The Passion Blog tour stops here today and I am so pleased to have Lauren Kate here to talk about her writing techniques.
Lauren Kate is the author of the successful young adult Fallen series as well as The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove.
1) What inspired you to write the ‘Fallen’ series?
The line in Genesis (6:1-4) that talks about a group of angels who fell in love with mortal women. They gave up their place in Heaven for that love, and to me, that was a very beautiful complicated sacrifice. Just my kind of love story.
2) What are your main forms of inspiration normally?
People watching/eavesdropping. I steal all sorts of snippets I’ve overheard from the table behind me at a restaurant. And novels. I return to favorite novels over and over again when I get stuck with my own. I love Fitzgerald, Dickens, Woolf, and Faulkner. And Marquez. And Phillip Pullman.
3) What kind of research did you need to carry out before beginning the series and how long did it take you?
I was lucky to have an excellent divinity scholar at my disposal. She recommended so many books on Heaven, Hell, Satan, and Angelogy--enough to help me build my own mythology for the series. I sat down and just read for about three months. Then I introduced Luce and Daniel.
4) Was each book completely planned out before you began writing, or did you just go with the flow?
Both. I make outlines for each book--about a paragraph per chapter, so that I can understand the shape of the narrative. But then, everyday when I sit down to write, something surprising happens. I let myself stray from the outline most of the time and am usually excited by where it takes me.
5) When you were writing your first draft of Passion, how many words did you aim for each day?
About 2500. Sometimes I’d get 700, sometimes I’d get 3500. In the end, it usually evens out.
6) Did you hand write your book or did you write directly onto the computer?
A beat up old Mac, always.
7) Do you edit your first draft as you go along, or do you wait until it is completed?
I love to edit! So, no. I don’t give myself that luxury until the very end. Otherwise, I’d never get past chapter one.
8) How long did it take you write the first draft?
Usually about three months--that’s writing all day just about every day. I’ve found the story flows better when I don’t come up for too much air, so I try to just hammer it out until I have a draft.
9) Please explain your writing process after the first draft was finished?
I try to take a week or two off...that doesn’t always happen. Then I reread and make notes by hand as I read about what’s working and what’s not. The manuscript usually blows up about 75 pages in revision and then it shrinks back down 75 pages. It’s a completely different book by the end.
10) What are you planning to write next?
Right now I’m working on Rapture--the fourth book. Luce has some very exciting things in store.
11) When is your ideal time to write? Morning, afternoon or evening?
Morning is always best for me. I try not to do too much before I start writing. I go for a run with my dog, take a shower, having breakfast, check but don’t answer my email, then start writing. I write for about 6 hours. Then I’m allowed to do whatever I want.
12) Do you write in silence or do you need music to help you?
I wish I could write to music, but I do find it distracting. Quiet is very helpful, I suppose because my characters are so loud in my head. I do get to listen to music while revising though, which I always look forward to.
13) Which authors inspired you whilst growing up?
Roald Dahl, Louis Sachar, Lois Lowry, Patricia McLaughlin
Thank you Lauren for such fabulous answers.
To find out more about Lauren and her Fallen series, please visit the UK website here. The Passion Blog tour is heading over to YA Book Reads tomorrow so do stop by.