Monday, 20 January 2014

My Writing Process - Real Friends or Characters?

I've been asked by award winning author, ChrisLongmuir to participate in a little fun called, My Writing Process. Before I launch into the four questions I have been asked to answer about me and my writing, would you please take a moment to visit Chris's blog and find out all about her writing, which includes the Dundee Crime Series, chilling reading and I loved them!

What am I working on?

Now this is a question I keep asking myself! Seriously I am working on, book 5, the working title is, In the Light of Day. I would be fibbing if I said writing this story was a walk in the park. In fact I have deleted more words than are left on my laptop. Why you might ask? The simple fact is I know the start and I know the end, the middle part is testing me, but only because my characters are developing. As they develop they often take me down a road I had not thought about or they say things I had not expected from them. For me it is like getting to know a new friend. The more you see and talk to each other the more you learn about them. Bertie and Kitty Costain are my new friends. The difference between real friends and my new characters is that I am, with their help, going to take them on a journey. It will be a journey that will be filled with emotion and regret because their story is about addiction, not in the sense of drugs or alcohol; there are many other additions that take over people's lives. And like all addictions, eventually lies and secrets will no longer be able to be contained. In The Light of Day (working title) is due out in 2014 - that is if I stop deleting all the words!

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Now how difficult is this question? For me very difficult!
I don't write books like Fifty Shades of Gray, nor chic-lit or murder mystery thrillers. I never step into the paranormal or fantasy, so what do I write?

I write books about events that happen, events that change people's lives forever, including those caught up in the maelstrom. I'm emotional and passionate with my writing, I want my characters to sit at your side, steal your attention and sweep you up in their story. Stories that will bring tears to your eyes, have you laughing out loud and sometimes, what they share with you, will stay  in your hearts for a very long time.

Why do I write what I do?

I feel I am being tested with these questions! I guess my answer is that I love to write about life, but more importantly I like to get into the emotional side of my characters. I want to know what makes them who they are. I want to show their darker sides, their softer side I want them to reveal that they feel pain as well as joy. I want to bring out their strengths and their weakness. I want to test them against each other and more importantly I want the reader to feel everything they feel as if they were in that person's shoes.

How does your writing process work?

If you have an answer to this, please tell me! Simply, I don't have a strict writing process, though when I write it is normally the afternoons. By this time of the day I have managed most of my responsibilities and appointments. But even when I am not physically writing, I am constantly running ideas and having conversations with my characters in my head and yes, they do talk back! Normally when I start a new book (WIP) I have a plot. In principle it is the start and end, though by the time I reach writing the end, my original idea for the end has change. I love the initial draft, though it does take me a very long time to write as I am inclined to go back if I change anything as I want to get the thread of the story right. This happens far too often, but for me I need to do this. I save every version and by the time the first draft is written I am well into double figures on the saved versions! I guess my process is simply to enjoy writing my stories. It may not be the correct way. However, for me it is my way and is more often than not filled with enjoyment as I journey with my characters.

That's it I've answered the four questions. Thanks again Chris Longmuir for passing the baton to me, I hope I have grabbed it tight enough. Now for the next victim! The wonderfully talented Janna Gray. Janna's post will appear on her Blog on Monday 27th January, please do pop along and meet here.

"Janna Gray is a storyteller, something to be regarded as a gift, not all that easily found, so when agents or editors come across an author who is a genuine storyteller, their hearts do indeed leap up as does a flying bird."                                                                                     

"Janna Gray’s writing reminds me of Maeve Binchy … I sense something of the same story-telling gift in her work.  
A. Hilary Johnson Author’s Advisory Service"

Twitter: @jannagray9

Kilingiri is on the Honoree list at the B.R.A.G MedallionTM website (


Chris Longmuir said...

Lovely post, Pauline, and I enjoyed reading about your writing process.

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Chris, thank you and thank you for passing the baton on! Have a great day.

Suzy Turner said...

Fabulous post, Pauline! It's always nice to get a glimpse into authors' lives :) xxx

Pauline Barclay said...

Hi Suzy, thanks for your kind words. Hope all is fab with you. xxx

Lizzie Lamb said...

I think if the author stops thinking of her characters as real people they become ciphers and the book suffers as a result. Not something your could be accused of, Pauline.

Unknown said...

I'm not at all surprised by this, Pauline! Your passion for your characters and their plights and triumphs is evident in your novels. I read for character far more than I do for plot, and I like stories about "life" -- that's why I enjoy your talent so much. I can't wait for number five. :)

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Lizzie, thank you, and like most writers, my characters are as real as people! x

Pauline Barclay said...

Aww thanks so much Tanya. x

Wendy Percival said...

I love your answers, Pauline! Made me laugh, especially about the writing process! It's so me, with the changes and re-jigs along the way and ending up with umpty-twiddly drafts! I'm doing my version of this on 27th, following on from Helen Hollick. It's quite good to take a step back and analyse now and again, isn't it? ;-)

Pauline Barclay said...

Hello Wendy, phew, glad I am not the only one with multi versions! Have a great day and thanks for stopping by. And, good luck :)

Eileen Schuh: said...

I love your answers, Pauline. Good luck with your work-in-progress.