The Writing Process
by Jennifer Honeybourn
The writing process starts for me when something sparks an idea — for Wesley James Ruined My Life it was a Renaissance Fair — and the pieces of a story start to come together usually pretty quickly. Depending on whether I’m working on something else at the time, I’ll think about this new idea for awhile, keeping notes on who the characters are, some plot points, before I start to outline.
I like to have an outline, a solid plan for where the story is going, before I sit down to write. I need to have a strong idea of where the story starts, so I spend a lot of time on the first chapter. Sometimes the plot adjusts along the way, but for the most part, I follow the plan for the first draft.
The first draft is generally the biggest hurdle for me. It used to take me ages (sometimes years!) to get a first draft done, because I used to get stuck on trying to making it really polished, instead of just focusing on getting the story down. But since I’ve started writing for publication, this has shifted. So much can change during revision that spending hours working on one paragraph that could ultimately end up being cut isn’t productive. Having a deadline really works for me because it lights a fire under my butt and I don’t have the time to fuss over it too much.
The revision stage is my favorite part because this is where I get feedback from a beta reader or an editor. After muddling through the first draft on my own, it’s nice to have someone else come in who can shed some light on the plot, pick up on areas of weakness or places that need to be filled out a bit more, or to tell me when something isn’t working. I like to work collaboratively and I always end up with a much better draft after I’ve received some feedback.
By the time I get to the copyediting stage, I’ve read the book approximately 6,000 times and I’m a little less in love with it than I was at the beginning, when I had the shiny new idea. But I find that giving myself some space from it — at least a few weeks— helps a lot and by the time I read for the 6,001 time, I’ll remember what drew me to the story in the first place.
Wesley James Ruined My Life
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: July 18th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Sixteen-year-old Quinn Hardwick’s having a rough summer. Her beloved grandmother has been put into a home, her dad’s gambling addiction has flared back up and now her worst enemy is back in town: Wesley James, former childhood friend—until he ruined her life, that is.
So when Wesley is hired to work with her at Tudor Tymes, a medieval England themed restaurant, the last thing Quinn’s going to do is forgive and forget. She’s determined to remove him from her life and even the score all at once—by getting him fired.
But getting rid of Wesley isn’t as easy as she’d hoped. When Quinn finds herself falling for him, she has to decide what she wants more: to get even, or to just get over it.
Jennifer Honeybourn works in corporate communications in Vancouver, British Columbia. She’s a fan of British accents, Broadway musicals, and epic, happily-ever-after love stories. If she could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, she’d have high tea with Walt Disney, JK Rowling, and her nana. She lives with her husband, daughter and cat in a house filled with books. Wesley James Ruined My Life is her first novel.
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