I'd like to welcome Summer Walden, author of Honeysuckle Love, to the blog today. I hope you all enjoy her post.
Write However, Whenever. Just Write.
I’ve had people ask me how I write. Well, there’s no correct writing process. Sure, you learn about the Writing Process in school, but it’s a bunch of hooey. Every person (who writes) writes differently, and all forms are acceptable. Now what’s not acceptable is never revising and editing your work. Ugh. Find some critique partners. Find an editor. It doesn’t matter if you’re going it alone as I am or signed with a big publishing house. Make sure you have an editor. And a good one.
My process is usually all over the place. I get an idea for a story, mull it over in my brain, take notes or make a loose (and I mean very loose) outline, and begin. Do I begin at the beginning? Never. I’ve never started a story from the beginning. I always start with whatever scene pops into my head first. But I write fiction. It may prove harder to write this way if I wrote nonfiction. Some might argue that this can mess up the whole character development thing, but I’ve never had that be the case. Sure, I end up changing scenes, sometimes a little, and sometimes altogether. Sometimes I cut them completely. But I always write whatever feels right in that moment. I don’t ever try to go Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and so on.
I’ve run into several dilemmas writing this way. You see, the good thing about writing linearly is that you seldom make mistakes in your plot progression with times, dates, information characters know or don’t know. But when you write all over the place—I like to call it the Chaotic Method—then you tend to run a higher risk of having conflicting information in your story. Take this morning, for instance. I’m in the process of writing my third novel, Going Under. I was writing a scene where a character makes reference to information she hasn’t yet discovered! And that’s because I’ve already written the scene where she discovers it, but the one I worked on this morning comes way earlier in the draft. Whoops. So yeah, that can be an issue. But that’s what your editor is for, right? (She’d love hearing that.)
Here’s the thing about it: I would never again (because I have in the past) give someone instructions on the appropriate way to write. The correct process, if you will. I did that for a few years as a writing teacher, and felt like one huge fraud. It was frustrating for me and frustrating for my students. They thought they had to write a certain way, and I knew better. But my hands were tied—I had to adhere to the curriculum—though that’s no excuse. I should have been subversive in my teaching. It always makes you a better teacher when you’re subversive. Remember that. In any case, I carry a bit of guilt for passing off the five-paragraph essay and Writing Process as the appropriate methods. I’m trying to atone for it now.
So write however you want. Find the process that works best for you. Maybe you are more organized and enjoy writing linearly. It keeps you sane. It keeps your story sensible. It helps you write better. Go for it. Maybe you’re like me and ideas just explode in your brain at random. Before you know it, you’ve got an entire Word document filled with a bunch of unorganized scenes. Then it’s like a puzzle: move this around, that around, until it fits. Whatever works for you, do it. But however you do it, just do it. Keep writing.
Title: Honeysuckle Love
Author: S. Walden
Date Published: 19th Nov 2012
Genre: Upper YA Romance - New Adult
Genre: Upper YA Romance - New Adult
Clara Greenwich is too young to take on the sole responsibility of caring for herself
and her younger sister. She’s just sixteen. She should be focused on school, hanging out with friends, falling in love. Instead, she’s working to pay off the mound of bills her mother left behind when she vanished at the start of the school year. Left alone with her ten-year-old sister, Beatrice, Clara discovers that she is now the parent, the provider, and the responsibilities grow to be more than she can handle.
Complicating matters is senior Evan Morningstar who starts pursuing Clara at the beginning of her junior year. She’s confused by this. Evan is a popular, likeable guy.
She describes herself as a nobody—a quiet, intensely shy girl who suffers from social anxiety. She wants love like any teenage girl, but she’s terrified to let Evan get close, to discover her secrets. His gentle persistence eventually wins out, however, and she has no option but to open her heart to him.
When Clara’s responsibilities prove too great, she begins a slow descent into depression, making dangerous choices that threaten her relationships. She can stay trapped in her despair or discover redemption—how to forgive the past and love again.
The tardy bell drowned out Clara’s laughter as the remaining students hurried into class. She tried to concentrate during the lecture, but it was hard with Evan sitting so close. She wanted him to keep saying silly things to her to make her laugh. She loved feeling the laughter all throughout her body, making her warm and giddy. It made her forget about her troubles. It made her feel special.
She didn’t understand why he chose to sit beside her today. He always sat with his friends on the opposite side of the room. Were they wondering, too, why he chose to hang out with a nobody? She would not get caught up in the ridiculous idea that he liked her. But he did make a point to walk over to her and sit with her in the cafeteria. In front of everyone. And he did say she was pretty. Well, the exact words were, “You’re too pretty to say something so blasphemous.” He couldn’t know that she’d been mulling over those words since the moment he said them. And now he sat beside her in class when he never did that.
He was like the cat they used to have years ago that showed up one day, kept coming around for food but was never pushy about it, and before Clara knew it, the cat was sleeping with her in her bed. The image changed to Evan sleeping with her in her bed, and she jumped in her seat.
“Are you okay?” Evan whispered leaning over close to her.
She nodded, afraid to look at him. She was convinced her eyes would give away her secret thoughts.
Summer Walden used to teach English before making the easy decision to become a full-time writer.
Easy because once she completed a full-time graduate program, there weren't any teaching jobs anyway! She lives in Georgia with her very supportive husband who does not read fiction and has a difficult time understanding why her characters must have personality flaws. She is wary of small children, so she has two Westies instead. Her dreams include getting through her next big writing project (a three-part series) and owning and operating a beachside inn on the Gulf Coast.
Her husband's dreams for her include getting her Ph.D. so that he can tell people he's married to a doctor.
She loves her fans and loves to hear from them. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her blog at http://swaldenauthor.blogspot.com where you can get up-to-date information on her current projects.