I’m turning my blog over to Tamara Hughes today to give her a place to share her writing process.
Tamara Hughes is the author of Once Upon a Masquerade, a Victorian murder mystery romance set in New York City. She lives in Minnesota with her two kids and hubby. When she’s not reading or writing romance, she’s watching romantic movies and TV shows, playing poker, or cooking. (Oh, and spending time with her family. Yes, that too. Ha.) Visit Tamara at www.tamarahughes.com
“Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Lola! I love talking about romance books and writing so this should be a lot of fun!
1) What am I working on? – I’ve recently signed a contract with Entangled Publishing for a three book series with a pirate theme. While the first one is done, I’m working away on the second story and having a great time. Argh. Pirates be so much fun.
This story, tentatively titled Beauty’s Curse, involves a brooding pirate who plays the violin and his attempts to protect a woman who’s nice as can be but a whole lot of trouble. Bad luck seems to follow her wherever she goes.
2) How does my work differ from others of its genre? I like unique settings for my historicals (this one begins on a ship in the Atlantic Ocean and ends in the Bahamas). I also loved heroines who are imperfect. Usually they’re a bit clumsy or silly, maybe gullible. I suppose I just relate better to these types of women. Overall, my stories are fast-paced adventures.
While my paranormal romances aren’t published yet, they all have very unique paranormal people in them. I try to come up with twists on what’s out there or something altogether new.
3) Why do I write what I do? I love exploring ideas I’m not already familiar with. Historicals have built-in elements I can play with. For any given time or place, there are different rules of etiquette, interesting clothing, and the way a man and woman interact with one another… It’s almost like a dance. I find it very interesting. Men of the past were also more protective and chivalrous, which is so romantic.
As for my paranormals, I think my reasoning is the same. I can make up a new species of being and explore who they are and what makes them special. Do they interact with humans? And if so, how does that dynamic work? I love thinking through all of this stuff.
4) How does your writing process work? My process seems to change with each book, but as it stands right now, I start out with a basic premise or idea. I open a new document and I play with where this story could go. When I feel like I have enough to build on, I cast my characters. Basically, I Google images and try to imagine what these people might look like. Then I create a character sketch for each main character. This is a list of questions that range from what their internal and external issues are to what they like to eat and what type of clothes they like to wear.
From there I attempt to plot the book in an outline form, incorporating the external plot, resolving internal issues, and of course the progression of the relationship. Once this is done, I attempt to write the book. Lately, I’ve been writing a “solid” first draft, meaning not junk. I really think through the scenes as I write them and try to make the wording fairly good. I have my critique partners read the chapters as I write them to let me know if I’m going in a good direction. When the first draft is done, or mostly done, I start at the beginning and edit through. I begin with my critique partners’ suggestions and any big changes I feel are needed, and work my way into the minor things like searching for overused words or phrases. Finally, I do one big read-through before I hand the manuscript to my editor.
Thanks for stopping by!