Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Writing Process and...COME BACK!

No, that's not a totally desperate plea to you all, visitors; it's an announcement that Melissa Maygrove's debut novel, Come Back, is now available!! I'll have more on that shortly, but first -

The lovely and talented Kristin Smith tagged me in a writing process meme last week - yes, last week; I know that's like a decade in internet time, but I've been very busy recovering - so I'm going to respond with my own process today. Better late than never, right?

And no, I haven't forgotten that I promised to write a post about public speaking. I will, but thanks to so much busyness in the blogosphere, it's going to have to wait til June's IWSG post. It'll be there, I promise!

Now, on to my writing process:


What am I working on now?

Well, gee, I dunno if I should answer this. I mean, I never, ever, ever talk about it, and I'm just not sure I'm ready to start. I've heard that some people post about their WIPs every single day in one month, but I just don't think I can't do that (did I get to 26 links yet? Hmm...) Well, if I must...

As you all know, probably long past the point of curiosity, I'm currently researching, brainstorming, and plotting out a novel about two souls. The book will follow them through six different lifetimes, all the way from Ancient Greece to the London of the future, in one seriously long and epic love story. You can read the little blurb I created for it here. I'm also querying my first novel, Cloudland, and Other Stories.


How does my book differ from other within its genre?

Hmm. Good question. I've been having trouble fitting this one (and Cloudland) into one specific genre, because I tend to write literary fiction plus something else. Cloudland is literary fiction with elements of fantasy, and my current WIP is literary fiction plus some romance plus magical realism. I hope that works in my favor instead of against me, but honestly, even if it doesn't, it's what I love to read, so of course it's how I write, too.


Why do I write what I do?

Yikes, that is not an easy question. I suppose I write about topics that challenge me, inspire me, trouble me, hurt me, and drive me crazy. I wrote Cloudland because I wanted to talk about grief; about how it can tear you apart if you don't face it; about how universal and yet specific it can be; about the possibility of redemption and growth and peace inside all of that unbearable pain. I'm writing my current WIP because I wanted to dive into that terrifying, thrilling, messy place where love, faith, and fear intersect; because I wanted to raise big questions about souls, and how we love, and who we love; because I wanted to explore all of the ways we can sabotage ourselves and our own happiness, and how the world can sabotage us, and yet we can still hope for - and perhaps even get - a second, a third, a five-thousandth chance at joy.

I couldn't tell you why I write literary fiction; it's just the way it comes out. I have my own frustrations about that genre, anyway, because the name is so inherently snobby. But that's apparently what I write, so there it is. I write magical realism because I desperately needed magic to be real when I was young, and I never got over that acute wish; and because now, as an adult, I do find magic in the strangest places, and that's one of my favorite things about being alive.


How does my writing process work?

Well, I've written this to death on this blog, too; may I point you to my post about plotting as a good starting point? In a nutshell, here it is: I get an idea. I worry the idea is stupid. I brainstorm and develop and research that idea, anyway, in the hopes that it's not. In the process, I get excited about it, and brainstorm and develop and research some more. I write extensive, deeply psychological, insanely long character analyses. I outline and re-outline and outline some more (I will never be mistaken for a panster). In between, I worry and fret and write brainstorming snippets that help me develop character and scene, and worry and fret some more. Once I have a finished outline, I write and write and write, then read and read and read, and edit and edit and edit, and wash, rinse, and repeat.


So...what's YOUR writing process like? Tell me! I'm also going to tag Mason Matchak and Anna Soliveres to continue on with this writing process tour.


And now, on to Come Back, at long last!! Happy Release, Melissa! Seriously, I've been so excited to post about this. Melissa is a great blogger, writer, and friend, and I'm so happy for her...not mention psyched to read this book! It's NA Historical Romance, for those who are wondering. Melissa is also running a giveaway on her blog this week, so after you finish reading this, go over there and enter!


Come Back, by Melissa Maygrove
Sometimes a single choice alters the course of a person's life forever.

Left behind by everyone she loves...

Rebecca Garvey had the promise of a California future dreams are made of, until the wagon train her family was traveling with left her behind. Now she’s slowly dying in the wilderness, abandoned and stripped of her self-worth. Once the shock of her desertion turns to embittered despair, she doesn’t want to be found. Then a handsome stranger challenges her convictions and changes her mind.

Headed for Texas, chased by the demons of his past...

Seth Emerson knows exactly what he wants. Working to save for a cattle ranch of his own keeps him busy and keeps his pain buried. Rescuing a stubborn woman from the hills of New Mexico Territory isn't part of his plan—but she’s exactly what he needs.

Making greater sacrifices than either of them could foresee...


