Monday, August 6, 2012

Writing Process, Romance Writer, Alison Stone


I'm excited to introduce you to romance author, Alison Stone.

Thanks so much, Julie, for hosting me. I’m very excited my second book, Too Close to Home, will be release on August 7th in eBook format. Before I get to the short blurb and excerpt, I’d love to share a little bit about my writing process. 

Years ago, when I first started writing, I would haunt writers’ websites to learn more about how they actually got to the business of writing books. I was looking for some magic formula. I soon learned each writer’s process was as different as the writer. 


I’m still fascinated with the writing process as I continually hone mine. Some days, my time “at work” seems to include a vicious cycle of checking e-mail, Twitter, and Facebook. (Lather, rinse, repeat.) However, somehow along the way, a germ of an idea grows into a full-length novel. It’s amazing really when I consider all the time I invest in the sport of procrastination.


However, I find procrastination to be more draining than just getting down to the business of work. Usually opening the file and getting started is the most difficult challenge of the day. But once that is done, the ideas (usually) begin to flow. I still struggle with this, but I find it helps to set a time limit on the Internet.


The organized half of my brain longs to have a detailed outline of the entire novel before I write the first word. I used to let this stop me in my tracks, causing me to go days without writing because I didn’t want to write the wrong thing. Then gradually over the course of writing many books and through trial and error, I realized the best ideas come during the creative act of writing.  I have to allow myself the freedom to write garbage to get to the good stuff. Before, I was allowing perfectionism to stop me from writing because I was too afraid my writing wouldn’t be good enough. But good enough for whom? I’m the only one reading the first rough draft. I can fix that, right?


Now, I find if I have a general story idea and a few plot points, it’s enough to get the creative juices flowing. From there I’ll write a few scenes and I’m amazed at how the creative mind works. I’ll write as far as I can. When I hit a roadblock, I’ll start free writing in a separate document and see what I come up with. The ideas never fail to amaze me. I certainly wouldn’t have come up with these ideas if I hadn’t sat down and put my fingers on the keyboard.


I can’t claim to write “clean” first drafts. No, my work requires a lot of revisions. I enjoy the revision process because now I have a true sense of the characters and the plot because I sat down and did the work. I got the story down on the page. There’s no magic formula.


If you’re a writer, are you ever surprised by the turn of events in your story when you finally just sit down and let the story flow? I’d love to hear about it in the comments section. Happy writing!


BIO: Alison Stone graduated with a degree in industrial engineering from Georgia Tech. After working in Corporate America for a number of years, she retired to raise her young family. Soon the writing bug bit. After years of conferences, critique groups and writing, Alison achieved her dream of becoming a published author. She claims it was easier to earn her engineering degree. Too Close to Home is her second novel. To learn more about Alison Stone please visit www.AlisonStone.com. She’s also chatty on Twitter @Alison_Stone.

I’m thrilled to announce my second release, Too Close To Home, due out August 7th. Here is the blurb: 
They say you can never go home. If you do, better watch your back.
Ten years ago, after her father’s gruesome death was ruled a suicide, Kathryn McNabb left her hometown, vowing never to return. And never to let anything—business or personal—break her heart.
Now an overachieving manufacturing engineer, she thrives on order, control and solitude. But an unexpected inheritance makes her the co-owner of the company her father founded, forcing her to face the ghosts of her past. Including Ben Nowak, childhood friend, secret crush, and son of the man who ruined her father.
Ben hadn’t planned on returning home either, but with his own father’s death it falls to him to continue the family legacy. When he learns Kathryn plans to sell the plant out from under him, his quest takes on new urgency—Midport Industries is the main source of jobs in town.
Butting heads strike sparks of attraction that entangle business and pleasure into a hopeless knot. And someone is watching. Someone with a darker reason to prevent the deal from going through. Someone desperate enough to kill…
Warning: Beware of the shadows, disgruntled employees, and childhood crushes all grown up.

19 comments:

  1. I'm definitely a plotter, but allow myself room for change if I think of something while I'm plunking out the draft. And I try not to look back and edit my first draft, or I'd never get beyond Chapter 1! :)

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Lindsay. I think pushing through and finishing the first draft before you edit is a great idea to avoid perpetual revisions.

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  2. I try so hard to be a plotter, but I also work out plot issues as I write. My first drafts are disasters, usually. I'm gearing up to edit one of those disasters now.

    Nice to meet you, Alison!

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    1. I understand a disaster of a first draft, but that can be fixed! Thanks for stopping by and saying hello. And good luck with revisions.

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  3. Thanks so much for hosting me, Julie. I am volunteering at my church today teaching religious education so I'll be popping in and out until this evening. It is challenging to "reply" via my cell. Please excuse typos. :) Yet, I am still very fascinated by technology.

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  4. Your book sounds good, Alison! Congrats on your release! I wish the book much success and will put it on my TBR list.

    I am always surprised at the twists or the turn of events my stories take as I'm writing. That is one of my favorite things about writing novels!

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    1. I find the greatest twists when I give myself the freedom to just write. Thanks for stopping by, Loree, and for adding TCTH to your TBR pile.

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  5. Great interview! So good to get to know a new author (new to me) :)

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  6. Loved this interview! Your book sounds wonderful. Alison. I find when my fingers hit the keyboard it always releases a flow. It's getting my fingers on the keyboard that's the trick! :)

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  7. Happy to meet you, Alison! I do make a rough outline, but it amuses and frustrates me how differently my stories look by the second draft. The plot goes off somewhere else entirely.

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    1. Brandi, I find if I take my rough draft and then outline it, I can "see" what I have. I used to do this in Excel. I am using Scrivner for my latest manuscript. I'll see how it works.

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  8. What a great guest post! Nice to meet you, Alison.

    I tend to plot things out, 'cause my brain works best that way. But I love it when characters become so alive that they start doing their own thing. In my last book, a character did something completely out of the blue...and then in the very same scene, a character I totally didn't plan on knocked on her door. It's now my very favorite scene in the book...I love when crazy stuff happens like that!

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    1. Thanks, Melissa. I love the unexpected, too.

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  9. Hi Alison, Great cover for your book! Who is the publisher?

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  10. Thanks, Susan. I think the cover artist did a great job. Samhain Publishing is the publishers. Many people are surprised to learn they do publish "sweet" romances. :)

    Here's a link: http://www.samhainpublishing.com/2012/08/where-do-you-get-your-ideas-2/

    Thanks for asking!

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