Jul 6, 2014

My Writing Process Blog Tour

Check out this video if you want to hear me reading some of FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN, the manuscript I'm about to talk about in this blog post! I start reading at the 1:55 mark, but I make some terrible jokes before that and generally am awkward in every way, so I recommend watching the whole thing.

Oh hi guys. Katherine Locke, a good Twitter buddy, tagged me in the My Writing Process blog tour! Here we go:

What am I working on?

My next YA contemporary, FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN. FTWL is about three strangers who, after trying (and failing) to die by jumping off the Ben Franklin Bridge, find themselves stuck in a supermarket overnight with only one another for company. Hijinks, kissing, personal revelations, food fights, makeshift therapy, and lobsters in baby clothes ensue, but all is not well, and one of them secretly isn't convinced about wanting to live.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN could be considered a "dark contemporary" based on its premise, but most of those are...well, darker than this one. There's nothing wrong with that, and my manuscript is not inherently better because it's different in that way. That said, my book, unlike most other dark contemporaries, includes a fair bit of humor, which is admittedly a first for me as a writer as is thusly nerve-wracking. FOR THOSE WHO LISTEN is different because it's not strictly dark and sad, but it's also not strictly happy and light.

Why do I write what I do?

I tried to die in early 2012, so I know, in broad terms, what it's like. Of course, I don't know what it's like to want to commit suicide from the perspective of everyone who does. But I know the foundation of that experience, and I know some of the thoughts and feelings people might have. But I don't believe in "Write what you know," and I don't write about this because I know about it. I write about suicide, mental illness, sexual orientation, gender identity, and everything else I write about for a million reasons, but the main one is because I have something to say about them. I want to contribute to a culture in which having something to say about suicide, mental illness, sexual orientation, gender identity is not taboo, because then maybe being suicidal, mentally ill, LGBQIA, or trans*/gender nonconforming won't be taboo.

How does my writing process work?

I write almost exclusively on my iPhone. I used to write almost exclusively on an (even smaller!) iPod. But I don't really require anything special; just a quiet room and kinda loud music and blaring thoughts. Preferably I'll be emotional and riding a caffeine high, but I'm a high school student. I write when I can, where I can, and almost always when I'm supposed to be doing homework.

After the first draft is done, I'll revise on my crappy free word processor, which I've recently ditched in favor of Scrivener. While I'm writing, I keep a file entitled "THINGS TO CHANGE IN REVISIONS," and I use this to iron out everything I see that's wrong with it. I'll do one major edit, anywhere from two to four passes after that, and then it's off to my critique partners.

Next week on the blog tour:

Allison Mulder can often be found stealing taller bookshelves from family members, scouring Iowa’s wilderness for fellow writerly types, or pursuing an English degree at college. With all this stealing, scouring, and pursuing to do, she sometimes forgets to blog. But she is steadily filling her laptop with YA fantasy novels and also tweets a lot. Check out her blog at http://thesilentpages.blogspot.com/ or yell at @silent_pages for not remembering to blog.