This is my contribution to the blog tour I’m doing with my friends Tony LaRocca and Don Martin. (They’re both excellent writers, and you should check out their work!
So… Today I’m going to write about Long-Distance Dedications, the book I’m working on.
As anyone who follows my blog or my Facebook/Google+ posts knows, Long-Distance Dedications is my first novel-length book with Dave Riggler. It’s a mosaic novel, meaning that it’s a novel of numerous (around 20, right now) short stories tied around a central theme. The book follows Dave’s life through various episodes that happen between fourth grade and his 40’s. It’s going to be done this year, and I hope you’ll pick it up when it’s ready.
I’ve talked a lot on this blog about who Dave Riggler is (and you can look at past posts for more about that), but I haven’t talked a lot about the writing process. Well, today I’m going to deal with that. The writing process, when I’m working on a story, looks like this:
1) Something happens. – Almost everything I write about is based, at least in some small way, on real life. An event resonates in my brain. Sometimes, i’ll write about it after a day. Other times (like when I was writing “Last Call”) it rattles around in my brain for years.
2) I generally think about the end. – Almost always, I’m thinking about the endpoint first. I have somewhere I want to go, and the rest of the story gets me there.
3) I then start the story. – The beginning of the story is, of course, a big deal. I like starting with simple declarative sentences. “Worth”, one of the stories in the book, starts with three words:
Dave kissed Tavia.
With the beginning written, and the ending in my head, I usually have a sense of where it’s going.
4) Then comes the title. – Most of the time, the title is the last thing to come in the first draft. Sometimes, it doesn’t even come until the second draft (after my writers’ group and Scribophile have gotten a whack at it).
5) Finally, the dedication. – As I said, Long-Distance Dedications is a series of stories. These stories are dedicated to Dave’s friends. But which friend is something I typically leave until the end. In the case of “Pledges” (one of the stories in the book) it was dedicated to Cari until I was about halfway through it. At that point, it took a wicked left turn, I had to rethink the end, and it ended up being a different kind of story, dedicated to Andrea.
Anyway, that’s the basics of my writing process. I know it’s kind of vague and general, but that’s because there are so many different ways these things can be expressed – especially over 20 stories.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!
Thanks again to Don and Tony for inviting me on the blog tour!