Today we welcome S.M. Pace, author of Shadow of the Wolf, to Comfortably Read! Tell us, what is your writing process like?
My Writing Process
I’m a rather bizarre mix of panster and overplanner. In the past I’ve spent weeks creating an outline, then several months to a year not following that outline. Lately, I’ve settled into a new and more organized process that keeps me a lot more productive.
Step 1: Planning. I’m a huge fan of Holly Lisle, and I use her How To Think Sideways course, as well as her plot and scene clinics to plan out my novel. It’s helped me create scene ideas that are actually good, plot moving scenes, so I won’t end up discarding my outline, and wasting a lot of time meandering around three or four disconnected main plotlines.
Step 2: Writing. I can’t write by hand, except to brainstorm. Every part of the draft has to be typed, so my laptop is highly valuable to me. I use scrivener to keep my scenes organized. I try to write at least 1000 words a day, which can take me anywhere from twenty minutes to three hours. If I’m really stuck, I resort to
my Write or Die application to force myself to produce the words I need. I don’t like doing it too much, because the words I produce, while chock full of muse inspired strokes of brilliance, are an utter mess. They need to be revised before I can add them to the draft.
It takes me about a week to finish a short story, and three months to finish a novel. More often than not, the novel will disappear into my back burner file, because I’m not ready to show it to the world. Only if I plan to publish it will I continue to work on a novel after finishing the first draft. Short stories I work on sporadically,
though with a bit more determination if I have a place to submit them.
Step 3: Revision. Once I finish a first draft, I let the work breathe anywhere from a week to month, depending on how badly I want to start working on it again. I use Holly Lisle’s revision course for this part. It helps keep me organized and on track, so I don’t waste time doing line edits on a scene I later find out needs to be cut out completely.
Once I’ve produced a revised second draft, I go to my online critique groups. My favorite one is critters.org. I’ve gotten my most useful reviews from there, as well as made some awesome writing friends.
Once I have all my critiques, which can take up to two months for a novel, I compile everything and start making notes. Then I go back to cutting, rewriting and revising. I submit it for more critiques, and back again to cutting, rewriting and revising. My sixth draft is usually my final draft. I polish it as much as I’m able, submit it to my editor for a final proofread.
Young Adult Fantasy
Date Published: 11/28/12
Toby has always felt like an outcast in his village, but he thought winning a game at the Summer Fair was the answer to making friends. The local boys disagreed and literally threw Toby to the wolves. Stranded in enemy territory with a broken leg, he’s offered two options by the resident werewolves; death or permanent exile from his race.
Although Toby longs to return to his family, he chooses to live. But the werewolf children torment him just like the boys and girls back home. When he fights back and discovers he can wield magic, a crime in his old kingdom, he realizes he’s safer with the werewolves than he ever was amongst his own kind. He even finds happiness and acceptance, until his real sister contacts him with her own forbidden magic.
Fearing for her safety, Toby must decide where his loyalties lie; with the family he grew up with or the werewolves who took him in when his own people discarded him?
It seemed impossible. Noah Cham, apologizing and offering to be friends. Toby hesitated, his mind unable to grasp such a rapid change. Too good to be true.
He shoved the caustic thought away and stuck out his hand. "Sounds good to me."
The corner of Noah's mouth twitched and he stared at Toby's hand for a second before accepting the handshake with an easy grip.
"Good game earlier," Toby added.
Noah flinched a little, his smile wavering then snapping back into place. “Definitely an interesting game.” He shared a glance with his friends and lifted the bat he held. “We're headed out to the perimeter, to hit a few rocks. You want to come?”
Toby thought about it for less than a blink. “Sure.”
The other three started toward the road, but before Toby took three steps a hand clamped on his wrist, yanking him back.
Ora glared at him, eyes fierce. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Toby tugged his arm out of her grip. “Making friends. You should try it, just once. You’re too paranoid."
Her eyes darkened, flicking to Noah, who had stopped to watch them. “Paranoid or not, I’m no fool. He’s planning something.”
For a moment, just one small moment, looking into her eyes, doubt crushed Toby. The knowledge that he was being foolish. He knew Noah would never change so easily.
He shrugged the weight off. “Probably. But I can handle it. Tell Mama I’ll be home for supper.”
Ora reached for his hand again. He slipped away and left her clutching at air, staring at him with that Ora look, like she thought she’d never see him again. The weight crept back, but Toby shoved it away. He wanted friends. Someone besides his sister and little brother to do things with; even stupid things.
About the author:
Stephanie Pace is an avid reader of every genre, though fantasy is her favorite. She started writing at fifteen, and never looked back. She currently works as a pre-K teacher by day, and a determined self-publisher by night. When she’s not distracting herself with conlanging and world-building, she loves to do cross stitch or escape to the outdoors when the weather is nice. She lives in central Virginia with her boyfriend, and the rest of her crazy, amazingly supportive family close by.
Where to buy: Amazon - Kindle
Book's Website: http://threadsofmagic.blogspot.com/
Twitter Page: https://twitter.com/StephMPace
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/StephMPace
Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie!!