Saturday, August 11, 2012

Guest Post: Tami Anthony + Giveaway


Tami Anthony is the author of The Bachelorette Project, which is on tour this week! Here is a guest post from her about her writing process!! Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of this book!

Tami Anthony’s Writing Process:

Being a writer is perhaps one of the most challenging occupations in the world … well, at least I believe so. It takes a lot of discipline and creativity to concoct something so unique that it will literally grab the attention of its audience. With writing, whether it be a novel, a short story, or even a theatre play, there’s always a process. Granted, each writer has their own process on how to create the work of art that writing is, but I will say that my own personal process is pretty old-fashioned to say the least.

First things first, I develop an idea. My ideas can gravitate from life experiences and then given a fictional twist for entertainment purposes. Once I have an idea that I believe that I can relate to and genuinely portray to the audience , I just go with it and see what else I can add to it.

The second portion of my process is to find names for the characters that I am writing about. I find this to be one of the most difficult tasks in the process. Believe me, it sounds easy but it’s not for the reason that the name can sometimes reflect the personality of the character that you are writing about. I try using unique names, but nothing that is too extreme. For this, I use a baby name book or the good ol’ internet. If the name doesn’t fit the character, then it plagues my mind until I find a better name that suits them.

Next is writing an outline of the story. I ask myself what the reason is for writing the piece and what message I want to convey to the audience. After I figure out the message, I write an outline … on a yellow legal pad … chapter by chapter and incident by incident. This is why I consider myself a bit old fashioned. Everything is so technical nowadays and some people just go straight to their computers and type everything up including their outlines. I like to physically write it down and hang it on my office wall. Call it crazy or time consuming (and it is!), but I just find comfort in having things handwritten. It makes the process more real for me.

Last, but certainly not least, I begin to write the story. I don’t know why it is, but I like to switch from handwriting in a notebook to typing on the computer. I like both ways! I handwrote the first drafts of both my first play and my first novel from start to finish. It took a little bit longer, but pen and paper are like peanut butter and jelly to me. They’re meant to be together! Plus, I don’t want to restrict myself to a computer screen. It gets boring to me and it hurts my eyes LOL!

After all of this is done, I let my writing sit and I let the story marinate in my mind for a bit (sometimes days, sometimes weeks, sometimes MONTHS!). Then, of course, I go back to it and make improvements … and this is where the editing process comes in which is an entirely different blog post of its own.

One thing that I have learned is that the writing process does take time. You can’t expect greatness overnight. That is why with my process, I like to take my time. I don’t rush things because I want to put out the best possible work that I can. The process of writing can be grueling at times, but it is all worth it in the end.

Excerpt:

“Why am I always getting dumped by men?” I ask Karen. “It’s because I know nothing about them.”
“OK …” Karen replies, unsure to where I’m going with all of this.
“So, my visit to the hospital really got me thinking,” I say, “and then I remember you using the word ‘experiment’ so then I thought … ‘EXPERIMENT!’” I exclaim. “It’s a genius idea! I can conduct this experiment on what men really want out of women and how I, the quintessential single woman, could give it to them and possibly find my true love!” I clutch my chest, smile, and spin around. “Isn’t that the most perfect idea that you ever heard? I would be like a scientist, a scientist of love.”
Karen rolls her eyes at my idea. “And how, O Great One, will you conduct this experiment?”
“I got it all planned out.” I pull my completed poster board from underneath my bed and I hold it up for Karen to see. She, once again, looks confused.
“What the hell is that?” she asks, sighing.
“It’s my experiment,” I say excitedly. “I’m going scientific on their asses. It’s called ‘The BACHELORETTE Project.’ How I will conduct the experiment is shown here.” I point to the different sections of the board. “I will go on a series of dates using different tactics in different environments to find out what works for women and what doesn’t.”
“I’m listening,” Karen says as she leans forward.
“In the process, I will study the men that I date, categorize them and see what their likes and dislikes are thereby unlocking the many secrets of the male species.”
“Oh, I can tell you the secrets of men,” Karen says, smirking. “It’s sex, food, video games, and sports. If a man has those four things, then he’s a happy man.” I guess that makes sense. You know, the ‘four things philosophy,’ but I’m just certain that there has to be more. It can’t be that easy or I wouldn’t be single … right?
“Well, I’m still conducting my experiment,” I say confidently. “Maybe there are more than just four secrets. Maybe there are seven secrets.” As I nod my head, I convince myself that there has to be more. Not everything is just sex, food, video games, and sports.
”All right,” Karen starts, “so when does your little experiment start?”
“As soon as possible,” I tell her. “Now all I need is a trusty assistant …”


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