The Writing ProcessK.N. Lee
In this article I will describe the writing process, what I do when I get stuck, whether I prefer to kill a character, and how I determine if a book is YA, NA, Romance, or Paranormal.
Writing has always been my greatest pleasure in life. I have been doing it since childhood and plan on continuing until I am too old to type or wield a pen. There is a process when it comes to writing, and it is quite magical.
For me, it all begins with a dream. My eyes close and I drift into a parallel universe of my subconscious. There characters are crafted and fantastical stories are viewed like a film in a theater. When I wake up it is my job to translate what I witnessed in my dream, so that I may share the wonder with others. Rarely am I ever in my dreams. Characters take center stage, and so they are the ones truly in control. I start the first sentence, and let them lead the way. I am always amazed by the way the characters flesh themselves out with their own unique personalities and desires. I create characters that were formed by my mind. It is this fact that makes me realize that each character has a very special piece of my own true self.
Koa in The Chronicles of Koa series is this tiny girl that no one would ever think could have any power, but she surprises those that doubt her with her strong resolve and ambition. I believe she is a nod toward who I want to be. Lilae, from my Rise of the Flame series is timid and withdrawn from others, too afraid to even look into someone’s eyes for fear that she will be judged. She is my most cherished character, for she depicts my struggles with shyness and insecurities as a child.
Since it is the characters that lead the way through a novel, I let them help me when I hit a snag. Whenever there is a chapter or scene that I continuously stumble on, or it keeps me from reaching the finish line, I consult with my muses. A walk through nature seems to help, music, or picking up another book I enjoy, and read for awhile. My greatest aid is the moments before I drift to sleep. I will focus on the scene that troubles me, fall asleep, watch these issues become resolved, and wake up with a smile.
Voila. I am back on track.
To kill or not to kill a character?
I tend to go with the latter. However, death is one of the most primal of fears. Killing a character's loved one can make a dramatic shift in their character arc. Seeing them persevere makes them real to the reader.
When it comes to determining which genre my book is in, I simply analyze the overall theme, and determine which audience it will appeal to most.
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