Blog hop questionnaire!

 I’ve never done a blog hop before, so this is exciting for me. My dear friend Megan tagged me to participate in her blog hop entry, which can be read on her blog here.
I was given four questions to answer, and here they are:

1. What are you writing?
Right now I’m working on the direct sequel to the fantasy book I completed at the end of the summer. It’s called Serpent’s Wake and I estimate it will be around 150,000 words long when finished, give or take a little bit.

2. How does it differ from your last work?
It’s the first time I’ve ever written a sequel to anything, so that certainly makes it interesting! It’s great to revisit the characters, but it presents a challenge in a lot of ways. Since it’s the middle book of a trilogy, I get to deal with trying to keep it from hitting the “mid-series slump” I see so often in fantasy fiction. That also means striking a balance between progress and recap without things getting stale, and resolving enough hanging issues left from the previous book to make it satisfying, while still leaving threads to tie up in the last book. It’s the first time I’ve worked on a large-scale project, so it’s intimidating and exciting at the same time.

3. Why do you write?
As much as I’d like to give some deep and introspective answer, I’m at a loss. Why do I write? Well, I don’t really know. I’ve always written, it comes as naturally to me as breathing. If I didn’t write, I don’t know what I would do. Then again, I think I might go mad if I tried to keep all the stories in my head trapped there, didn’t let any of them escape onto paper. I write because I have to. I write because it’s a vital part of my life and who I am.

4. What is your process?

I’ve spoken a bit about my writing process before, namely here and here, but it’s always worth revisiting.
My process changes a little every time I write something. I’ve gone from winging it to using an outline every time, but how I outline things changes for each project, too! For my first book, I used chapter-by-chapter summaries. For the first book in the series I’m writing now, I only used bullet points. For my current project, I wrote plot points out on index cards and shuffled them around til I was happy, then wrote an outline that was broken down into six parts. It’s one part for each quarter, and one part for the more detailed midpoint and ending of the book.
Now I’m on to the actual writing. I try to write 500 words a day, and I find I’m much more productive if I have a snack on hand to nibble while I write. It seems to be working well.

And that’s that for this time!
Now, of course, I’m supposed to pass the questions on to others who write. You can look forward to reading interesting answers from Erik, whose creativity always impresses me, from the very talented author Shéa Macleod, and from Rachel, the biggest sweetie I’ve met in years.
Happy reading!

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