What Works For This Paranormal Romance Writer?

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Now, getting back to today’s post about what ‘works’ for me…A fellow writer asked me the other day how ‘it‘ works for me. Meaning what’s my system? How do I stay productive and on track? As a paranormal romance author, I jokingly reminded her I’m not the ‘normal’ sort of writer.

But then I got to thinking…what does a normal writer look like? Every author has a slightly different process, a unique way of playing with letters, words and phrases to create a vibrant and valuable reading experience. Some authors even have a slightly different process with every book or the different genres they may write in.

As for the productive drafting stage of my particular writing process, the writing always gets rolling for me when I ask myself how I would show a specific characterization or character trait.

For instance, in The Matchmaker’s Mark – a new, lighter paranormal romance novel, Lily is the youngest of six and the only girl. It can’t possibly be easy having five older brothers who are better at everything. I wanted readers to know she could hold her own without just telling the reader she knew how to fight dirty. When I told myself to show that – the following scene found its way onto the page:

Amy, the Matchmaker, has been approached by ghosts in a cemetery. Dare, an elf guard isn’t happy about it, and Lily, a half-elf florist, is on Amy’s side:

“Nothing bad has happened,” Amy pointed out.

“We’re clearly operating with different definitions.”

Amy’s hands went to her hips. “Are you sensing any immediate danger?”

Watching them, Lily was reminded of many a conflict with her brothers. She wanted to laugh, but suddenly the air went cold and the Matchmaker closed her eyes. The ghosts were back and their silence blocked out all but the sound of her own heartbeat.

Dare reached for Amy, but Lily stopped him. “Don’t interrupt her.”

He scowled and tugged against her, but she had plenty of experience fighting dirty. She grabbed his ear and pushed her knee into the back of his. He went down with a thud, but it left Amy free to do her thing.

Sure as there was sunlight and rain, there was magic in Charleston she didn’t see or understand as a mere half-breed, but talking to a group of ghosts didn’t seem like something you just cut short. “You should know better.”

“Let me up,” Dare growled. “It isn’t safe here.”

“Guinness isn’t nervous.”

“He’s a dog.”

“He’s a smart dog.” She dug her knee deeper into the back of his, and tried to ignore the muscled shoulder under her palm. “They aren’t hurting her,” she whispered in his ear. “Lighten up already.”

She couldn’t believe she had Darian Knoll pinned to the cobblestone path in the Unitarian Churchyard. Too bad he wouldn’t let her take a picture, not that anyone but her brothers would understand the significance. And they’d say things about chivalry and how she’d only gotten the best of the famed Elite Guard because he didn’t want to hurt her. Brothers!

“Hey! If you want the ear so bad, I’ll cut it off for you.”

“What? Ewww. Sorry.” She let go of his ear, but lightly pinched a pressure point in his neck.

“Where the hell did you learn that trick?”

“Brothers.” The many humbling lessons had forced her to be quick and crafty. At the moment, she was fighting a losing battle with her foolish romantic notions as the scent of his skin had her feeling soft and dewy all over.

More recently, in my upcoming 2096 novel, I needed to jump start the writing and I had to ask myself how best to show Mira’s healing skills and her moral code. Sure fans know a little about her from cameos in the other 2096 novels and the short story Mira’s Gift, but how would a reader ‘see‘ her and ‘know‘ her if they only picked up the new novel?

I’m happy to report that when I asked myself to show Mira’s talent and compassion, the excitement ramped up and my writing progress soared. So that’s how it works for this paranormal romance author. At least this time around.

Live the adventure!

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