When Peauxdunquian Cassie Pruyn participated in The Writing Process Blog Tour over on her personal blog, we decided in the land of Peauxdunque that this site would be a great place to collect entries in that project from our own very varied group of writers. So, first up is Susan Kagan. Below are her answers to the standard round of questions on writing process; watch this space for future Peauxdunquian entries!
1) What are you working on?
SK: I’m currently writing a science fiction novel about a man-made pandemic.
2) How does the work differ from others of its genre?
SK: The story is told from the perspective of both the protagonist and
antagonist. Both are sympathetic and three-dimensional characters,
though I think I’m giving my protagonist a lot more obstacles to
3) Why do you write what you do?
SK: I haven’t committed to a genre, so I write what interests me at the
time. I’ll probably be fairly promiscuous in that respect until I find
a franchise character to hang a series of novels upon.
4) How does your writing process work?
SK: The process starts at a high level where the work exists as nothing
larger than a paragraph explaining the whole story arc. Next, I end up
drilling down to the chapter level, with a sentence for each of the
major scenes. Next, I write whatever scenes strike my fancy for a
while before settling in to hash it out in sequence. From a class I
took several years ago, I got the best advice which was to allow
yourself a shitty first draft. That’s what I’ve been doing, much to
the chagrin of my critique group. They get to see the shitty first
draft and all subsequent drafts as I workshop the hell out of it until
it’s no longer horrible.
Keep an eye out for Susan’s book, Avoiding a Perilous Path: Basic Wiccan Ethics, scheduled to be released by Left Hand Press in early 2015.