Welcome to the Writing Process Blog Tour!
This is a Special Edition blog, and it’s a much different format from my usual blogs that include subjects of Murder, Mayhem and Medicine.
So what is a Writing Process Blog Tour? Well, it’s when an author friend who has a regular blog posts the answers to four specific questions about their writing process to share with his/her blog readers and then continues that process with another author by posting that writer’s blog site, and the process continues from there to other authors.
Author Charles Stubbs recently was included in a blog tour and asked if I would be interested to share his blog with my readers in this blog tour process. I readily agreed! Please take a moment to stop by his blog site at http://webofdeceit.org/blogs.
Charles writes the Travis Web Of Deceit series of mystery thrillers that deal with issues of the media and how the media can manipulate public opinion and influence events. The stories are set in North Wales in the UK and show how the lives of ordinary people can be shaped or misshapen by the media.
Previously a senior executive in the UK telecommunications industry, Charles has earned his living as a writer for more than 10 years and is a featured author at Freebooksy.
And now for my part in this blog tour, I was asked to answer the following four questions. So here goes!
1. What are you currently working on?
I’m actually working on a couple of things at present. The first work in process is my debut novel, Lethal Medicine. This book has been a work in process for several years now and last year I had it professionally edited. I put it aside for several months to reflect on the suggested edits and to write the sequel to that novel, which is now complete but still in first draft form. Based on my editor’s suggestions, I’m reworking parts of Lethal Medicine to create a stronger story line that will feed into the sequel.
In the meantime, I began to write more short stories (I published three short stories in 2013), and a more recent short story is evolving into a novella. It’s called Almost Dead and I’m beginning to think that it will become the anchor story for a trilogy of stories that I’ll publish in the future between my novel publications.
2. How does your work differ from others in its genre?
My work—whether it be a novel, a novella or a short story—all involve unique methods of murder, and most of the murder weapons I use are chemicals, unique poisons or drugs. My background in pharmaceuticals provides a fertile basis for developing unique murder scenes and intriguing story lines.
3. Why do you write what you do?
Throughout my adult life, I loved to step away from the everyday world and lose myself in a good murder mystery. When I retired from my clinical pharmacy practice, I decided that it was time to create a little “murder magic” of my own. So I began to write that first novel, and then attended writing classes and workshops to develop and evolve my writing skills. That’s when I began to take my writing seriously and felt like my day was not complete unless it included some writing. About that time, my weekly blog also began to take shape. My Prescription For Murder blog became my platform to research new and unique methods of murder.
4. How does your writing process work?
It’s actually changing some this year. I used to do all the other things on my list of “to do’s” before sitting down at my computer to write. That usually meant that I would have about three hours in the afternoon to write, but I would only get to do that about three times a week. I found that less than 10 hours a week to write a novel is not enough time, that I needed at least twice that amount to further the story line effectively.
So I flipped my priorities this year. I write in the morning before life gets in the way. I wake up around dawn, have a cup or two of coffee and usually a protein shake and then take about four hours to seriously write. My mind is more productive in the morning—not distracted with other events of the day—and I can usually get better quality writing done then.
I rarely get the so-called “Writers Block”, but some days the quality of my writing is better than others, and that’s what the editing process is for.
I write a first draft of whatever I’m working on without looking back on what I’ve written. If it’s a short story, it may only take about four hours in the morning to complete a first draft. A longer story, like a novel, may take many months for me to complete that first draft.
After that first draft is finished, I set the work aside for at least a month (a week if it’s a short story) and then I begin the editing process. I usually do at least two edits before I let anyone else see my work. My wife if my first editor and then I have a group of people in a writing workshop group that does a rather serious critique of my work. And then it goes to a professional editor for an in-depth content edit.
When I get the edited manuscript back, that’s when the real work begins because that’s when I know I’m getting that work ready for publication.
Now for the next step in this blog tour process!
I’m asking for some other authors in my reader audience to step up to further this Writing Process Blog Tour along. If you’d like to be the next author featured on my blog and answer those same four questions next week in your blog, please let me know and I’ll update this blog to include a link to your blog.
Many thanks for taking the time to learn a little more about my writing process. Please stop by the blog of Charles Stubbs and take a look at his work. I’ve certainly enjoyed reading his published works! And let me know if you’d like to be included in this blog tour process.
All the best,
James J. Murray