the wrong first word of Margo's book title.


  1. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you! And good luck with the novel - it sounds intriguing!

  2. I love the way you "eastern" gals support one another. How wonderful the support must feel!!! Glad you are tackling a book. This winter I wrote 9,000 words in January thinking of a book direction. Life stopped me in late January, but I have not given up the hopes to return to my project! Good luck to both you and Margo on your projects!!!

    1. Thank you so much, Bookie! :) And good luck with yours, too--9,000 words is a great start and much better than not starting at all.

  3. Good luck with your project, AND your taxes!

    I hear you on the morning writing, and jotting ideas in notebooks. Those two methods work well for me. Not that I've produced anything significant, of course...If I don't get the thoughts down when they hit me, they're lost.

  4. Thanks, Donna! :) Good luck with your novel, and I'm excited that Sioux and Mary are participating. I'll have to check out what they write next week. :) Cheers!

  5. It's always interesting to hear the process a successful writer uses. Thanks, Donna, and congrats to Margo on her newest book!

    Critter Alley

  6. Hi Madeline,
    Thanks for your comments and for stopping by.

    Hi Claudia,
    When your book comes out let me know, I'll be glad to mention it here.

    Hi Val,
    You are so right about forgetting ideas if they're not written down. I'm the same!

    Hi Pat,
    You are so welcome. Thanks for being a faithful follower of my blog.

    Hi Margo,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving comments. Hope your book sells a million copies!

  7. I'll look forward to reading that thriller, Donna!

  8. Hi Lisa,
    Thanks! I need to get busy and finish it!

  9. Your novel sound interesting. I too write when I can and do better in the morning. Congrats to you for your latest achievement ;) and also to Margo on hers.

  10. Inspiring! Can't wait to read it, Donna, and hope you had a wonderful St. Patrick's Day!

  11. You're a great writer. I'm proud of you writing a novel! Good luck!

  12. Hi Linda,
    Thanks. You are very kind.

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks. St. Pat's Day was fine--until I twisted my knee and had to hobble around with a cane.

    Hi Janet,
    Thanks for your kind words.

  13. Thanks for visiting my blog. I've enjoyed your blog very much and I'm proud of your writing accomplishments. So good to get acquainted with you.

  14. Yes, I know I'm way late but I'm very impressed with that word count! And I can't wait to read the finished book!

  15. Hi Brenda,
    Thanks! It's good to get acquainted with you too!

    Hi Cathy,
    I'm plugging away on it, but I'm slow.


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...