Saturday, September 14, 2013

Writing Interview: My Work in Progress and my writing process and INT giveaway!

The awesome Jamie Krakover tagged me to answer these four questions about my WIP (work in progress) and my writing process! I was excited to answer these since as some of you know, I'm in the midst of writing my first novel.

1.      What are you working on right now? 
I'm currently working on my first novel, a contemporary coming of age story about a first year medical student struggling to find her place in her highly competitive school as well as to navigate her turbulent love life. My goals with this novel were to introduce readers to the world of medical school and what a career in medicine might be like as well as develop characters that people would root for. 

2. How does it differ from other works in its genre?
I think that all coming of age contemporaries have a thread in common-- the growth of the main character over the course of a novel. That said, I think that because of my background in medicine, I can introduce readers to a unique viewpoint on what training for a medical background would be like and what struggles people in this track go through. A lot of what happens in my novel is inspired by real life situations-- either in my life or the lives of other people I know. 

3. Why do you write what you do? 
I'm actually a bit surprised that I started with a contemporary that isn't even a YA book. I hope to expand to some of my favorite genres, which include dystopian, science fiction, and fantasy/paranormal. I figured that I should write what I know for my first book to get it written, and I find that I'm thoroughly enjoying myself. I already have ideas for three other contemporaries (companion books to my current novel) in the pipeline. 

4. How does your writing process work?
I'm still figuring this out, but I started off just writing an idea I've been tossing around for years. This is a book that my sister has been begging me to write for a long time, but I don't think I had either the time or the confidence to start it until now. I originally was planning to cover the four years of medical school in a single novel, but I quickly realized how difficult it is to write over that span of time. At that point, I cut down the time scale to one year, and in addition, I wrote out an outline. I don't always follow it, but it's really important for me to have a sense where I'm going at all times. I go back to the outline and revise when my characters dictate a different direction. 
I also spend a lot of time thinking about each of my characters-- what are their backgrounds? What are their motives? I detest one dimensional characters, so for example, the "mean girl" Chelsea, ends up being probably my favorite character. When I figure out their personalities, I go back and edit scenes and conversations to fit them. 
My sister is serving as a huge sounding board. I send her a chapter every few days, and she gives me broad comments as I write. She's one of my toughest critics, so I know she'll always be honest even if it may hurt my feelings. Furthermore, her constant involvement forces me to reach my own self denoted deadlines because I know she's always waiting for another chapter.

Every morning, I write for an hour without fail. It may be only 500 words, but it's 500 words down on paper. It adds up!
Lastly, I've set up several crit partners and beta readers in four to five different editing stages so that this manuscript will be the best it can be before I try to get an agent. I have to give a shout out to the wonderful Antony John, author of Elemental and Five Flavors of Dumb, and Fiona Paul (AKA Paula Stokes), who wrote the Venom trilogy. They have been instrumental in getting me to write this novel, and have already given me the most wonderful advice.
I hope you've enjoyed this interview, and can't wait to reveal more about my book in the coming months! 

Giveaway shelf
Photo
a Rafflecopter giveaway

90 comments:

  1. Very excited about your WIP! Awesome! Loved the interview!

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  2. Congrats and good luck in your writing! My daughter has written a book and works on it a lot.

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  3. I'm so, so excited to read your WIP. It sounds so interesting, and it seems like you've put a TON of work into it. Congrats on keeping up with it and working so hard!!! You deserve so many good things!!! And good things WILL come your way :) <333

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    1. You rock, Meredith. Thanks so much for your support!

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  4. I'm so, so excited to read your WIP! It sounds so interesting and you've put so much hard work into it!! You deserve so many good things, and good things WILL come of it! I can just feel it :) <3333

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  5. You're book sounds interesting. Great job on your progress thus far and best of luck as it continues. <3

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  6. I'm so happy for you! I can't wait to read your books and I know that they'll be great. I pray that you continue on your journey and come out on top. You deserve it!

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  7. I wish I could get on a better schedule with my writing - maybe I should try doing it in the morning, first thing.

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    1. It really helps to do it then. It tends to be quiet, and you're fresh before the day starts. I find that I don't really have time later on most days.

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  8. Ahhh Christina! I'm excited to hear that you're writing a book of your own. The fact that it has to do with the medical profession intrigues me, because the only books I've ever read with that type of theme are the Harlequin romance novels that have them as romantic leads. I think bringing it to a contemporary genre is a great idea, and if your fiction is as good as your reviews, then I've no doubt your book will be amazing. Keep on rockin' through it!

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    1. Jill: Thanks so much!!! I can't wait for you to read it! There is definitely romance in it, but I feel like it's takes a bit of a backseat to my MC's growth.

