My Writing Process Blog Tour

Cyclops Bogart
Cyclops Bogart

Lots of announcements to share before I begin today’s blog post! As we near the release date of Seconds Before Sunrise (17 days to be exact), I am gathering so much support from lovely readers and writers that I want to share. So thank you to everyone. The people below, though, get an extra thanks today from Cyclops kitty.

Since Minutes Before Sunset is the first novel, I will share this untypical review by Tamara Morning, “Not only is the setting riveting and unique, but the characters are compelling, a combination sure to transport the reader to this magical world.”

Now that you’re up-to-date on the first book, you should check out the two latest reviews of Seconds Before Sunrise: (two?! Yes, two! ::excited dance::)

While Chris Pavesic wrote, “Thompson has produced an enjoyable story where the characters continue to grow and evolve. After reading the first two parts of the trilogy, I cannot wait for the next to appear!”, Pau’s Castle was living tweeting her incontrollable turmoil:


By clicking the links, you can read their entire review, but I must warn you of spoilers.

I also wanted to let you know that The Timely Death Trilogy hit 100 ratings on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.47 stars. Oh, the delight.


Whew. These announcements are getting out of hand (but any good party does), so I am continuing forth with today’s blog post:

Two weeks ago, I was nominated by author Dan Thompson to continue in “My Writing Process Blog Tour.” What is this tour? It’s just a bunch of authors gathering together (we have a tendency to do this over the internet) to share our writing process through these four questions:

  1. What Am I Working On?
  2. How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?
  3. Why Do I Write What I Do?
  4. How Does My Writing Process Work?

Special thanks to Dan. His answers can be found here, my answers are below, and my nominations are just below that. Enjoy!

What Am I Working On?

Other than the fast-approaching release of Seconds Before Sunrise, I am planning on publishing the first book in a new series next. (I just turned it into AEC Stellar Publishing.) And I look forward to sharing more information on it in the future. In terms of writing, I have many more projects under works, five of which are already completely written. I also have three more almost finished. It’s just a matter of how the cards fall. (Or in this case: how the books are flipped open.)

How Does My Work Differ From Others of its Genre?

Other than writing from two perspectives, I work really hard to challenge norms in the genre as well in literature. For instance, The Timely Death Trilogy flips the archetypes of Light vs. Dark in the sense that the dark is full of the “good guys.” I also try to challenge the genre with my characters by focusing on stereotypes: ex/ Crystal is a punk who loves journalism and prom. Jessica’s relationship with Eric is also not what the genre generally goes for. She can live without him. He, on the other hand, is a little different. And showing what a boy feels in a relationship isn’t common practice in YA, paranormal romance.

Why Do I Write What I Do?

Even under severe torture, I do not believe I could satisfy an interrogator with an answer because I don’t even know why I write what I do. I don’t think there has ever been an AHA moment when picking what to write next – the stories just come…and come, and come, and come again. Sure, I have lots of scattered storyline folders on Weebo – my trusted laptop – but my writer’s heart always picks the one I will work on next like they are fated lovers who fall in love at first sight, with uncontrollable need just because they walked into the same room that day.

How Does My Writing Process Work?

I will be the first to admit to how bizarre my writing process is. I know it’s unusual, and I’m okay with that. (I wish I could remember at what point I realized it was unique, but I cannot.) Nevertheless, I will try to explain to the best of my ability by using a scene from upcoming Seconds Before Sunrise:

  • I begin with a bunch of notecards, which I will probably write on for hours throughout the night. Preferably in dim lighting, just so I struggle to read it the next day. During this time, I also create maps, picture books, and more extras, including WAY too many notebooks full of information.
  • After everything is organized, the cards get typed up to this: (note that my handwriting is too bad to show what the notecards look like) What is this? It’s dialogue. The letter represents the name. I sort of look at this like a screenwriting approach (but not really.) This is just how my brain works.

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 7.10.47 PM

  • After I get almost all of the dialogue and scenes figured out, I add all the prose in-between to these scenes. So it turns into this teaser below:


I shoved my head into my locker and breathed hoarsely. It was the first day of school and sitting next to Jessica was already killing me. I wanted to talk to her, hold her, be with her − anything really − but I couldn’t. If the Light realized who or what we were, she’d be killed, and there was nothing I could do except stay away.

“You okay?” Jonathon asked, his voice squeaking through the slits of my locker.

I leaned back to stare at the blind artist. I wouldn’t believe he was Pierce, a powerful shade, if I hadn’t known his identities myself.

“I’m dealing,” I grumbled, unable to keep eye contact as Jessica passed us.

She flipped her brunette curls as she playfully hit Robb McLain’s arm. Robb McLain with his sparkling teeth, gelled hair, and playboy personality was the perfect jerk.

Robb slipped his arm over Jessica’s petite shoulders, and I gripped my locker.

