Saturday, February 20, 2016

A Little Something for the Weekend - My Writing Process

We're delighted to welcome back Janie Crouch to the Pink Heart Society as she talks about those all important character names...

I was going to write about my workspace. I know that’s always a favorite (for me too! I love see other people’s creative nooks). But honestly, mine is quite boring.

We have four school-aged children, so I made the conscious decision to put my desk in the corner of the living room when we moved last year. 

I try to do most of my writing while they’re at school, but when they are home I don’t want to be off in a room by myself every time I’m trying to read a page or edit a few paragraphs.

Perhaps a little more interesting is my white board.  Here’s what the beginning stages of a six-book Harlequin Intrigue proposal looks like. In this case I started with the villains. I have to work out who the overall bad guy is and why he is. Then who the individual baddies will be in each book (assuming the super villain doesn’t get caught until the end).

I also have to figure out names of all the characters so none are too similar (I almost ended up with a Deacon and Danica! – that would not work well). Plus the tropes I’m aiming for (secret baby, enemies to lovers, friends to lovers, reunited lovers, bad boy/good girl, Cinderella, surprise pregnancy…).

After I get all the series-wide issues worked out, then I start to look at the books individually.  I end up going through about 4-6 pages of 18x12 inch sketch-pad size sheets of paper plotting out each book. It often comes out in flow chart form so I’m sure I’m not writing myself into a corner.

Then finally I sit and write! I of course have many trusty books at my side as I do, including these:

After about a month of writing the first draft –I try to write 3,000 words a day, five days a week—I go through two separate rounds of edits done by me. The first for overall story structure, the second for individual sentence and word strengthening. Then finally it’s ready to send off to my beta readers and personal editors then finally to my editor at Harlequin.

And then finally this:

What's your favourite part of the writing / publishing process? Join the discussion in the comments!

Janie’s latest Harlequin Intrigue novel, Fully Committed, is available now: 

The Texas heat did nothing to stop an elusive criminal.

Omega Sector: Critical Response agent Jon Hatton is running out of options. If he doesn't get a decent lead soon, a serial rapist will strike again. His best chances lie with the intuitive skills of forensic artist Sherry Mitchell, a beautiful woman struggling with PTSD. 

In exchange for her help, Jon teaches Sherry to manage her symptoms, and soon they are unable to resist their Texas-hot attraction. With Jon as her lifeline, Sherry uncovers clues that prompt a frightening message from the attacker. Jon knows Sherry's determined to help catch this criminal, but keeping safe is his top priority. Followed by making her his bride.

Janie Crouch’s books have been nominated for both the 2014 and 2015  Romantic Times (RT) Reviewer’s Choice Award and various other awards.  She currently lives on an American military base in Stuttgart, Germany with her hubby and four kids. Unfortunately,  ihr Deutsch ist nicht sehr gut zur Zeit. She loves travelling, adventure racing, and movies of all kinds. 

Find out more about Janie by following her on Facebook and Twitter and checking out her website!

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