Writing Process Blog Hop Pt1 – (& I Haz Planz – wc 22/05)

Good morning lovers. ^_^
Hope you’ve had a good week. Here in the UK (for those of you across the water) we’ve had some stella hot weather. I was pig-sweating all weekend and for the start of the week too. Now it’s getting grey, and muggy and I’m expecting hoping for some awesome thunderstorms to clear the air. They’ve been promised since Monday, but nothing but showers so far.

Ho hum.

We’ve been tagged for a blog hop! It’s been a while since we’ve done one of these and I’d like to thank Tom Slatin for tagging us. If you recall, he’s responsible for the prompts Ileandra used during the 80 Post Challenge. Since there’s two of us on this blog, we’re both going to have a go at the questions on the hop (since the answers are very different!). I also thought it would be a nice break from all those reviews we’ve been catching up on. :p

So… let’s get on with it.
My writing process… all linked to current projects, processes and methods.

What Am I Working On?
Right now, Slippers & Chains. It’s back from betas and I’m hammering out the last few kinks picked up by my wonderful readers before banging it off to Breathless Press. They asked to see the completed manuscript, if you recall, and several conversations with The Funk Master convinced me to focus on that and leave the Meeting Each Other series on hold for the time being.
So that’s what I did. Nearly there now; I’m on the home stretch. ^_^

How Does My Work Differ From Others of Its Genre?
It’s funny. That’s the main part. One of the recurring comments from my betas was that they regularly laughed out loud, even though they didn’t expect to. And yet they were still aroused/titillated as one might expect from a piece of erotica. That makes me very happy indeed.
I talked about this during the April A2Z as well, but my work also involves nods to safe sexual practises and varied (I hope) couplings and body types. I also try to normalise BDSM and the people who enjoy it; particularly in Slippers & Chains.

Why Do I Write What I Write?
A lot of the erotica I’ve read to date has been ‘perfect’ body types and very samey couples. BDSM or anything remotely removed from what is largely considered ‘normal’ is played up and made to be something far bigger than it should be. I try to get past that, and highlight what I believe about sex as a whole; if you enjoy it, it’s safe, and mutually consented to, do what the hell you want. So long as it’s legal. 😉
I want to read about the people I know, the experiences I’ve had. I don’t want a porn-style rendition of what people think is great sex.
It’s also important to me that erotica is a reflection of what happens in real life. Especially since porn is so false and damaging to general expectations. People have flab, and stretch marks, and less than huge cocks, saggy boobs. Not everyone orgasms instantly (or simultaneously), or at all. You get hair stuck in your mouth. You get cramps. You get bored. You get distracted by thinking about the washing up or what time you have to get up in the morning to take the kids to school. Your sheets get icky. Condoms break.
All these real things that I just don’t read about deserve a chance, because I honestly feel that people will respond to it. And so far, people have. So I must be doing something right. 😉

How Does Your Writing Process Work?
With far more structure and organisation than Ileandra’s does, that’s for sure.
My stories usually start with a single idea, or in the case of Slippers & Chains, a question (posed by The Funk Master); what would a traditional sitcom look like, if the focal characters happened to be in a strong BDSM relationship?
Then I forget about it for ages. Not on purpose, but usually because Da Shared Brain has been commandeered by Ileandra for a project of hers. But while that happens, I’m still working through it, building on the idea, or the question.

Then I write an outline.
This is normally just a line or two marking out how I want chapters to fall, but also to see how far the idea takes me. From this I can tell if the idea has enough mileage for a novel, or if it works better as a novella or short story.

Then I start writing. I love the first draft process. Letting go. Allowing myself to be a little bit rubbish if favour of getting the words down. Watching the characters take on life and run off to do their own thing, despite the neat one-line notes of my outline.

After that I let the draft sit. For anything above 10k I leave it for at least a month. I have to; it’s the only way to clear my head of the whole thing, meaning I can start editing with a fresh head.

When the wait has passed, I print the story and carry it around with me everywhere as I read it. I use this read to mark out large structural or continuity issues with a purple pen. Only when I’ve gone through the document once do I start to actually change things; this time with a green pen. I swap paragraphs around. Add them in. Remove them. Rewrite entire sections with the fresh knowledge of where the story is going to go at the front of my mind. I think that may be my favourite part of the editing process.

Putting all those scribble notes back into a digital form is a pain in the arse, but I use that to smooth off more of the rough edges as I go.

Then *phew!* I send the fresh file to my Kindle and, after a week, read it again. This time with a notebook to hand. Black pen this time. I go through the text like a reader, picking out sentences that clunk or instances of ‘WTF?’ brought on by poor character development. When that’s done, if there’s no major issues brought up it that ‘reader-read’ then I send it to betas.

…wow. Looking back at that, it’s no wonder I take so long getting anything done. But I hope the end result is worth it. I put a lot of time, energy and love into my stories, from the short, 7k babies of the Meeting Each Other series, to the 35k monster that is Slippers & Chains.

Tag People!
Thanks for reading, guys. I think my trick will be the same as Tom’s and I’ll tag one person from the recent comments on my posts and, come Monday, Ileandra will tag another. So… Martin, it’s over to you! No pressure to take part if you don’t fancy it, but if you do just link back here to let me know. Ta.

Goal tiiiiiiiiiiiiiiime!
Not a bad week. I’ve been spreading things out somewhat, since I have prep to do for my LARP in July, but Slippers & Chains is ticking along nicely.

Last Week

Get to work on those Slippers & Chains edits. Get through at least five chapters. Now… theoretically, this should be easy. I’ve done my edits, this is just me going through comments from betas. Nobody flagged anything major so I can pretty much deal with the small things, then go. *fingers crossed*
I think I’m a third of the way through and only a few issues here and there that I’ve sorted out. Two more weeks and I should be done!

This Week

  1. Keep hammering at those Slippers & Chains edits. My target is another five chapters; going through one a day is realistic and gives me space to keep going if I have the time.

  2. Find the name of that LGBTQ Literary Festival in Notts and book on. It’s in June (I think) so I need to hurry up and remember what it’s called, so I can make sure I have train tickets.

There. Yes, that should do the trick. Catch you all next week!

Raven's Signature In Black

About Raven ShadowHawk

I take great pleasure in writing erotica and am merely one side of the proverbial coin. My other half, 'Ileandra Young' writes fantasy and the occasional comedy piece. My six-part series 'Meeting Each Other' is available in full, through Amazon and Smashwords while my debut novella 'Sugar Dust' is now re-released (!) available through Amazon via Little Vamp Press.
This entry was posted in Goals Posts *haha!*, Raven's Posts and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Writing Process Blog Hop Pt1 – (& I Haz Planz – wc 22/05)

  1. Thanks for accepting the challenge I tagged you in! I have Liked your Facebook page as well.

    Here’s mine: http://www.facebook.com/tomslatincom



    • Thanks! And happy to accept. It’s nice actually thinking about what I do in terms of explaining it to someone else. I don’t do that very often.

      Ileandra will do her post on Monday. ^_^


  2. Pingback: Writing Process Blog Hop Pt2 – (& Mah Goals – wc 02/06) | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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