Seth and Rebecca set off on a risky journey and a quest for truth, each healing the other’s love-starved soul along the way. Will they give in to their growing attraction?  Or will they honor their commitments when Seth returns Rebecca to civilization... and her betrothed?

Where to buy:

About Melissa:

Native Texan Melissa Maygrove is a wife, mother, nurse, freelance editor, and romance writer. When she's not busy caring for her tiny nursery patients or shuttling teenagers back and forth to after-school activities, she's hunched over her laptop, complicating the lives of her imaginary friends and playing matchmaker. Melissa loves books with unpretentious characters and unforgettable romance, and she strives to create those same kinds of stories for her readers.



86 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Melissa!
    And you're working on a book? I didn't know that...

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  2. WOW, LIz,

    That's quite the process. Me... I just jump in and write, hoping for the best. LOL.

    CONGRATS again MELISSA! All the best!

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    1. Yeah, sometimes I think life would be a lot easier if I were a pantser...

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  3. Congrats to Melissa again!

    Liz, my writing process is a mess, a big, stinky, mess.

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    1. Thank you!

      LOL As long as the finished product looks good, who cares how we got there. :P

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  4. Wahoo for Melissa! So stoked about your book.

    Liz, wait, a week is a long time on the blogosphere? *gulp* I got tagged about 3 weeks ago, but I haven't had a second to do anything about it. (Yeah, my blog posts are usually scheduled out a couple months...) Way to make me look bad. ;)

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    1. Don't feel bad. I got tagged many weeks ago, and I still haven't posted about it. I have a draft post scheduled for the summer. In fact, it's been sitting so long, I got tagged by a second blogger for the same meme. LOL At least I can double up. :P

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    2. Oh no, don't worry!! I tend to exaggerate things here for the sake of humor, if you haven't noticed ;) We get to these tags whenever we can, I think!

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  5. Yay Melissa!! It's out in the world!!

    And Liz, did I hear somewhere that you're writing a book? lol! You know I love your book's premise and theme. Great glimpse into your writing process. I envy you. I steal a minute of Urchin-free time here and there and type furiously. I think that about sums up my process. Snatched and stolen moments where I waste time frantically trying to remember what the last thing was that I'd written. lol!

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    1. Yay!!! :D

      Pack those urchins off to granny or something and get your book published! I'm jonsin' here! :P

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    2. I'm with Melissa - I want you to have more time to write, too!! I wanna read your stuff!

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  6. "because the name is so inherently snobby" -- That cracked me up. I think your writing process is great. I love your brainstorming and haven't tired about reading it yet. :)

    Grats Melissa!

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    1. *Blush* Hey, thanks!!! Thank goodness for that :)

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  7. Ahhhhh! Thank you for the tag, I'm going to work for it this week. LOL I've been doing a lot of handwritten writing as of late, something to help beat the writer's block. That should be an interesting topic. Hope all is well! Sorry I've been MIA - just been trying to finish writing the next book! :) <3

    I'm so excited for your book. The premise is beautiful. Sounds like a lot of work but it's going to be AMAZING. :)

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    1. Sure, of course - and take your time! There's no rush at all. Being busy writing is a perfect excuse for everything; it's exactly what you should do :) And thanks for your kind words!

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  8. Unforgettable romance--yay! That's the kind I like to read. I'll be checking out Melissa's site soon. And Liz, please beam over some of those outlining skills for this silly old panster. :-)
    Deb@ http://debioneille.blogspot.com

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    1. If you promise to beam some of those pantsing skills over to me! :)

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  9. It's weird how there's all kinds of common things in everyone's writing processes and yet, they're all so very different at the same time. ^_^ Thanks for the tag; I'll probably get to that next week, since this week's post is taken.

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    1. Of course! Clearly I didn't get to it all that quickly myself... ;)

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  10. Wow your poor thing-you are a perfectionist:) I think one has to be when one wants something to be great and I bet you never think it is good enough that you can make it better. I am seeing this trend with all the writers:) I am not a writer by trade but I believe starting with an idea is the start and then research, writing, editing and all the rest you mentioned plus doing it again and again is the norm. That is wonderful to spotlight Melissa and congrats to her!

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    1. You've got it - am I that transparent? LOL. I'm really working on giving myself a break, though. Believe it or not, I'm way less of a perfectionist than I used to be!

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  11. Have I mentioned that I really can't wait to read your WIP? Because I love reincarnation stories and it sounds totally epically awesome :) Hope your recovery is going well, and best of luck to Melissa!

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    1. Agree about Liz's book. I can't wait either.
      Thanks, Meradeth. :)

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  12. Melissa's book looks really good. I love what you said about magic. I feel the same way.

