Guest Author - Shannon West
I'm doing a lot of fangirl squealing when I introduce these guest author posts *grins*. Shannon writes brilliant, kinky, smoking hot stories and I've read all of them. She's on my 'must buy' list. Have to admit I'd buy Rebel Moon for the cover alone... but I digress.
Shannon has contributed a post about her writing process. I'm always interested to hear how others authors work compared to me and there are some tips in here I may well use.
The Writing Process - Shannon West
I get asked all the time about my “writing process.” I don’t know if I have one exactly, but I have made myself a few rules that I try to follow. Here they are in no particular order:
Write Every Day. And concentrate on getting down that first draft! Put it on the paper. You can always go back and fix it, but first you have to write it. You should try to get through that first draft as quickly as possible. Hard to know the shape of the thing until you have a draft. Literally, when I wrote the last page of my first draft of Standing on Stolen Ground, my first novel, I thought, Oh, yeah, now I get the shape of this. But I had wasted years, literally years, writing and re-writing the first third to first half. The old writer’s rule applies: Have the courage to write badly. Hemingway said, The first draft of everything is shit. But make time to write it anyway. Be ruthless about it. Pick a time when you can write, whether it be early in the morning before everyone gets up or late at night after everyone goes to bed. Don’t make excuses. Don’t allow interruptions unless somebody’s hair is on fire.
Don’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club and a gun. My best time to think is in the car. No idea why, but if I’m stuck for a plot conflict I can often think of one driving down the road, talking to myself. I get some funny looks from other drivers at red lights, but whatever! I also find inspiration by talking about my plot with a friend of mine—a long-suffering friend I might add who is kind enough to listen to me talk it out and makes helpful suggestions. You can find inspiration in art, in movies, in music! It’s literally all around you.
Start telling the stories that only you can tell, because there’ll always be better writers than you and there’ll always be smarter writers than you. There will always be people who are much better at doing this or doing that — but you are the only you. Don’t be afraid to let your personality and speech patterns shine through. Your editor might get most of them, but if you use them correctly and sparingly, she won’t be able to get them all! One of my editors sent me an email a few days ago complaining about another of her writers who was using expletives frequently that involved, shall we say, calling on the Lord frequently—a bad habit of mine that spills over in my writing. After she fussed at this writer about it, they said, “But Shannon West does this all the time!” She ended the email by saying, “See, it’s all your fault!!” I told her I live to be a bad influence on others. And that gave me the title to another book that I have to write really soon—Bad Influence.
Write a series—or a series of series. I love reading series and I love to write them! If readers fall in love with my characters like I do, they may want to see more of them. Which is great for both of us!
Involve bloggers and reviewers. They’re your friends! Send them your advance review copies. Friend them on Facebook. Tweet them! Be nice to them!
So there you have it—a few simple rules I try to follow. Writing is a wonderful craft and I love it more every day. I hope you enjoy reading my efforts.
I promise you will enjoy Shannon's efforts! Here's the blurb for Rebel Moon to tempt you...
After a long search for the rebel group located in the eastern Canadian woods, Brandt Malik finally stumbles upon them while hunting one day. But before he can report back to his alphas, Brandt is captured by the rebels, who take one look at his uniform and believe he’s spying on them for the Bureau of Lupine Affairs. The rebels don’t make any attempt to hide their contempt and mistrust of the former agents, and Brandt is sent to be interrogated by the second in command, Zayne Sala, a powerful and dominant alpha.
Zayne has vowed never to truly mate with Brandt, no matter how painful it is for him to stay away from him, but as it becomes obvious that his plan won’t work, he tries instead to teach his mate proper submissive behavior and ignore his painful past. As their love struggles to take root, Zayne must learn to trust in Brandt and stand together against the forces trying to tear them apart or risk losing everything.