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  9. Congrats on your WIP =) My sister is a medical student as well, so when your book is out, I'm definitely going to be recommending it to her. =)

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    1. YAY, great! It'd be good to get a med student's perspective!

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  10. Excited to hear about your writing! I have a few ideas for books but haven't had a chance to start writing them yet. I wish you the best of luck!

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  11. It's always inspiring to read about people doing something they love. I'm thrilled to read your book when it gets released. :)

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    1. I'll be thrilled (and nervous) to have you read it :-)

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  12. Good luck with your WIP. Remember 'Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.'

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  13. Your WIP sounds good! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! :D

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  14. Wow this was inspiring, I like those insides on how writers write!

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  15. I accidentally deleted a comment from Julie S:
    So exciting! That is great that you have such great beta readers and authors to give you tips and help keep you motivated. Do you have a planned word count you hope to reach, or are you writing until the story feels complete?

    This is a great question. I'd like it to be around 70-80K when I'm done because attention spans drift (mine included) once we pass that point. That said, I'm first going to just tell the whole story, and then see where it falls out. My crit partners and readers will be instrumental in helping me figure out where I can cut/add scenes to make the flow better and not just wordy for the sake of more words.

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  16. OMG YOU! FINALLY. I WILL GET THIS MS AND IT WILL BE AWESOME.

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    1. LOL, Nova. You'll be one of the first to get it :-)

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  17. I'm so excited to hear about your writing process! I'm sure your book is going to be fabulous!

    Keep up the good work! :D

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    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I hope to have more updates in the near future!

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  18. Congratulations! I'm looking forward to reading your book!

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  19. I am so looking forward to reading this and giving my thoughts and opinions. Christina has been such a supporter, both with the Venom books and my own stories. If anyone deserves mad success, it is her <333 :)

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    1. Paula, you've been my rock this whole time. I don't think this book would have even been started without your undying support.

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  20. Awesome! I know you've been writing so I'm so glad you got a chance to talk a little bit about it! Your book sounds amazing and I can't wait to read it one day. I wish you the best of luck as you continue through the journey and if you need any help I'm happy to offer a hand but you have some great mentors already :)

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    1. Jamie: thank YOU! I loved these questions, and was so honored to be tagged to answer them. Can't wait to see your amazing books as well!

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  21. I don't think I've ever read a YA book featuring a medical student so I am very interested in reading this! Also, sidenote, I love Antony John's Five Flavors of Dumb!:D

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    1. Antony is the greatest! :-) I guess it's not technically a YA since med students are in their in their 20's but it definitely has a YA feel to the writing style. I hope you'll pick it up when it's done!

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  22. Wow, so excited for your work in progress ... :) Good luck, Godspeed!

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  23. How do you find the time? I didn't know you were writing too! Aren't you also finishing up in school? Looking forward to reading your book when it's ready!

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    1. LOL! I've actually "graduated" but I feel like medical people are always learning. I finished residency a year ago and am a year into my fellowship. Can't wait to share the book with you too!

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  24. So great that you are writing! Where are you even finding the time? Good luck! I can't wait to hear more about it!

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    1. Brooke, you'll definitely be one of the first to see it. I'm both excited and terrified to have you read it. :-)

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  25. Wow great interview and thanks for the giveaway! Writing a book sounds hard but awesome!! <3
    -Cali W.

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  26. Good luck on your writing!!! I hope all goes well with it and you!!

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  27. I really liked how you talked about your sister and others that basically make up your crit partners/beta readers. Sometimes when I've read an indie book or new author I've wondered if anyone read the book before it was published or if whoever read it was too afraid to offer any criticism. Good for you in trying to make it the best you can before you get it out there. I'm sure there will still be more edits to come, but hopefully not as many as there would have been. Good luck finishing it and getting it published!

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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  28. It sounds good! 500 words a day is pretty good though, makes me pretty lame to write very little a day XD

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  29. Can't wait to read it when it's ready, Christina! I'm 100 percent certain that it's going to rock. Who knows - I may even solicit advice from my resident medical expert . . . not that I'm trying to add any pressure :)

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    1. Antony: you are too kind. I hope I don't disappoint you! I may have already solicited your expert... ;-)

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  30. Congrats! I've always been too intimidated to sit down and write a book. Who pushed you to do it?
    Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. So, many people have been pushing me to write this book including the three people I mentioned above. But there's one person who really made this happen for me. That's my best friend. She's been at me for ages to write a book, and then most recently, she sat me down and basically told me it had to be done and said she would text me and hound me until I started. Needless to say, that was the impetus I needed. I can't thank her enough! :-)

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  31. I love your reviews and can't wait to read your book!! I think that writing every day regardless of how much your get written is fantastic and realistic goal. Congratulations!!

