Writing Process Blog Hop

I was invited to participate in this blog hop about writing processes by Rebecca P. Minor, author of The Windrider SagaCurse Bearerand other stories.  You can find her website and her own blog hop post here!

So here are the blog hop’s four interview questions:

1.  What am I working on?

At present (and at a snail’s pace due to the nature of mothering three littles!) I am working on the latest rewrite for the first book of my science-fiction story, The Kraesinia Trilogy.  I think this is the fifth major rewrite for this installment?…but I’ve lost track.  This trilogy has been in the works for almost a decade now, probably since the summer of 2005, so it’s been awhile!

The first book begins the story of Kevin and Catherine, a modern-day brother and sister whose parents mysteriously vanished when they were children.  When they discover that their aunt and guardian is planning to sell their old house right before Kevin comes of age to inherit it, they sneak back to their childhood home, searching for a reason to convince her not to sell.  Instead, they stumble upon their parents’ well-kept secret, a teleporting device hidden in the closet.  They accidentally transport themselves to the war-torn world of Kraesinia, where alien invaders are slowly conquering the whole planet, trying to steal its teleporting technology so they can go for a bigger prize – Earth.  The only thing standing in their way is the Kraesinion army and its secret human auxiliary, the Trusted, a dedicated group of soldiers with dangerous double lives.  Each of them lives a casual, “normal” existence on Earth, but teleports to Kraesinia whenever battle calls.  They are always in need of new recruits.  Kevin qualifies.  But those who are unfit for military service will have their memories wiped – and Catherine is not soldier material.

I would go on, but…spoilers! 😉

A scale drawing of a Heth, the furry creatures Kraesinions and humans ride into battle.

A scale drawing of a Heth, the furry creatures Kraesinions and humans ride into battle.

I was only fourteen when I started writing it and I have needed to grow in my skills a lot since then, but I am continually drawn back to it and learning more about the characters and their story.  I would love to share it with the world someday, Lord willing!

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

That depends on what genre we try to pin it to…it’s not quite like anything I’ve read.  It is best classified as “portal fantasy”, which is a sub-genre with a lot of variety within it.  The most well-known example of the type is The Chronicles of Narnia, but it’s difficult to find other concrete examples like that one, despite claims by some literary agents and editors that it’s an “overdone” story type.

Unlike most portal fantasies TKT does not take place entirely within the second world; instead, the Trusted teleport back and forth between Earth and Kraesinia regularly throughout the narrative.  Also, TKT is science-fiction, not fantasy, except in the sense that Star Wars or Doctor Who are actually fantasy…not much actual science going on!

3.  Why do I write what I do?

This breaks down to two questions for me…

3A. Why do I write speculative fiction?  I write speculative fiction because…it’s where I live!  I have always been more drawn to fantastical stories than “real life” ones, and that’s where my imagination goes.  I guess that’s how God wired me.  I love how speculative stories remind me that real life is much stranger than any fiction.  We live in a world where God Himself became a man and died for sinners, and rose again, and will someday return in the clouds to remake our world into a glorious new creation – now that’s fantastical!  I love that God gave us imaginations capable of inventing things that don’t even exist, and that we can explore His truth through imaginary worlds as well as His real world.

3B. Why am I still writing TKT even after all these years?  Well, for one thing, the characters won’t leave me alone.  They’re like old friends!  I also find the warfare aspect a compelling analogy for the Christian life.  There is a war on, though not everyone around us knows it, and every day we have new battles to fight that do affect us and change us, no matter how secret they might be.  I don’t get “allegorical” within the story itself, but I do enjoy exploring the truth that God is REAL, and true, and strong, and He is with us and He matters no matter where we go – even if we crossed into another world entirely.  I like wrestling with that reality through my characters, because many of them are believers and fighting the good fight of faith even as they fight physical battles.

4.  How does my writing process work?

When an idea strikes me, I sit and write freely, riding out the story or scene as far as it takes me, until I get stuck.  Then I let it simmer at the back of my mind.  (There’s always a pre-existing project, so new ideas are intruders and I try not to jump ship to them immediately.)  If the idea continues nagging, I brainstorm a basic hook, blurb, and plot for it so I have an idea of where I’m going before I really get writing.  For a revision of an existing book, I often write a detailed point-by-point outline so I have a clear idea of how I’m changing it from the previous draft.

I edit while I write, and re-read earlier portions frequently to hunt for errors and keep a firm grasp on the story.  If I get a massive revision idea that can’t be fixed by tweaking the existing content, I typically ditch the current draft and start over.

Once I finally complete a draft, I go through the whole thing and edit on a much bigger scale, deleting unnecessary scenes and tightening and correcting the prose.  I take a breather…play briefly with a few random side-projects…and then circle back and start over again.  😀

Passing It Onward

I’m passing the blog hop on to my writer friend Jennette, author of Secrets Kept and three short stories, The Tales of Nalu.

Writing as J. L. Mbewe, Jennette is an author, artist, mother, wife, but not always in that order. Here, between reality and dreams, you will find her busily creating worlds inhabited by all sorts of fantasy creatures and characters, all questing about and discovering true love amid lots of peril.

Jennette is planning to post her writing process post on Friday.  Watch for it on her blog here!

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7 Comments

  1. Love the this! The description of the book at the beginning is great!

    Reply
  2. Fun to read! Thanks for the peek inside, Orrie!

    Reply
  3. netraptor001

     /  March 27, 2014

    I’m glad you participated! I love getting a peek into how you write.

    Reply
  1. My Writing Process (Blog Hop) - Nadine Brandes

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