“I am this close to killing him.”

Jonathon chuckled. “I’d like to see that.”

“This isn’t funny.”

Jonathon’s hands struck straight up. “No. No. Of course not.” He tried to smother his laughter. “Not funny at all.”

  • And repeat. Repeat. Repeat. At some point, it becomes this – my editing process in which I cut 130,000 words down to 80,000.


  • Once that’s done, we work at publication.


But publication is another process completely, so here are my nominations (with introductions) who will be posting on March 17th

Steven SanchezMy name is Steven Sanchez. I am a 31-year old writer, singer, and computer technician. I began writing my first book, The Acid Oasis: The Journal of Adrian Blackraven, at the age of 17 and self-published in January of 2012. Born and raised in New York City, I now reside in Florida with my wife and three children, where I am currently working on the ‘Satin’ novel series.

Raymond VogelPresident, AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc.; author, “Matter of Resistance” and “The Best Of You” (from “2013: A Stellar Collection”). All around decent guy.

Josephine HarwoodHi! My name is Josephine Harwood. I am a housewife, mother, and a family caregiver. In my spare time I love to read, play video role-playing games like Zelda, and writing stories. Writing a book was on my Bucket List, and Dark Secrets is my very first novel. It is the romantic-suspense story of two sisters who move from the East Coast down to West Texas and one of the sisters becomes the unsuspecting target of a stalker. Dark Secrets is only $2.99 and the first six chapters are FREE on Smashwords.

Be sure to check these authors out on March 17th, but in the meantime, I would love to hear about your writing process below! 


13 thoughts on “My Writing Process Blog Tour

  1. Wow! This is an interesting post, Shannon. I love how you shared to us, your readers, how your thought process works and how those random jots of ideas turned into a scene. ❤️

  2. Hi Shannon,
    I thought I’d share my thoughts on this blog with your audience. I don’t follow any specific process or routine when I write. I have tried various forms of structure, organisation and patterns, but I find that I write better when I do not plan at all. To many writers this will sound like an amateur statement but when it comes to writing I like to compare it to the flow in a meandering river; I try not to disturb the path ahead and simply let the words run their course as I channel my mind. I find listening to music helps me get in the zone. And coffee. This also probably explains why I prefer to write stories that are better read in one sitting. I find that rather than putting ink to paper whenever I come up with an interesting idea, I would rather store it subconsciously and let it come out when it wants to.
    My books can be seen on thomasagibbs.com and are available through Amazon.
    Tom A Gibbs

    1. Thanks for sharing your process! I actually look at mine as a steam of conscious, too, it just comes out differently. (If I could’ve added more details in this post, I think my statement would make more sense.) I write it in dialogue because it comes out too fast, and I am afraid I will lose the ideas. I can always add prose later. I can’t add ideas that I have lost. I don’t think writing without a plan is amateur at all. In fact, I think it can show how trusting the author is of the story and characters. I’m currently writing a story like that right now – no plan, no future scenes, no dialogue like written above. Just prose taking the way.

      1. Cool. I’ll have to check that out if you publish it. I’m trying to write a novel about a breakup with my ex with no characters.

  3. Great answers, Shannon. It was my pleasure nominating you! I always think it is extremely interesting how we writers differ so much in our approach to writing a novel.

  4. I really enjoyed reading how you approach the writing process, Shannon. It differs greatly from my own and I think that is what is so interesting about connecting with fellow writers, that we all differ in how we write and the systems we use in order to produce a finish piece.

    Congrats on all the positive feedback you’ve received for Seconds Before Sunrise. I predict great things for the book when it is released later this month.

  5. Thank you for the amazing post! I love finding out about authors’ writing process as much as I love seeing the inside of beautiful old homes; it’s such a different experience from my normal and I find it fascinating. Also, congratulations on the glowing reviews and the up-coming release of Seconds Before Sunrise!

    As far as my writing process goes, I tend to write in short, intense bursts. I only use Semikolon notebooks because they’re:
    1. the perfect size to carry around with me (I always have 2 or 3)
    2. colourful so each colour represents a different genre
    and they make me happy to look at.

    I tend to only write on the weekends or days I have off because I need blocks of time (at least 6 hours) to really get into the story and be productive. One of the prime examples of this was when I wrote the first book of my western trilogy in 9 days. I worked probably an average of 10 hours every Sunday then a few Saturdays and Fridays but got it done in a month. I work from a roughly-sketched timeline that is constantly evolving and I use my notebook to keep a running list of things to research once I finish the first draft.

    I like to write in the summer and winter, when I don’t like to go outside too much, and this will work perfectly when I start grad school- I’ll finish a few major manuscripts (going back to my novel-a-month approach) then revise and edit them through out the school year. I’m hoping this way I’ll still be engaged with my craft but I won’t have any big works in progress to distract from my studies.

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