I have the pleasure of a guest post by LD Towers, who answers my question about her writing process.
LDT: My writing process is simple. I sit down and write. I’m not a person who gets into the whole ‘outline’ and ‘character mapping’ thing. While I don’t want to judge anyone else’s method, I think that a lot of new writers get really bogged down in making files and not spending enough time writing. Go out and write, people!
When I wrote Teufel I was on sick leave, and I made a concerted effort not to let myself out of the house until I had done 10, 1.5 space, Garamond 12 pt. pages on the days I could write. I suppose that would be about 5-6000 words. I wrote Teufel in 4 months. It clocked in at 287k words after the edits, though I think it was only about 250k words the first time through.
Now, when I’m having a writing day, I try to do 2k words. That can take anywhere from 1.5 hours to 5, depending on how much research or thinking I need to do that day. Because I write historical fiction, I try to do a lot of research into my topics. My Riesa series is almost entirely documentable, and I’m rather proud of that. There is the odd thing here and there, but I spend a lot of time looking things up- probably too much time some days.
In my upcoming work, Curse of the Devourers, which is was supposed to be a pulp fiction vampire story, I realised I needed back story and a reason for why vampires existed. I hate the explanation ‘because they do!’ Suddenly I’m up to my eyeballs in early Christian and Jewish mysticism and my pulp fiction novel is turning into Bram Stoker meets Dan Brown! I was explaining it all to my mother and she said, ‘You just can’t make it simple, can you?’ That would be a ‘nope!’
My favourite place to think is either in the shower or on a walk. When I was in university, one of my fellow students told me how she liked to shower with the lights off when she was studying for finals. I tried it and WOW! It’s like sensory deprivation of a kind. Nothing to look at, and you can only hear the white noise of the water. My brain can be anywhere. For the same reason, I also like to write in the dark at night. Sometimes this isn’t practical, but it gets rid of the world around me.
Walking 5km with my favourite tunes in can also help me hammer out a scene. No computer, no distractions, just me and my thoughts. That is usually when I will pick the song I write too. I always write to music. I have several playlists of ‘mood’ music of what I’m writing about- sometimes it is contemporary to what I’m writing and sometimes not. I have a truly obsessive collection of music from 1898 to 1950. I also have my modern music because sometimes that’s what you need.
But often I will pick THE song, of either a plot arc, or the entire book, and I will play that song for hours on repeat while I’m writing. When I finally heard Adele’s Hello, that became a perfect song for Curse. It’s been played 73 times on my computer so far. Also high on my ‘obsessively writing through a chapter playlist are… Taylor Swift’s Blank Space, Rob Dougan’s Clubbed to Death, Hozier’s Take me to Church, Caro Emerald’s Dr. Wanna do and Guns and Roses’ Sympathy for the Devil. It’s a bit eclectic… but then so am I!
by LD Towers
GENRE: Military fiction
BLURB FOR New Austrian Order:
1938. Germany is moving faster than Standartenführer Hagen Kohl thought possible. Sent down to Vienna to investigate a potential threat to Hitler’s plans for Austria, Hagen is drawn in to an aristocratic world he’s never encountered before. Without Hauptsturmführer Eugen Friesler at his side, Hagen is in more danger than he could have imagined as he hunts for a shadowy organization called the New Austrian Order. Back in Germany, Galiena von Steinberg returns to Riesa and the von Steinberg Gesellschaft, but taking over the reins of her Grandfather’s empire comes with many challenges. Can she protect her family holdings while keeping true to the new sense of self she has worked so hard to find?
BLURB FOR Teufel :
Against the politically charged background of Nazi Germany's police state, Standartenführer Doctor Hagen Kohl is trying to carve out a profession for himself in the SS. A middle class intellectual with a doctorate in Literature, Hagen is a an investigator who hunts criminals within the party apparatus itself. Hagen justifies everything by his personal code and patriotism, unable to see the flaws of the regime he serves. When he is ordered to investigate members of the army, he discovers patriotism is entirely a matter of perspective. His eyes are further opened by exposure to Galiena von Steinberg; an aristocrat whose own experiences bring him into the entanglements and intrigues at the highest levels of Third Reich society.
The parade ground was large, and all about there were people. The SS men, in their black uniforms, and the camp guards in their grey seemed drab on the sunny square. There were so many, trailing behind Himmler like a flock of crows. Galiena hated that analogy, but it seemed so appropriate. Here and there she saw people she assumed to be prisoners, in their black and white horizontal striped suits, and grotesquely shaved heads. They almost reminded her of larvae, their scalps so pale in the light. One man turned and stared at her, the bright splash of colour that she was, as if he couldn’t believe his eyes. Then his face dropped back to his toiling in the black earth of the flowerbeds near the Administration building. The place was so dour. So grey. In her scarlet, echoed only in the swastika flag on the flag pole, she must look like a drop of blood on a piece of slate.
Himmler moved to intercept her, his eyes shining with something she couldn’t define. In this place he was a thousand feet tall, and his knowledge of his power emanated from him in waves. The men trailing after him followed his every movement and gesture. When he smiled, so did they, when he laughed, they echoed, and the moment he stopped, there was silence behind him. Galiena had never seen this Himmler. This was the Reichsführer-SS, and his power was consuming. His eyes met hers, as he clicked his heels and bowed his head before her. When the peak of his hat came up again, he was smiling; warmly and broadly. More the man of her acquaintance, but the look in his eyes seemed to mock her. This Himmler was a predator and he was in his lair with all his sycophants around to admire his magnificence.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
LD Towers travels the world like a rootless vagabond! A military historian, she searches out places of conflict to find a deeper insight to the things she writes about. Presently enjoying the warm weather and azure seas of Central America, she has lived all over Western Europe, including 5.5 years in the incomparable Berlin.
Primarily working in Historical and Military Fiction, LD sometimes sneaks in the odd Dystopian or Modern Thriller piece. Also look for a series of novellas about the despicable yet intriguing Meinrad von Steinberg from the Riesa Series, coming in fall 2015.
Twitter: @L_D_TowersAmazon author page
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