Monday, September 2, 2013


My secretary:
always available for feedback
I haven't written about the day job for quite awhile but let's just say that while my own fiction is in the hopper, I am also writing promotional and educational copy for other authors' books. There are lots of upsides to this gig, including the opportunity to read and celebrate the work of others in my book-loving community. The downside? It's a lot of work and I usually get jealous when I realize that publishers are paying me to do stuff for other books that I know is not happening for my own work. Sigh. Grievances aside, here's what I've been doing this weekend in the process of writing a reading guide for a terrific steampunk YA:
  1. Rereading the novel (I try to do a first-pass read a few weeks before beginning the guide.)
  2. Scouring author website and related resources to learn about writer's POV and body of work.
  3. Reading acknowledged source literature (gleaned via author notes, quotes in text, etc.).
  4. Trying to figure out the origins of the names the author has given various characters (is this just my thing?).
  5. Analyzing the vast sea of definitions of steampunk culled from various literary reference sources.
  6. Correlating Common Core Standards with state education grade level objectives to determine the best form for questions directed at readers of this novel.
  7. Emailing the editor who hired me to ask any questions I might not have been able to answer through my research. (So far, on this book, one big question.)
  8. Writing first draft of guide.
After this, whenever possible, I take at least several days off from the material so that I can come back with fresh eyes for correction and revision.

Sound like anyone's fiction writing process?


Caroline Starr Rose said...

This is so cool, Stasia!

Stasia said...

Thanks, Caroline. I take nerdly pleasure in the prep work I do for writing guides.

HelenL said...

Wow, Stasia, I don't know how you do that and write and promote your own fiction, too!