122 Rules by Deek Rhew

Sunday, October 27, 2013

My Writing Process - On the Blog Tour

Author L. Jay Scott
It’s blog tour day! I am so happy to get to be involved in this promotion of my fellow writers and their craft. My friend and cohort in crime Erin Albert posted hers last week. Forgive me while I shamelessly plug her book, The Prophecy, which comes out November 15, 2013. Check out both her blog and her book. You can read about her writing process here: Erin Albert.

Without further ado, prepare to enter my mind!

What am I working on?
I am going through the final edits of my debut novel, 122Rules. My writing journey has been an epic adventure as it probably is for most first time authors. In my case, I missed the debut-novels-need-to-be-80,000-words rule, so my first fully edited version was almost 160,000 words. Yep, pass the Literary Kaopectate; I’ve got diarrhea of the keyboard. The beta reader reviews were good, but the length wasn’t acceptable.

So I began a rewrite and have successfully broken the story into two books: 122 Rules and 122 Rules Redemption. My plan is to have the first book completely edited by December and out to beta readers. When I receive it back from them, I’ll make changes based on feedback then enter it into the Amazon new authors contest at the end of January.

I read about the contest last year and just missed the deadline for entering my tomb of novel by a few weeks. So glad I missed the window because, in my humble opinion, what came out of the ashes is by far a better product.

In addition, I have the third story in the trilogy about 1/3 done. I also have several synopses written for future stories that are bubbling and percolating like a witch’s cauldron in the back of my mind. Lastly, I have a complete short story, Birth of an American Gigolo, which I will  submit to whoever picks me up for publishing.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Super high-level summary: My story is a thriller novel about a man who lives outside the law tasked to find people who don’t want to be found.

I believe that my work has a different voice than anything else I’ve read. As much as I like to think I am creating something completely outside of myself, I read it and hear me talking, telling the story. A strange brew of serious, sarcastic, funny—at least I think so :-)— and adventurous. I find it entertaining, which is a good thing since I have now spent over two years working on it. Hopefully my readers will too.

Why do I write what I write?
This is an interesting question. Let me start by saying I am not dedicated to any specific genre, as either a reader or a writer. I read most anything that strikes my fancy. I’m a story guy. Tell me a great tale, and I’m hooked. So far, everything I’ve written and have in the hopper is of this same thriller genre, though it could be argued that Redemptionleans towards a more romantic classification. Oh, how everyone likes to bucketize everything!

All that being said, I don’t believe I choose the stories; I think the stories choose me. Stephen King said that he thinks of stories as something that already exist. They are buried deep in the ground like artifacts, and you have to dig them up. In my humble opinion, Mr. King is spot on.

I started my story with a vision in my head of a scene, nothing more. A woman asleep in her bed, blankets heaped all over her, with an open window overlooking the ocean and a breeze rustling the drapes, blowing dust bunnies across the floor. She is not an early riser, and when she sits up, she sees a freezing sea of cold hardwood she has to cross to get to the magic elixir that is coffee. She gets a cup and sits out on the balcony, looking over the ocean, and we learn that she is hiding. She has a new life and new identity. We get a little glimpse into her old life though we don’t yet know why she’s here or what made her leave.

At this point, I didn’t even know the why until several chapters later. There was no planning, no plot development, and no character development. I just yark my stories out like a cat coughing up a hair ball, and most of the time I don’t know what’s coming. Maybe that will make things seem more spontaneous to the reader…or maybe it will seem disjointed and random such as are the thoughts in my head!

How does you writing process work?
So I talked a bit about not planning or plotting my books. I write whatever comes out as fast as I can, and I don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, or grammar. Sometimes it isn’t too bad, but other times, it looks as though a mentally challenged middle schooler wrote it. After the initial dump, I move stuff around the timeline that needs to be moved—things don’t always come out in the right order—then I start editing. I am a SLOW, plodding editor. I’ve spent entire days working on a single page—,reworking sentence to clean up passive voice, POV problems, and wording. Even now that the final edits of the first 17 chapters are about done, I have a few sentences here and there that have been flagged to review for months.

I do not write at a desk. I usually work from my hammock. Though in the Pacific Northwest, days nice enough for hammock writing are few and far between, so I also write from the couch, the coffee shop, my bed, and, on some rainy days, the back seat of the car. There is nothing quite like hearing the patter of rain while you write. The scene I’m writing as well as my mood dictate the music I choose and often affect the raw content.  Edits are almost always done to quiet or to background noise such as the rain.

I usually have something to drink while I’m writing . I used to enjoy sipping a glass of wine, but lately, it’s been tea. Like some internal switch got thrown a couple of months ago <insert old age joke here>… Coffee in the morning, and tea the rest of the time.

Thank you for stopping in and reading about my writing process!

Next week:
JenniferMoormanJennifer is a southern writer who can be won over with chocolate, unicorns, or rainbows. She divides her time between working full-time in a publishing house, writing, and freelance editing. Her whimsical debut novel, The Baker's Man, tells the story of a young woman who creates much more than cupcakes in her enchanted bakery. She is hard at work on her next novel, Honeysuckle Hollow.

LucianaCavallaro - Luciana taught in government and private schools and during this time studied Ancient History, attended writer’s workshops and concluded a course in proof reading and editing. She has traveled extensively and has revisited her favorite destinations—Greece and Italy—the inspiration for her stories. After working in high schools for many years she resigned to concentrate on writing.


  1. Great post, Jay!! As usual, you totally crack me up!! ;)

    1. Thank you for including me on the blog tour, Erin! Always a pleasure!