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  13. You talking about finding magic made me think of this quote from Roald Dahl- "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." I've been meaning to print that last sentence out and put it in a frame, just keep forgetting! And congrats to Melissa, it's great seeing Come Back around the blogosphere!

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    1. I love that quote! I'm so glad you shared it. I need to go frame it now, too :)

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  14. Congrats, Melissa!
    I loved reading about your process, Liz. I am amazed at your character analyses. I tend not to do that, but get to know my characters as a write, but sometimes I have to go back in revisions and do those to figure them out.
    Thanks for being so open and willing to talk about your writing--it's inspiring!

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    1. Thanks, Jenni! I find the analyses really help me figure out the plot, which is always the hardest part for me :)

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  15. We were tagged together! Yes, I'm the opposite--not an outliner at all. My writing process is a little messy but it works for me!

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    1. Hey, I'm glad it works! I wish I could pants more!

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  16. Liz, I think our writing processes are very similar! I always worry that my ideas are stupid but somehow end up writing them anyway. And Melissa, congrats again on your release!

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    1. I'm pretty sure your ideas AREN'T stupid, Quanie :)

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  17. I'm a rewriter and I'm all about plotting. If I don't have a plot, I'll sit at the blank screen and never move my fingers! lol

    Congrats to you, Melissa! I love a good romance and the pained souls gravitating toward healing love is such a great combination. :D

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    1. Thank you, Diane. Come Back is not a light read, but (IMHO) that makes for a better HEA. :)

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    2. Yup - me, too! Sounds like we're very similar :)

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  18. Your writing process sounds as chaotic as mine, but at least you've finished a book, so you can give us the whole picture. I'm still revising, and learning as I revise.

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    1. Chaotic? Hmm, sometimes. Mostly just highly involved and detailed, I think, LOL!

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  19. I enjoyed reading your writing process.

    The premise of your book about the two soul's journey is really good. I'm looking forward to reading it when it gets published.

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  20. Everyone has quite the writing process and it's wonderful to hear how others work it out. Thank you and best wishes! <3

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  21. Yay for Melissa. Woo-hoo.

    I need an outline before drafting.

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    1. Thanks, Medeia. :)
      (Me, too. Plot notes, at least. ;)

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    2. You know I do love my outlines! :)

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  22. That's a gorgeous cover!

    And I am a pantser. Sometimes I outline after I get started.

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    1. Oh, you pantsers. I envy you guys sometimes! :)

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  23. I got a little nervous Glad to see it was only a book.

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  24. Hi Liz and Melissa - it sounds a great ride of redemption with a few twists and turns and then some romance ... the trials and tribulations of travel crossing the unknown desert and risks of who might be met ... stranded ... all the makings of a fun story ..

    Cheers and good luck to you both - Hilary

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  25. Melissa's book is amazing and I'm so glad to see how much it's out there in the community! And fun to learn a few new things about you, Liz. You're such a cool cat :D

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  26. When I did the 'writing process' blog thing I totally stumbled my way through it, but you seemed to have actual real answers. Impressive :)

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    1. Erm...there may have been some stumbling here, as well ;)

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  27. Congratulations to Melissa -- and I can relate with the whole genre thing. I've had SF editors turn down my work because of fantasy elements and vice versa. But that's alright. I write what I like to read.

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  28. I always worry my initial idea is stupid, boring or overdone. Then I think of at least two aspects to the story plot or of the character himself that are unique. It takes some time and research, but it's worth it if you find a "never been done before" angle to your new novel. Good luck with all your writing endeavors:)

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  29. Like a decade in internet time, hehe. Well, I'm operating on the same timeclock as you because I was tagged in this meme last week and have yet to fulfill. It was very interesting to read your answers and see your process in summary.

    Hooray - glad we persuaded you to post on public speaking. I need a little somethin' somethin' to convince me to do it again.

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    1. LOL, no worries. Luckily we all live for thousands of years in internet time ;)

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  30. Good Luck with your querying process!! Many, many books have a variety of elements, you have to chose the one that best fits the agent your querying.

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  31. Congrats to Melissa and ohhhhh secret writing? I'm in love!! New follower!

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    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Tammy! It's nice to 'meet' you!

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    2. Thank you, Tammy!
      You're gonna love Liz's blog. ;)

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  32. Loved reading about your writing process!! Sorry it took me so long to get over here--it's been a crazy couple of weeks!

    Congrats to Melissa!! :)

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  33. Hey Liz, it's me again. Just wanted you to know that I nominated your blog for The Liebster Award. For more info, check out my blog and you can decide whether or not you wish to accept it. :)

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    1. Thanks, Kristin!! I really appreciate it :) I already received one last year, though, and I don't want to be Liebster-greedy!

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