Romance Author, Dylann Crush's Writing Process #RomanceAuthorUniversity
My Writing Process
It’s hard to explain what it takes to create a book because it seems to be a different magic combination for every author I know. Some are huge plotters and have to write out each scene before they start writing the first draft. Others sit down with just a wisp of an idea in their head, start typing on page one and dozens of hours later they walk away with a rough draft that might need few major edits.
For me, I’m somewhere in between. My process has changed from book to book as I’ve developed my craft, become more confident in my writing, and gained a stronger understanding of story structure. But a few things are constant when it comes to my routine.
#1 – I have to have a good idea. That seems like a no brainer but a good book idea has to be so much more than a couple of predictable plot points. I might get a tiny glimpse of an idea that seems appealing but then I have to mull it over, consider it from different angles, and piece together the conflict, the stakes, and how the characters will change. The story has to ebb and flow and needs to have enough meat to it to carry through an entire book.
#2 – I have to be able to dig into my characters. From the get go, my characters are real people to me. I know what they look like, how they smell, and what their voice sounds like. In order to make them come alive on the page, I have to find out their deepest desires, fears, and needs. If I can’t connect with a character I won’t push it. It’s usually their way of telling me I’ve got it wrong. Many times I’ve tried to force a character to do something that’s convenient to the plot and I end up coming to a dead end. Even though they’re fictional (don’t tell them I said that, okay?), they have to be authentic to who they are. The better I understand them, especially what motivates them, the more I can create the perfect storyline to challenge them where they’ll feel it the most and provide the reader with the most rewarding experience.
#3—I have to write alone. I’ve tried writing with other authors. The thought of sitting at a coffee shop late into the evening among a group of like-minded people is so appealing. And it so doesn’t work for me. I end up chatting and wanting to find out what everyone’s working on. I’m too much of an extrovert to be able to be around other people without opening my mouth. So if I want to have a successful day of getting words on the page, I have to banish myself to my office where I can be my most productive. Maybe someday that will change. Until then, I’ll have my dog to keep me company and make sure my feet stay warm.
#4 – I like to write the whole book before I let anyone read it. So many times I get greater insight into my characters in the middle of the book and need to go back and beef up parts of the storyline. Or I’ll come up with something symbolic toward the end and want to add a hint of it to the beginning so the motif will carry through the story. It’s the classic issue of thinking of the best comeback hours after you need it. But in writing books, I’m able to go back and add things in when I come up with something better. Too bad I haven’t figured out how to do that in conversations with my kids!
There are tons of other things I do when writing like listen to book-specific playlists, gobble up peanut butter M&Ms when I’m stuck, and try out facial expressions from my chair. My process and routine seems to change, depending on the book I’m writing. And as someone who gets easily bored with rigid routines, that’s just the way I like it.
Cowboy Charming - Holiday, Texas Book 3
They call him Casanova.
But can this charming devil of a cowboy teach
a good girl how to change her ways?
Small-town preacher's daughter Dixie King is used to having a lot on her plate. Keep tabs on her flighty grandmother? No problem. Handle the honky tonk's first ever Chili Cook-Off? In the bag. Vamp it up to charm a would-be developer into leaving Holiday, Texas for good?
...now there she might need a helping hand.
Enter Presley Walker: Holiday's own Cowboy Casanova and the perfect tutor for a good girl looking to go bad. He's got charm in spades, and he's always seemed like a terrible idea waiting to happen. But as Presley and Dixie work together to save their beloved hometown, these polar opposites might finally see the good in each other...if they can only learn to trust their hearts enough to fall.
The lucky print book winner is: Maria Dalmau
Dylann Crush writes contemporary romance with sizzle and sass. A romantic at heart, she loves her heroines spunky and her heroes super sexy. Although she grew up in Texas, she currently lives with her unflappable husband, three energetic kids, a clumsy Great Dane, a rescue mutt and a very chill cat in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul. Visit her at dylanncrush.com.