“My Writing Process and Plan – Or How I Manage to Put Trashy Words on a Page” – A Post by Author Amelia James

Plan? I’m the mother of an energetic three-year-old. Any plans I make are subject to her whims. However, my writing process is as constant as the northern star (Shakespeare as quoted by General Chang [Christopher Plummer] in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country). And it’s just as random as the previous sentence.

My process starts rather simply. I get bored, my mind wanders, and eventually I stumble onto an idea either for a work in progress or something new. I write it down as soon as possible, before I forget it. I keep a notebook and pen with me at all times, but usually I drag out my laptop. If for some reason—the above-mentioned three-year-old is most often the culprit—I can’t write it down, I repeat the ideas in my head until I get them on paper. That’s the constant part.

Then I play my favorite writer’s mind game: What if? That’s probably the best part of the process for me. I write down every possibility I can think of, even the bad ideas because sometimes bad ideas lead to good ones. Enter randomness.

Most of this takes place after I’ve met my characters. Romance is character-driven so until I know who they are and understand their conflicts, I can’t write a story. But sometimes I deal with a particularly stubborn character who won’t tell me what’s bugging him until after I finish his book. (Will!) So many times I’ll start writing before I know exactly where I’m going, though I have a general idea where we’ll end up. Romance has a definite formula: boy meets girl, boy sleeps with girl, BIG misunderstanding, makeup sex, and happily ever after. But the journey is much more important than the destination. I believe in making my characters earn their happy.

The journey, much like my process, has many twists and turns I don’t often see coming. I’ll start writing a scene for which I had a pretty clear plan going in, but then someone says or does something I don’t expect. That’s where the fun begins. I’m probably the most unorganized, haphazard writer you’ll ever meet. When other writers ask me for advice, I send them to someone else. What works for me probably won’t work for them. It doesn’t even work for me half the time. I spend too much time self-editing while I write. When it turns into nitpicking, I know it’s time to stop.

But I can’t stop, so I never re-read one of my books after it’s been published. And I never say never (never stick to it, that is). I have plans for two sequels, which will require thorough re-reading. I’m not looking forward to it. (Why did I use that word?) But I’m excited to be writing these two books. It took a while to get in touch with my characters again, but now that I have, we’re gonna have a trashy good time.

Were you looking for an organized, step by step romance writing instruction manual? Sorry to disappoint you. This is all personality. (Yay! I have one.) If I have a point to make it’s this: write what you love and do what works for you. Be true to your characters and listen to them. That’s how my writing process begins and ends.

If you stuck with me through this rambling, jumbled process, I’d like to say thanks to you and all my readers. But I’m more than words. To show my gratitude, I’m offering a few of my titles at special prices this month (details below). Thank you again and enjoy!

Amelia James’ Books:

Tell_Me_You_Want_Me_300dpi_200x300Tell Me You Want Me
Regular Price $4.99
Sales Price at Amazon & Barnes and Nobleicon $2.99 (through Dec. 8)
Secret_Storm_300dpi_200x300Secret Storm
Regular Price $4.99
Sales Price at Amazon & Barnes and Nobleicon $0.99 (through Dec. 8)
Her_Twisted_Pleasures_v2_300dpi_200x300Her Twisted Pleasures (The Twisted Mosaic #1)
Regular Price $3.99
Their_Twisted_Love_v2_300dpi_200x300Their Twisted Love (The Twisted Mosaic #2)
Regular Price $3.99
His_Twisted_Choice_300dpi_200x300His Twisted Choice (The Twisted Mosaic #3)
Regular Price $3.99
The_Twisted_Mosaic_Omnibus_300dpi_200x300The Twisted Mosaic – Special Omnibus Edition
Regular Price $8.99
Sales Price Everywhere $6.99 (through Dec. 31) (Click on cover or title for Retail Purchase Links)