What I Do and Why I Do It

The marvelously talented and huge-hearted Suze from Subliminal Coffee (she's the beauty in the pic to the left) has tagged me to answer the following four writerly questions. Suze is celebrating some majorly fantastic news right now (she just signed with a hot agent!), and you can learn more about it in her answers to these same four questions at her place.

And now please allow me to interview myself:

What am I working on?

It appears I have talked myself into an option on a series with my new publisher, so while I await edits on my upcoming chick lit/office romance, I'm busy noodling on a sequel. The trouble with me is, I like to vacillate between light & happy and something a shade darker & heavier, so this new plot has been wanting to deal with issues too hefty for a naughty chick-litty series. But have no fear, for it doesn't take much to lighten my mood and I've come up with ways to turn events in more giggle-worthy directions.

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

I love this comment from a reviewer of Divine Temptation: "This book did a beautiful job at depicting something in romance novels that is often missing: the actual romance." ~Book Bliss

I'm a romantic fool, but I'm also a realist, so for me a love story can only be compelling if I actually believe it could happen. This doesn't mean the characters have to all be human or living on earth, mind you, but for me it means that the relationship has to develop over time and the affection needs to be grounded in something more substantial than instant attraction. So one thing that makes my stories different from many others in their genre is that the romance takes a bit longer to develop---but the wait is worth it, I hope.

Why do I write what I do? 

See the "romantic fool" comment above.

How does my writing process work?

It starts with me envisioning a particular scene. If the scene's powerful enough to keep me thinking about it, my mind will develop a story around it. After the mental plotting is pretty well fleshed out, I'll create a rough outline---just a sequence of the things that need to happen and the order in which they occur. Then I tell the family to LMTFA for designated chunks of time and I pound out the first draft. Any necessary research is done along the way.

It's during the first draft that I get to know my characters on a more intimate level, so there's a lot of re-positioning and enriching during the second draft. After the second draft, I like to get feedback from a trusted reader/writer. Third draft is all about doing something with that feedback, and fourth draft is all about polish.

And now I get to tag four writers to answer these same questions and give us insight into what they do and why they do it. I'm choosing four great writers whom I've had the pleasure of getting to hang out with in person!  

Rumer Haven at Rumer has it... lives in London and is on the verge of her debut release, SEVEN FOR A SECRET, a ghost story romance that straddles contemporary times and the 1920s. She's a classy lassie with a wonderful wit and a beautiful way with words.

Michael Di Gesu at In Time... currently resides in Chicago (though he escapes to more tolerable climates whenever he can) and is the author of AMBER AND THE WHISPERING WILLOWS, a middle grade fantasy, and PORTRAIT OF A TEENAGE MILITARY BRAT, a YA that will one day soon take the world by storm. He's a gifted writer with a generous spirit.

Jennifer Lane lives in Columbus, Ohio and is the author of the romantic suspense novels of THE CONduct SERIES, and STREAMLINE, a New Adult romance/drama. Her other life as a psychoanalyst makes her a wonderfully insightful writer and reader---and the best crit partner a girl could hope for.

Cherie Colyer lives in the western Chicago 'burbs and is the author of super natural YA novels in the EMBRACE SERIES and CHALLENGING DESTINY. Even though she's already a great story teller, she's a tireless learner of the industry and definitely inspires me to keep moving forward.


Sometimes romance does take time to build.
Aurora Smith said…
Do you feel like sex as has taken over and almost become expected?
Unknown said…
She seems to have a lot gong on. Thanks for sharing.
Suze said…
Nick, I loved reading these answers so much. You project such a fun-loving, easygoing persona--even the title of your blog is endearingly self-effacing--but reading your thoughts on character, developing romance, time lapse and its effect on relationships (not to mention your method for cranking out as many published works as you have) and I'm just impressed and a little awed all over again.

Cherie Colyer said…
You're writing process is a lot like mine. =) Thanks for tagging me. I'll let you know when my post is up.
There's nothing wrong with being a fool for romance Suze. Congrats!
Stephanie Faris said…
I used to be a hopeless romantic--then I tried dating in my 30s. Now I see romance as overrated! But I love reading other people's romances. I'll check out the blogs of the people you tagged.
M Pax said…
It takes me time to really get to know my characters too. On a new series, I then have more revising to do. It takes me about 30-40K to really get into their heads. Some come prepackaged. I wish more would. lol
Rumer Haven said…
Thanks for the tag, Nicki, and gawd, I love that photo of us! It's inspiring to read about your process and effective implementation of the LMTFA strategy. ;) The realism in your romance is definitely a big hook for me.
Michael Di Gesu said…
Hey, Nicki,

Thanks for the tag.... EEK... SO MANY QUESTIONS. LOL...

I'll let you know when I do the meme. Sometime next week I would gather.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!
Liz Blocker said…
Yes, please do interview yourself - you do a marvelous job at it! I really enjoyed this :)

" the relationship has to develop over time and the affection needs to be grounded in something more substantial than instant attraction. " - you totally, 100% accomplished that in Divine Temptations. That was one of my favorite things about it :)
Janie Junebug said…
I don't know what I do or why I do it. I think it's time to go back to bed.

I especially agree with the part about instant attraction. Some of my favorite love stories are the ones where the main characters didn't even like each other at first, so their feelings developed gradually, like you said. I think it's more suspenseful that way.
LD Masterson said…
Attraction can be instant but where's the fun in that. I'd rather watch a couple find each other.
Jennifer Lane said…
Hey, I finally made it over here! Thanks for the tag and I'll have my post up next week. I like what you said about starting writing by imagining a scene.

Can't wait to see what's next for Lyssa and her, um, friend. ;-)
4 drafts, eh? I seem to be constantly rearranging, reworking, and editing. Good writing process.
Anonymous said…
I like your idea of romance in a book and I love everyone's responses to this tag.
Kim said…
Enjoyed getting to know more about you :) putting Three Daves on my tbr list...
Cherie Colyer said…
Hi Nicki. Just wanted to let you know my post is up. Thanks for thinking of me.
Cherie Colyer said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aurora Smith said…
Can you Email me? You won a copy of Nightmare's Daughter! I picked you, I picked you. Our of a hat. And my two year old did it. Jncheatwood@yahoo.com

Popular posts from this blog

Back FROM the Future, Bloghop Extraordinaire

Bring on the Romance!

RIVALS Release Party!