So happy to be back on Delilah’s blog. Today, I wanted to talk a little bit about my writing process. It’s what I have started following ever since writing Matched (book 2 of my Navy SEALs of Little Creek series). Hopefully, you might fight something useful or interesting that you may want to try with your own writing. (Or, for you readers out there, this gives you a view into how this author approaches her craft.) At the very end, there is even a bonus excerpt from Matched.
My writing process usually begins with me developing my premise. I try to figure out what will make it unique, what do I believe about some of the topics that occur in the story, and the biggest part of the chart—the one that is up at the top—is my why. Why is this book important to me, and why do I want to write this particular story?
From there, I move on to developing my characters, specifically focusing on their backstories, goals, motivations, and conflicts. Then comes the fun part…character profiles. I love looking at their quirks and how they dress and what they look like. Enter Pinterest!! I’ll admit some days I feel like going shopping after spending time “researching” the clothes my characters might wear.
Next comes working out my beats followed by creating my chapter-by-chapter outline. And because I am a super plotter, I have ended up with outlines that have been fifteen to twenty pages long. Luckily, this has come in handy once I learned how to fast draft. I find the hardest part of the process just getting that first draft out.
Editing comes next. Believe it or not, I actually love this step. There’s nothing like working on a story and making it better. Some of my favorite parts of editing come from ideas that are created with my critique partners. After a couple of rounds of editing I’ll send my book off to beta readers. This is a great time for me to disconnect from the story. Usually during this time, I try to take some classes and listen to podcasts on craft. I usually wait until I get feedback from all my beta readers before diving in. This way I can decipher issues that everyone had versus comments that might be more subjective. And even if they are subjective, they might spark an idea or a different path or even a new chapter to include.
Truthfully, I don’t think the need to edit ever stops. Even after a book is published, I’ve found areas I want to fix or things I should’ve included. But there comes a time when we must send our book into the world and apply things we wished we could fix to the next manuscript.
Everyone’s writing style and process is different. There is no right or wrong way, no way that makes it any easier. My best piece of advice would be to do what works for you but take time to understand your why. It will keep you going when you hit a point where you are struggling or are even contemplating giving up.
An excerpt from Matched…
To my credit—for which, I should get big kudos—I don’t point out that history and her birth prove her mother knows her way around a boner. Instead, I walk closer and reach around her for an apple sitting on the counter in a powder-blue fruit bowl that matches the wall color, the coffee maker and a stand mixer I can’t wait to show her I know how to use. Chicks love guys who can cook. It’s helped me score on more than one occasion. But while I’m ready to score with my new wife whenever she says the word, a part of me is just as eager to prove to her I’m good for more than terrible pick-up lines.
She gives a little gasp as my fingers brush against hers, and I shiver. Yeah, no. Getting to know my wife in the biblical sense definitely edges out proving my usefulness on the scale of things I’d like to accomplish today.
I could cover up. Could even take a piss and get rid of the problem, but this is more fun than I’ve had in a couple of days. More like months. And I’m not itching to hurry it away. “So, is this breakfast you’ve baked for me?”
Her eyes go dark, what could be classified as deadly, and she smiles slow, devious, a smirk of proportions so epic, I’ve never seen another like it. “Cold day in hell, mi esposo. And before you even think to open that stupid mouth of yours once more, for the indefinite future, your situations are your problem.” She wax-on/wax-offs her hands in front of her. “This is off-limits until further notice.”
About the Author
Paris Wynters is a multi-racial author who writes steamy and sweet love East Coast stories that celebrate our diverse world. She is the author of Hearts Unleashed, The Navy SEALs of Little Creek series, Love On The Winter Steppes, and Called into Action. When she’s not dreaming up stories, she can be found assisting with disasters and helping to find missing people as a Search and Rescue K-9 handler. Paris resides on Long Island in New York along with her family and is also a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.