I’ve been tagged by Sandy Fussell to answer 4 questions about my writing in the Writing Process Blog Hop.
Sandy Fussell is a children’s author who studied mathematics at university, works as a computer programmer and is keenly interested in history. Her books include “Polar boy”, “Jaguar warrior” as well as the hugely popular "Samurai kids" series.
Thanks for tagging me Sandy!
My Writing Process Bog Hop Q & A:
1. What am I working on?
I’ve just finished writing the sequel to “Racing the Moon” – it’s called “Flying through Clouds” and continues Joe Riley’s adventures and journey through adolescence in Sydney in the 1930s. I’m also working on a full-length play, which is very challenging because up to now I’ve only written short plays.
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
“Racing the Moon”and the sequel are fast-past historical novels written for young adults. It took me a while to develop Joe’s distinctive voice which I think young people will relate to. Joe is an optimist who always sees light at the end of the tunnel and races headlong towards it. By having Joe tell the story, I hope readers will be able to experience Joe’s world from a young person’s perspective.
3. Why do I write what I write?
The inspiration for writing “Racing the Moon” came from stories my uncle told me about growing up in the Depression. I’m fascinated by the period between the wars in Australia as it was such a significant period in our history. I enjoy writing for young adults – it gives me the chance to be playful and experimental, looking at life through the eyes of an adolescent.
I write plays because I love drama and theatre, and the opportunity to collaborate with directors and actors and see my plays come to life.
4. How does my writing process work?
I develop my ideas by reading and doing a lot of research. I visit museums, libraries and art galleries, looking for artefacts and photographs to inspire me to bring the period that I’m writing about to life. I also like to visit the places I’m writing about, even though they may have changed over the years.
I think about and develop my main characters even before I start writing. I also think about potential conflicts and dramatic incidents that will develop the characters and the story, and help build tension and suspense.
When I start writing, I use a writing pad and pen, getting into a state of ‘flow’, writing quickly and not agonising over anything. I try and build character and story, weaving in more historical details with each edit. I tend to write a few chapters at a time then type them up on the computer before printing them out. I’ll edit chapters many times until I’m happy with them. If I feel that the story isn’t developing enough, I’ll plot the next few chapters, but generally I let the characters tell their story.
Time to tag some more writers … here are some of my favourite children’s / YA writers. Keep an eye on their blogs where they’ll be answering the 4 Writing Process questions sometime soon.
Kate Gordon lives in Launceston, Tasmania, and has written four novels for young adults. Her latest novel, “Writing Clementine” has just been published by Allen & Unwin. Prior to becoming an author, Kate worked as a Librarian (as both Sharon and I did!)
Sophie Masson was educated in both Australia and France, and has had more than 50 novels published in Australia and internationally, mostly for young adults and children. Her books have been shortlisted for many awards, with “The Hunt for Ned Kelly” winning the Patricia Wrightson Prize for children's fiction in the NSW Premier's Literary Awards (2011). Her latest YA novel, “The Crystal Heart”, has just been published.
Sharon McGuinness has worked as a Librarian and Teacher Librarian. I met Sharon many years ago when we both worked at Parramatta City Library. Her first picture book, “Coming home”, was published by Wombat Books in 2012, and she has also self-published an eBook called “Try!”.