Monday, February 24, 2014

My Writing Process--Progressive Blog

Hi, all! I’m doing something a little different today—a progressive blog about “My Writing Process.” Thank you to Wendy Etherington ( ) for inviting me. You can see her Writing Process entry from last week at !

So here we go with the questions I need to answer for the blog! First of all, I’ll tell you what I’m working on now—the second book in my new “Crystal Green” Rough and Tumble “hot romance” series for Berkley’s Intermix Digital First line. This book already has a slot (October, 2014) and a title (Down and Dirty), so it’s a contracted work with a deadline—and it’s a lot of fun to write. You could call it a “What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Necessarily Stay in Vegas” book, a romantic romp. I have six more chapters to go—whoo!

Second, this progressive blog calls for me to tell you how my work differs from others of its genre. If we’re talking about my current WIP, I would say that I’ve created a place/world that definitely belongs to the Rough and Tumble books alone—the stories center around a dive bar on the outskirts of Las Vegas and the rough-edged men who hang out there. The bar—a saloon, actually—has a lot of history and Old West dust to it, and so does the lazy, small town it’s in.

Third—why do I write what I write? Well, if you all are familiar with me, you know that I have more than one pen name. Currently, I have a new urban fantasy series out as Chris Marie Green: Jensen Murphy, Ghost for Hire (book 1 is called Only the Good Die Young). I also write some new adult/chick lit books under this name (The She Code and connected novellas). Lastly, I write romances as “Crystal Green.” So why do I write such different things? Probably because I’ve always been an eclectic reader.  Additionally, I write quite a few books per year, and these different types allow me to stretch my creative wings—every project is exciting because it’s not like the one before.

Finally, how does my writing process work? Oddly, this also depends on what I’m writing—or how I’m selling a certain project. If I’m selling on proposal, I first brainstorm the story, interviewing my characters, using Goal, Motivation, and Conflict charts to plot as well as a Hero’s Journey grid. Then I write a synopsis, plus blurbs for any other books I’d like on the contract. Then I go for the first three chapters, which completes a proposal. Normally, it takes a little time to sell, so I’ll move onto another project, coming back to this one after a contract is in the works. However, if I’m doing something for self-publishing or if I’ve already sold the book off of a pitch or a blurb, I’ll use “the sticky method.” This means that I go through all my prep work (charts, interviews, etc.), but I won’t do a sales synopsis. Instead, I write every scene I think I’ll need on a sticky and arrange them on my closet door. After actually writing each scene, I get the satisfaction of tearing that sticky down and saving them in my folder.

As for a day to day writing process, I do what needs doing—usually I take care of promo and/or editing in the morning and write a chapter at night, splitting my day in two. It used to be the opposite, but nowadays, the business of writing has become so important that I can’t concentrate while the business day is happening!

And that’s the scoop, my friends. J

Next week on March 3, I’ve invited three more authors to talk about their writing process, and I hope you’ll visit them on their blogs! Here is their information:

Beppie Harrison is a former non-fiction writer, living in Michigan, releasing her first novel, The Broken Heart, in March--the first book of a Regency trilogy set in Ireland.
Beppie’s writing process will be found at

E. B. Purtill is a writer living in San Francisco. The Lamb is her first book, coming out in March. She studied law and arts at the University of Western Australia and is now married and has a daughter. Her site is at

Nancy Warren is a USA Today Bestselling romance author known for her funny, sexy contemporary romances. Her latest releases are Game On for Harlequin Blaze and Kiss a Girl in the Rain, book 1 in the Take a Chance series. You’ll find her blog at


E A Blech said...

Hi Chris,
Great post. Thanks for sharing your writing process. I'm very impressed that you can manage so many different writing personas. Inspirational.
All the best,

Chris Marie Green/Christine Cody/Crystal Green said...

Hey, Ellisha, thank you! Looking forward to what you have to say. :)