Writing Discussion

My Writing Process

Last week John Wiswell posted some juicy tidbits about his current writing project. I’m usually hesitant to talk about what I’m working on until it’s done, but since I’m almost finished edits, the timing of this blog hop is perfect. Now I have to figure out what in the world I just wrote. Sometimes it’s good to put things into words, right?

1) What am I working on?

The Golden Threads* – A historical fantasy set to the north of China during the bronze age.

Long before the Mongols, the Xiongnu roamed the steppes, and united by a ruthless warlord, they set out to conquer the first empires of China.

The story follows Tama, a young Xiongnu woman, bastard sister to the self-declared ruler of the North. When her jealous half-brother cuts her soul from the magic threads that bind the Xiongnu tribe from one life to the next, it dooms Tama and the souls of her murdered family to wander alone for all eternity.

To save their souls, Tama agrees to an impossible quest. It takes her to to Xianyang, heart of the Qin Empire, ruled by an emperor obsessed with the search for immortality and builder of the terracotta army. There Tama must destroy an immortal, the one thing barring  the way of her brother’s conquest of the south.

*Tentative working title.

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

This book is a product of all the Chinese historical dramas I watched when I was growing up, but with a Sword and Sorcery twist.

The book is heavy on the history, but this is a world where where “God / Monster/ Demon / Immortal” frequently means the same thing, and they wander the world, along with ghosts and spirits of Asian superstition and mythology.

3) Why do I write what I do?

Sometimes I think of the book as “The Secret Histories”. So often, the lives of women and minorities are omitted or excluded from history, even if they have contributed to it. Though Tama is fictional, I wanted to write a a story that gives a little life to some of the forgotten ones.

4) How does my writing process work?

It’s a process of constant refinement. I haven’t written a book the same way twice. I attempted a scene by scene outline for this novel and the first draft came together pretty quickly. I trunked it for a year (and wrote another book), before taking a second look at it, and deciding whether or not I was ready to take it on.

I had to do second, intensive, round of research before digging into edits. It wasn’t until I had the first draft done that I figured out what world and cultural details I was missing.

Pass this meme on! I’d love to hear about what you’re working on and how you write.

8 Comments to “My Writing Process”

  1. Interesting. I’ve known a few people who worked in the historical genre, but they were always in European or American settings. And a lot of people who are working on diversity (in whatever form) still seem to be in Europe or America, just with more diverse characters. I’m looking forward to this.

    I liked these questions when I saw them on someone else’s blog a while back, so snagged them (I was tagged later, as it turns out, but I’d done them already 🙂 ):

    1. I remember your answers! I don’t often comment (can’t remember that pesky password) but I do still read your blog. I’m not a big mystery reader, so I’m sure I’m not picking up on all the traditions you’re working with, but I do remember U Town, and all it’s interesting people, fondly.

      1. Thanks for the kind words. I’ve never though that I was writing for mystery fans. That’s part of the “How does your work differ” question — mysteries are my basis, but there’s a lot of other stuff in there also.

        (You know, you can retrieve your password if you need to. I think it’s pretty easy. 😉 )

  2. Love your answer to #3! Definitely we need more of those gaps to be filled in, whether fiction or nonfiction. And omg I would read the heck out of your story; it’s sounds awesome!

    And ditto what Anthony said about having answered these already, haha. It’s a popular meme for a reason, I think. Great questions, and fun to read everyone’s answers

    Mine: http://kristanhoffman.com/2014/04/02/on-the-alphabet-of-madness-my-particular-worldview-and-adding-sentences/

    1. Ahh yes I remember yours too! Spain is on the list of places I need to visit one day. Traveling is such a privilege. I think it helps build your soul and put your point of view into a better perspective. There’s so much you can learn. So many interesting people, and crazy things that can happen. I’d love to read that too!

  3. I haven’t had a crack at these, myself, but then again, I’m low enough on blogging time that I don’t typically seek after or respond to memes.

    That said, I may take a crack at these ones, since the past few weeks have seen immense progress on a short story project. I’m almost feeling back in the game.

    That also said, my current WIP unfortunately does nothing at all in terms of diversity. Howbeit, I consciously made that decision when writing the original draft, though I doubt I could actually defend my reasoning at the time.

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