On the first Friday of the month, Novelista Annie Burrows blogs about her writing life. This month, she is taking part in the "Writing Process" blog hop, after being tagged by fellow Novelista Valerie-Anne Baglietto
What am I working on?
I'm collaborating with two other Harlequin writers
(Sarah Mallory and Louise Allen) in a trilogy which we're bringing out in 2015
to commemorate the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. So far we're calling it "The Battlefield Brides", but that is just a working title. It's great fun working on a continuity, like this. I have two other ladies immersed in my characters' adventures, and we're constantly chatting to each other, via emails, as our work progresses. We might be checking background research, making sure our timelines match up perfectly, or simply swapping pictures of the actors we'd like to play our heroes.
(Photo: Major Adam Flint, Hero of Louise Allen's book, brooding...)
How do my stories differ from others of their genre?
Every writer, in fact every person on this planet
has a unique personality.No two of us
are alike.If three people were to write
down a description of the same event, each of them would be radically different
- because each person looks at the world through a unique perspective.So my books reflect my take on life, which
tends to mean that they keep on leaning towards the more light-hearted end of
the Regency spectrum.If I have a
highwayman holding up a coach, for example, it is as likely to turn into a
comic scene as a moment of high drama.
(Photo: Major Bartlett, plotting the seduction of my heroine)
Why do I write?
I'm very tempted to quote Valerie-Anne Baglietto's
answer here (from previous blog post)In
a nutshell, I can't help it!Like Val,
if I don't write, I get twitchy.Like
Val, I've always had a cast of characters flitting like butterflies through my
brain.When I was very young, I used to
think of these people as my "invisible friends".And nowadays I still feel as if I spend my
time writing down the adventures of my invisible friends.
How does my writing process work?
If only I knew!Well, ok, then.Basically, I have a set of characters, or a
scene, drifting around my mind which I feel a need to write down.Because I make my living from writing, I then
have a jolly good think about whether I could make that scene, or those
characters, grow into a fully fledged story.(I have dozens of notebooks full of snippets which may or may not get
used.)If I think a story will
"work", or if the characters just won't leave me alone, I jot down an
outline and send it to my editor at Mills & Boon to see if she likes
it.Mostly, by the time I've got to this
stage with a fledgling story, I know that it could become a book that others
would enjoy reading.
When I get the
go-ahead for any story, I launch into it with great enthusiasm, flinging all my
ideas down as I go.And then I print out
what I've written, so that I can look at it the way a reader would look at it.And start sorting out the language, making it
into the kind of thing someone would (hopefully) get a great deal of
entertainment from reading.This is
always the most difficult bit for me - bringing my characters and their
predicaments to life on the page.Imagining their adventures is easy - bringing them to life requires
weeks of slog.
Annie's latest book, "Portrait of a Scandal" is available for purchase from Amazon UK