Writing Process Blog Tour

Posted: May 26, 2014 in Scribble
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The tour continues with me, albeit a little late. Thanks Anna Tan for introducing me to this journey. Anna and I met for the first time in the Love in Penang launch at the Georgetown Literary Festival on Nov 30, 2013.

Anna likes to believe that she has something to say. Most times though, those “somethings” stay locked in her private little brain, echoing in its emptiness until it one day breaks out into a deluge of whiny rants on her blog.

What am I working on?
I started concentrating on The Cili Padi Experiment and Pedomare; the former is a psychological horror novel and the latter is a supernatural horror novel,  but I was swayed by the charms of a tale I never expected to work on. The title ‘Transma & Me’ came to me unexpectedly. As in many of my stories I am usually inspired or influenced by something that flicked on the switch as it were at that time. Transma & Me was already swimming in my head but not rooting down until I watched Cloudburst and read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Both the stories stirred up something in me and I knew I had to work on Transma & Me as soon as I could. So here I am, one quarter way through writing the novel about a misanthropic teenager who discovered she had a transgender grandmother no one told her she had. She secretly took a trip to visit her grandmother to learn about things that were never spoken in her family. This is a coming of age or bildungsroman novel that questions relationships, gender norms, morality, rights, and a whole lot of things between an experienced transgender grandmother and a cynical teenage granddaughter.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
Probably the subject matter is what differs from many other novels of the same genre. The other being the setting in Malaysia, which has all the ingredients to make it rich with a variety of questionable issues.

Why do I write what I do?
I enjoy writing. Since I write a variety of genres I love getting into the mess of a horrific story to stir up fear and confusion, twist hearts until they become tear jerking moments, and tickle the funny bones just to have a good laugh. But most of all, I am nothing more than an instrument to my writing. I write what ‘they’ tell me to write.

How does my writing process work?
It all depends on what I write. If it is a commissioned movie script I sit myself down starting with an outline, a treatment and then the 1st draft, always liasing with the movie director. If it is a short story or novel, I will choose a genre, subject matter, and one with the loudest voice from my library of outlines and treatments. But sometimes, some stories sabotage my flow of work and hold me ransom until I complete writing them. I write every day whether I am sitting in front of the laptop, a notebook or even looking out into space.

 

Sydney Leigh, an amazing friend, writer, editor, photographer, artist, teacher and many many more, and friends will continue this journey next monday.

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