The Writing Process
Contributor
Written by
Lisa Dyer
August 2014
Contributor
Written by
Lisa Dyer
August 2014

Here is my version of The Writing Process


What am I currently working on?

Actually...I've kind of got three things on the go. I know, spreading myself a little thin. One is a Young Adult novel - What Are Ghosts Afraid Of? This one is quite a bit of the way through but I've reached a halt and am still working out my demons on that one. Secondly, an untitled chick-lit piece that started off with great panache and good intentions but stalled. Not because I don't know where it's going but because my third project took over. The Winter Rose is proving to be a genre mash up - a romance/historical/supernatural murder-mystery (I'm not even sure you can have that much of a genre mash up to be honest). We shall see.

What makes my writing distinctive?

I don't know...I use third person omniscient although I do generally have a distinctive protagonist. I guess it's up to the reader to decide if I have a distinctive writing voice.

Why do I write what I write?

I like ideas that amuse and intrigue me. I also enjoy looking at the weirdness of relationships. I don't really want to write straight chick-lit with the boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back dynamic. Relationships are messy and they suck sometimes. They're also amazing and make you feel alive so I want to go down that route rather than the soppy will they/won't they road. With Since You've Been Gone I had the need to express something about how I felt going back home to Dover (also the home town of my protag Hal Bartlett) but also I was quite determined to subvert expectation. I think, in the most part, I succeeded with that.

How does the writing process work?

I'm a pantser - I write by the seat of my pants. I can't plan for toffee. I get an idea, a starting point. I get the measure of my characters and I get an ending. I just then work to join up that initial opening 'scene' with the final closing one. I started off writing scripts and putting them into contests. I think I probably write my novels in the same way. I 'see' a scene and I write that 'scene' (maybe that will translate to one side of an A4 piece of paper - I do it all long hand and type it up later). Then I will use that to progress to the next 'scene' and so on. So, when other writers/authors talk about word counts they like to achieve every day - 1,000/2,000/3,000 words, I talk about maybe 800 words. I do short, sharp blocks of writing.

Since You've Been Gone was relatively easy to write because it started out as a 90 page script that had been through tough feedback from a professional script reader. It had also been in competition - Prequel to Cannes (2nd place) and was only one of 25 scripts picked annually in the BAFTA/Rocliffe New Writers Forum Prize. It had its structure in place. So, writing from scratch is taking me some time.

What next?

I'll keep going. Perhaps The Winter Rose will get so far and I shall put it away and pick up either What Are Ghosts Afraid Of? or the untitled one and push them forward some more. I certainly don't feel the need to churn out novel after novel. I just take it as it comes.

Lisa x

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