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  32. This is awesome! So many book bloggers are writing but few actually give readers an inside look on their WIP. I can't wait to read this. Happy Writing :)

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  33. Wow, sounds like you've got a really good system in place! I don't doubt that with your determination, you'll make it from WIP to published. Best of luck!

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  34. Good luck on your book. Sounds like you have a great support system. I know how difficult it is to write everyday as I can never seem to keep it up.

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  35. Good luck on your book. Sounds like you have an amazing support system.

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  36. Yay for your WIP!! I like to write in the morning too! It feels fresher somehow to start the day with a few hundred words. :)

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  37. I would love to read Icons. I purchased it once already but then my husband started reading it and lost it.

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  38. I'm a total process nerd, so I always like reading posts like this. It sounds like you've got a really good support system, which I think is important to keep up motivation to keep writing.

    Also, the book sounds quite interesting. Medical school? I'm already curious!

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  39. This is an awesome interview and giveaway! Thank you!!!

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  40. Writing processes are so different from one author to the other... I love to read about that =] Your WIP looks awesome! And yeah, one of the major points that make contemporary books interesting is the growth of the characters =]

    Also, thanks so much for the giveaway and the chance to win s2

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  41. Congratulation's on your WIP. I loved your interview.
    Thanks for the giveaway! =)
    JJs2468@aol.com

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  42. The first book that caught my eye was Icons. I hope I get to read that one soon. Thanks for the giveaway! ^_^

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  43. I'm so excited for you!!! I love that you set time every morning to write and I agree, it may only be a small bit you get done but at least it is something and it gets you that much closer to being finished. I can't wait for the day that we'll be seeing the finished product!

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  44. Congrats on your WIP. I definitely hope I get to read the finished product one day. I don't think I've ever read a book set in medical school, so it would be something new for me. :)

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  45. Your book sounds great ,coming of age medical student, like it. Looking forward to read your book. Remember: Inspiration comes from an open heart.

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  46. Sounds great, I think you are wise to write about you know. It will come across as genuine and well researched just by using the knowledge you already have. Interesting setting. And yay! I love contemp :)

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  47. Thank you for the amazing giveaway & a great interview. x

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  48. Loved the interview and thanks for the giveaway =)

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  49. Loved the interview and thank for the giveaway =)

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  50. I cant wait to read the final product! I love your shorts so Im excited for you!

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  51. Wow, I can't believe you're writing a book - that's so awesome! How much longer do you think you have until it's finished? And then what's the next step - you mentioned finding an agent, how do you think that will go? Love the idea of a med student, very unique! Well, must go watch Barney (how's that for a plot?) but I wish you the best of luck with this endeavor!

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    1. Thanks so much! I've just finished the first draft, and I am now letting it sit for a month until I finish (and hopefully pass) my Pediatric Boards. After that, I'll edit it intensely and then pass it to a couple of readers. After it's polished from several layers of edits, I'll attempt to find an agent. I'm not sure this has a clear demographic, so it probably will be tough. If others enjoy reading it, I may self publish if traditional routes fail. :-)

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  52. I personally can't wait to see this all published for the world to see!!! I think you are doing an amazing job, I can't say it enough! You have a very promising story that I think will reach younger adults and older a like! I wish you the best of luck with the entire thing, but I already know it's going to rock just like you do ;) MUAH

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  53. Good luck with your book! I will definitely pick it up when it comes out! Oh, and congratulations on your book!

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  54. First off, I wish you the best of luck with your book! It sounds like you will be an amazing author who will touch millions of people needing a character to relate to.

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  55. Congrats! And, good luck with your book.

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  56. Your work in progress sounds interesting. Good luck getting it published when you are finished with it. I would love to read one day in the future.

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  57. I love that you spend so much time thinking about their characters! Well developed characters in a story make it so much more enjoyable to read! Thanks for sharing about your book and process! I can't wait to read the finished book!

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  58. Oooooh interesting! A different kind of NA! I like the sound of that, something I would most probably read! Looking forward to hearing more about it :)

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  59. This sounds so awesome. I wish you the best of luck with the writing.

    (And on a separate note, having someone to discuss your writing with is awesome!)

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  60. Cool. I always enjoy reading about author's writing proceses.

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  61. It sounds like an exhausting schedule to balance it all. Loved hearing about your writing schedule.

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  62. I always wanted to write a book....but who hasn't? Good luck in your pursuits!

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  63. Wishing you the best of luck on your book--it's something I've always wanted to do but haven't gotten around to, so kudos to you! :D

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  64. That sounds awesome, because I haven't read that many "medicine fiction" from someone in that industry.

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  65. I loved reading this, Christina!. I am so proud of you and I am so looking forward to your first work. I am already a fan of your writing from Figment. Good luck!

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