Blogging on Tour: How I Write What I Write

Tour Time! (Photo by  Open House Brussels via Flickr)
Tour Time! (Photo by Open House Brussels via Flickr)

Gosh, I got invited to be a part of this blog tour almost a month ago by the lovely M.M Jordahl and have been a total loser about actually doing my bit. She said some super nice things about me over at her blog,, and combined with being just a cool frood in general, I definitely owe her this post. Let’s get to it!

1) What are you working on?

I like to have a lot of projects going on at once – it keeps me from getting too stuck on one thing or another. I’m on the eighth full-draft of a mystery/science fiction novel I’ve been working on for the past four or five years. When his father is violently murdered, Chance Hale, heir to the largest fortune on the planet Arrhidaeus and avid aficionado of the opposite sex, finds his fate in the hands of the mysterious and alluring robotic refugee from the war-torn planet of Whiston, Cadence Turing, who just happens to have a trick or two in her memory banks when it comes to solving crime.

I’ve got it all written, but the last few drafts have been big revision exercises for me, with this latest one being the most successful I think, after I got some help from the wonderful Clayton Lindemuth. I’m hoping to get it down to 85,000 – 90,000 words and start shopping it around to publishers/agents by the end of the year.

Other than that the other large project I have going on at the moment is this blog! I wanted to see if I could discipline myself to create enough content to keep a site like this going, and it’s been a great experience so far. My short story writing skills have been getting the work out they need and I now feel much more confident about sending in submissions to journals, contests, etc.

2) How does your work differ from others’ in the same genre? 

This is actually kind of a hard question to answer, since most of my work straddles several genres. I mean, the main thing that’s different about my work from other science fiction is that I throw in the elements and tropes of a mystery story – and vice versa. But I fell like that’s too obvious of a response.

Digging a bit deeper, I would say that my work differs from others’ in the same genre because it’s very character-based. Characters mean everything to my work, they drive the story, shape the setting, shape each other – mystery and science fiction works can be very plot focused (in some ways, they have to be), but for me, if the characters aren’t taking center stage it’s just not a story worth telling.

3) Why do you write what you do?

I write what I write because I want to know why we’re here; what’s the purpose of not just our life, but the very existence of this tiny blue dot on the arm of the Milky Way galaxy. The universe, to steal from Hitchhiker’s, is big – really big, mind-boggingly big, and full of wonders that are beyond human imagination. So where do we, humanity, fit in the grand scheme of things?

Personally, I think the things that matter are the things that we give importance to – all our little lives are big stories, and each of us has one that deserves telling. If there is no other higher power or purpose to our lives, we give that meaning ourselves every day by the choices we make.

4) How does your writing process work?

Boy, do I wish I knew. It differs, really, depending on what kind of thing I’m writing. For my flash fiction pieces, I tend to start with a situation; a homeless girl falls asleep in a public library, a cop eats too many twinkies, a hand is found on the side of the road.

For longer pieces, I almost always start with a character in mind. That character, more often than not, develops from a single line of dialogue that gets stuck in my head. I hear a voice saying a sentence and get fixated on that voice and that sentence until I can flush it out into something bigger…and bigger…and bigger.

I almost never write a novel in order; meaning I don’t write the beginning, then the middle, then the end. I write whichever scenes interest me most, whichever scene I have inspiration for, or want to work on, then go back in and ‘fill-in’ the bits in between. I rarely use outlines, and never use them for a first draft. I write by hand, on the computer, on my typewriter, whichever medium is available to me when I have an idea. I do, however, always edit by hand – printing out pages and scribbling all over them works best for me in that department!

Normally I’d follow the rules and ask people to do this in advance, but everything’s been so crazy in my life, I honestly can’t be bothered. I’m a woman on the edge like that, I guess. Instead, here are two people whose blogs I follow personally, who are talented writers and cool folks. If they feel so inclined, they’re more than welcome to continue the blog tour on their own sites; if not, I have absolutely no problem giving some free publicity to awesome people like them:

Dieter Rogiers


Twitter: @dieterrogiers

S.A. Barton


Twitter: @Tao23

Happy Creating, all!

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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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