Speculative Fiction Writing Method Blog Hop

LF_marked_2Welcome aboard. I’m hopping today. Well, to be clear, I’m part of an awesome speculative fiction blog hop, where people who write speculative fiction get a chance to talk about their writing process. I want to thank Sandra K. Williams, the author before me in the tour, for passing the flag to me. If you haven’t read Sandra, you can check her out here. Now, for the tour questions:

1. What am I working on? Right now I’m trying to get the final book in the Life First series out the door. I hope to have it in stores no later than August.  Life First is my dystopian thriller set in the Federation of Surviving States (the former United States that has survived a nearly civilization destroying pandemic). Life First  was nominated for a Readers Choice award for speculative fiction and received a BRAG Medallion for being a high quality independently published book. Life First focused on Kelsey trying to escape a forced kidney transplant while the sequel, Second Life focused on Kelsey’s life after book one, as well as her friend Susan, who faced some serious repercussions for helping Kelsey in book 1. The third book picks up about a year and a half later and centers around the FoSS’s plan to kidnap Kelsey, which goes horribly awry and has some major ripple effects.  I also am publishing a short story collection this month called Four Mothers. It’s an Amazon exclusive at the moment, but you can read an excerpt on Wattpad. The excerpt is Almost Perfect, which has a speculative angle, as it’s set in a future where our main character has tampered with a child’s  DNA to create her view of a perfect child. The tagline for Almost Perfect is, It’s not just stepmothers who are wicked.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre? It depends on the work. For the Life First series, they’re dystopia, so you have this governmental overreaching that you see in all dystopia. But, it’s also a thriller, so it’s meant to keep the pages turning and to keep dropping bombshells on you. I think book 1 and book 3 in the series are very similar. Book 2, Second Life, had a hint more romance for those who like a little wooing in their dystopia.

3. Why do I write what I do?
I write fiction that moves me on subjects that I find interesting. So, Life First came about because I was interested in a story about a woman who refused to have a c-section and because of that her baby died. That story was sad, but it piqued my interest over the idea of what rights people have when it comes to making sacrifices to their body to save the life of another human being. Should a person be forced to be sliced across their abdomen to save the life of another person. Should the father be required to slice open his abdomen to save his child. Does it matter if the person is a stranger or a relative? All these questions percolated in my mind and Life First was born. In that book, Kelsey is told to give up her kidney to save a stranger.  My short story collection is all about central theme that I find interesting: how a mother whose identity is built around being lucky copes when she gives birth to an unlucky child; an older woman who is dealing with a rambunctious 8-year-old child who she wants to be like her dead son, but isn’t; a woman who’s overjoyed to spend some alone time with her son when things go awry; and a mother whose ideas for a fun party are a little different than most folks.

4. How does my writing process work?
Usually, with writing, I get an idea for a story, then start writing. Some story ideas are more fully formed. Others are very bare bones and I write just to see where it takes me. My first drafts tend to be fairly simple, so I tend to go back and do a lot of fleshing out and reshaping in the revision process.  Because books aren’t written overnight (at least not by me); so I do a lot in the second draft making sure flow is there, and excise stuff that slows down the action. I like a page turner (because you’re reading and have to know what happens, not because you’re skimming, hoping you’ll stumble upon something were stopping for).

And that is all the question for the blog hop tour.

Next up on the tour is the lovely  Cherise Kelley.  She writes silly science fiction about how dogs are really aliens from other planets! Find out more on her blog at dogaliens.com.  I can’t wait to find out all about her writing process!

About RJ Crayton

RJ Crayton is a former journalist who now writes fiction. She's reported for the Kansas City Star and Wichita Eagle, as well as the smaller publications Education Technology News and Campus Crime. She has two published novels, Life First and Second Life and blogs for Indies Unlimited and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. For exclusive content and first looks at her new work, sign up for the newsletter at http://rjcrayton.com/subscribe.
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15 Responses to Speculative Fiction Writing Method Blog Hop

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  5. nickvulich says:

    Interesting blog R J. It has a nice look to it and some good articles.

  6. Nice article, RJ.

  7. This was fun to read, RJ! Thanks for tagging me. I’ll see what I can do to keep this hop going. 🙂

  8. Dale says:

    Have fun hopping, RJ. 🙂

  9. It’s fascinating to hear how other writers get their story ideas. Thanks, RJ.

  10. I love the theme of your Life First series: “what rights people have when it comes to making sacrifices to their body to save the life of another human being.” Pretty relevant issue this days. Congratulations on your Reader’s Choice award and Bragg Medallion. And OMG! I love your Almost Perfect tagline:D

    • RJ Crayton says:

      Thanks so much, Heidi! I appreciate the congratulations, and particularly am glad you enjoyed the tagline. I spent some time trying to come up with something good. Thanks for stopping by.

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