My guest urban fantasy author, Jennifer Estep. She writes both an adult Elemental Assassin series and Mythos Academy series for young adults.
Jennifer talks about how she writes her stories.
Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to say thanks to Sia for having me on the blog again today. Thanks so much, Sia!
So today I thought I would talk a little about my writing process since that always seems to be a popular question with readers, authors, and everyone else. How do you go about taking the characters and stories in your head, getting them down on paper (or in the computer), and turning them into a cohesive book? Everyone’s process is a little different. Some people like to plot out what will happen in every single chapter. Other folks just take an idea and run with it. There’s no right or wrong way to write a book. All that really matters at the end of the day is getting the words down and finishing that first rough draft.
I have to admit that I’m a total panster when it comes to writing. I don’t do detailed outlines, character descriptions, storyboards, or anything like that. I just think about my heroine, her magic, and how she can use it to defeat the bad guys. Once I have that in mind, along with some of the major turning points of the story, I just sit down and start writing.
Sometimes, it works out well, and the story just flows. Other times … not so much. It’s not pretty, but it’s the method that works for me. I find that if I outline a story too much that I sort of get impatient and even a little bored writing it, since I know what’s going to happen next. I guess part of me likes my characters to surprise me a little bit as I write them.
When I do start writing that first rough draft, I try to write at least 2,000 to 3,000 words a day (or more) until I have a rough draft of about 50,000 or 60,000 words or so. I find that working on the draft every day helps me keep the story flowing and the words pouring out. Then, when I’m finished with the rough draft, I let the story sit for a few weeks before going back to it, reading through, and seeing what changes might need to be made and what needs to be added to the story.
Then, I start my second draft, where I layer in more emotion, description, and dialogue. With my second draft, I usually aim to have about 90,000 words by the time I finish it. Then, I let that draft sit for a few weeks before going back to it and layering in even more emotion, description, and dialogue. I usually do this a couple of times until I have a draft of about 95,000 words or so and the book is the best that I can make it.
So there you have it – a little bit about my writing process.
- What about you guys? What’s your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a panster? What books are you enjoying right now?
Spider's Revenge Available 9/27/11
Old habits die hard for assassins.
And I plan on murdering someone before the night is through.
Killing used to be my regular gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spider, assassin-for-hire. And I was very, very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly matters: Mab Monroe, the dangerous Fire elemental who murdered my family when I was thirteen.
Oh, I don’t think the mission will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more problematic than expected. The bitch knows I’m coming for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters Mab hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keeping Bria safe is my first priority. Taking Mab out is a close second.
Good thing I’ve got my powerful Ice and Stone magic—and my irresistible lover, Owen Grayson—to watch my back. This battle has been years in the making, and there’s a good chance I won’t survive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s coming with me . . . no matter what I have to do to make that happen. Excerpt
USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.
Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book in the series, will be released on Sept. 27.
Jennifer also writes the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, was released in August. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is available as a 99-cent download. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will be released on Nov. 29.
For more information, excerpts, and more, visit Jennifer’s website at http://www.jenniferestep.com/.