I was tagged by Emma Lindhagen whose own post for this blog hop is on her website (http://www.emmalindhagen.com). She was kind enough to tag me after I expressed interest in being a part of this hop. I love blog hops!
The rules are: Answer the four questions below, link back to the person who invited you, and name the people who will be posting the following Monday.
What am I working on?
Currently I have three projects in the works although all three are at different stages of the writing process. Firstly, my debut novel, Sky Stone, is in its final beta read and edit. After this run through I will be completing the cover, of which I already have a draft version, and publishing it on Createspace as both an ebook and as a soft cover print.
Secondly, comes the sequel to Sky Stone called Guardian Core. I have only recently completed writing the manuscript of Guardian Core and am now entering the editing process. Exciting! After working on Sky Stone for so many years, and this novel for around two so far, I feel my writing skills have improved and are on full display in this second novel of mine.
Thirdly, is a novel completely unrelated to my first two. My third novel currently is untitled and is still being outlined. This will be my first time writing a story based in the future and am excited about how my writing may develop as I nurture this novel into existence.
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Such a difficult question to answer. My main genre of writing (in novel form) is Young Adult Fantasy aimed at young females. My novels present female protagonists who overcome overwhelming odds over the course of the book. I feel that my novels are different than others of its genre since the protagonist expresses a number of the emotions and circumstances (if exaggerated) that I experienced as a teenager. This is especially true with Sky Stone since I began writing it at the age of fifteen when I was in the midst of emotional turmoil, my protagonist, Skyla, expressing many of the same emotions I did as I wrote.
I am also not afraid to describe violent confrontations or sexual ones. These are both aspects of life that teenagers are aware are a part of life. I do not write horror nor do I write erotica but some may believe that my descriptions are too descriptive.
Why do I write what I write?
I I love to read fantasy and I love to write fantasy. Before I started writing Sky Stone I never believed would write a novel let alone one of the fantasy genre. I considered fantasy authors to be incredible and couldn't understand how their imaginations allowed them to create such unusual scenes. I had a dream, eventually wrote it down, and realized it wasn't that hard. Most importantly, I found out how fun it was to write fantasy. My reason for loving to write fantasy is the same as why I love reading it; I enjoy escaping reality. Fantasy novels are monuments to the human imagination. I'm not suggesting that we use more imagination than writers of other genres however. Fantasy writing allows me to savour in my wildest dreams, preserving them forever.
How does your writing process work?
My writing process has changed considerably since I first began writing novels but I will describe how I write nowadays. I now start with an outline; a comprehensive, detailed outline with notes about the setting, characters feelings and actions, and why those actions are taken. I keep a list of every character I introduce with descriptions about their appearance, personality and any other important facts. I explain the history of my setting in reference to the culture, social ranking, environment, and technology. Once I am happy with where my story will lead I begin writing.
When I am writing the manuscript I don't restrict myself to writing linearly, in chronological order. I write which ever scene is most vivid to me at the time be it at the beginning, middle, or end of the book. I do this so that my emotions and passion about this particular scene is at its peak and hence I will do my best writing. Once all of the main scenes are written I write the linking scenes in between.
Once the manuscript is completed I begin editing. I will try to edit as much as I can by myself before giving my manuscript to a beta reader. I don't have a set number of run throughs per novel merely a feeling of completeness, that I can't go any further alone. I try to catch as many spelling, grammatical, and structure mistakes early so that they do not distract from the content editing. I then attempt to read through my story without paying too much head to these small errors. This allows me to focus on whether the story itself makes sense and flows. It also allows me to notice which areas need more or less description. When this stage of editing is complete I will give the manuscript to some trusted beta readers who I instruct to be as brutal as they can. The more they point out, the more feedback I have to work from. I then sift through their comments and work on those which I deem would benefit my story. I repeat this process a number of times until I believe there really is not that much more to be done. Then it is time to publish.
I prefer the self-publishing route myself. Self-publishing gives me more control over how my book is presented to the public. I have skills in Adobe Photoshop and Indesign and can use these programs to design my own covers. I ask for feedback on my drafts to see whether my target readers would find it attractive. My purpose in writing is for myself and not for money. This is not a career to me but a hobby that I plan to pursue and grow better at. I don't care for being a bestselling author but to enjoy the act of writing and creating something I can be proud of. This is why I self-publish.
I hope this gave you a little insight about me and my writing. Now I’m passing the blog hop on to the following people:
Thanks for reading everyone. Check out Devin's post when it goes online next Monday.
Scarlett Van Dijk
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A Writer's Tale
Scarlett Van Dijk
Writer of young adult, fantasy series, the Sky Stone series, poetry and short stories.
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