Monday, 9 January 2012

Welcome to my guest author: Nina Jade Singer

Today I welcome Author Nina Jade Singer to my blog! And she's got a book to give away and an Amazon gift certificate for one lucky reader! So over to Nina....
My Writing Process

Hello everyone, I’m so happy to be here today with Serena (which, by the way, is the name of the heroine in one of my stories). My first book, Secrets of the Knight, was recently released from Crescent Moon Press.

I was chatting with some writer friends the other day and we started talking about all the different ways we write. Not only did I find it fascinating how varied our methods were, I realized I wanted to try some of the things my friends were doing. Then I got to thinking that I wanted to do sort of the same thing in a blog post, just to kind of ‘talk’ to you all about the process that works for me.

So today I’m going to tell you a little about how I get from a story idea to a completed manuscript. I’m hoping you’ll perhaps find bits and pieces that you may want to give a try. And I’d love to hear about your own process if you’d like to comment at the end.

The original idea usually comes to me when I least expect it – something someone says triggers a thought, or I’ll think of a ‘what-if’ scenario. A lot of writers will tell you that they come up with a character first. I have yet to have that happen. With me, it’s the idea or premise that usually comes at the very beginning, typically in the form of a problem or conflict. Then I start to thinking about what type of hero would tackle such an issue. What characteristics would he need? That’s right, I always ‘see’ the hero before the heroine. Once I’ve got a vague impression of the hero (I don’t go too far in depth at this point), this is when I start imagining what the heroine might be like. What kind of woman would attract the hero I’ve come up with? At this point, most of these ideas are still all in my head.

Now comes the harder part:

I start trying to flesh out the story. I place my characters in the setting I’ve decided on. Usually it’s New England, where I live, or some place I’ve visited that’s particularly called to me. I try to come up with about 2 or 3 solid scenes to get story going in my head. Secondary characters start to walk in of their own accord. My primary characters begin to ‘talk’ to me and tell me what they’re like. Once I know more about them as people, I start doing character write-ups. My write-ups usually include everything from eye color to the model car they drive.

Ninety percent of my character details never even make it into the manuscript. But my hero, heroine, and secondary characters start to become real. Then I go back to the plot. And this is where things start to get somewhat difficult for me. My exciting discovery stage is now over. I have to think of ways to keep the excitement going. And the only thing that works for me is to keep the discovery stage going. This is one of the many reasons I can’t bring myself to outline. If I outline, I know what’s going to happen and I won’t want to actually write it. Believe me, I’ve had it happen and it hasn’t been pretty.

Instead, I try to think about the story constantly. Whatever I’m doing in my daily life, I’m still thinking about plot points. As ideas come to me, I try to jot them down as quickly as I can on an index card or notepad. This way, I know what I’m going to write when I sit down at my desk. At this stage, I’m not worrying about pretty words or flowing script. I’m doing what is known as ‘throwing mud at the wall’. Having fun with it. This is merely my exploratory draft. 

The next step is the revision process, which really depends on how much mud has been thrown. This is when I reach for those words that are just right. And of course, there’s all the editing. Some stories take longer than others. Some take more effort. But it’s always the same sense of aaaah when I finally type ‘The End’.

So this is what has worked for me. Maybe I’ll need to try something different a few manuscripts from now. Let me know what works for you!

Nina Jade Singer

Several years ago life forced Thomas (Bo) Bowden to give up everything, including the woman he loves, and take refuge on a Caribbean island. Little did he know, he was taking the first step to fulfilling his mystical destiny.

Nicole Balian has come to the small island of Trenado to find a missing teenager. She's shocked to the core to find her former lover instead. And the attraction between her and Bo is as strong as ever.

Working together to solve the unexplained disappearances plaguing the island, they find themselves in a frightening world of voodoo and magic. Trenado's history is shrouded in supernatural mystery. The danger they face serves to reignite their love. But as Bo fights an ancient evil that haunts the island, will Nicole be able to save the man she loves? Or will she lose him once again, this time forever?

Buy Link: Amazon

About Nina Jade Singer:

I've always loved stories of the supernatural. With mystery,  suspense, and a good dose of romance.

Nina on the Web:


One lucky commenter will receive Secrets of The Knight. Followers and commenter’s of the blog tour will go in the grand draw of an Amazon Gift Certificate of US$100.00!


For the full itinerary and more chances to win, check the AUTHOR PAGE!


  1. Hi Nina,
    It's great to have you here as my first guest blogger for 2012! I love learning about writing processes and what works for different authors. It doesn't matter how it happens, so long as when inspiration hits, you don't ignore it :)

    I grew up with mixed feelings about my name because no one in Australia could ever spell it or pronounce it, even in its anglicized form. But I love my name, and now everyone remembers it - Serena Williams made them remember the spelling too. (Wish I had her money and talent). So I'm grateful to my Mamma.

    I hope you enjoy your visit here.

  2. Thanks for sharing your process Nina. It's always interesting to hear another writer's way of doing things.

    Congratulations on Secrets the Knight and hope it flies off the e-shelves for you.

    Maggie M

  3. Hi Nina,

    I loved reading your process for writing, especially as it is similar to mine, though I end up getting pretty messy before it gets better!
    I love reading storys with strong elements of intrigue and the supernatural, and your story sounds like it has enough to keep me reading into the night!
    Congratulations and good luck!

    And thanks for bringing such wonderful authors to us through your blog, Serena.

    cheers Lia

  4. Hi Maggie M,
    I'm sure Secrets of the Knights will be a huge success. It's sounds like a wonderful story. Thanks for coming in.

  5. Hi Lia,
    I have to say I've read some of your messy stuff and also when it gets better and it's all wonderful!
    I love the idea of a Caribbean setting. And with supernatural forces, voodoo, mystery and romance - who needs anything else! I'm definitely looking forward to reading it.
    Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Hi Nina and Serena. It's always interesting seeing how other writers work. I'm one of those 'characters first' people. Great post and I wish you wonderful sales of Secrets of the Knight (great title) :)

  7. Hi Nina,
    Great blog. It is interesting how every author seems to have her own set of writing rules. I always seem to start with a germ of an idea, expand on it then "discover" my hero and heroine.
    Best of luck with Secrets of the Knight.



  8. Hi Helen,
    Isn't it interesting how there are so many ways to write a book. LOL. I'm looking forward to reading your first release too! (Congrats!)

    Thanks for dropping in.

  9. Hi Margaret T,
    Again, it's always great to get an insight to how different authors craft their stories.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  10. Hi Serena,
    I'm honored to be your guest blogger. Thanks for having me!

  11. Hi Margaret,
    Thanks for stopping by. And thanks for the well wishes!

  12. Hi Lia,
    Glad to hear I'm not the only whose manuscripts can get downright messy! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Hi Helen,
    I've always been in awe of you 'character first' writers. Don't know how you do it. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Hi Margaret T,
    Our processes seem to be quite similar. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  15. My friend, Jane Beckenham tried to leave a message, but Blogspot wouldn't let her. So here is her post:

    Hi Nina,

    Great hearing how other writers create their stories. For me it’s usually a character’s name first, and often the title –then the hard slog starts.

    Good luck with your book release.
    Kind regards

    Jane Beckenham

  16. Thank you for sharing your writing process. I know I will enjoy reading SECRETS OF THE KNIGHT.


  17. I'm sure you'll love Nina's book! Thanks for coming in, Marybelle.

  18. Hi Nina

    Thanks for sharing your wrting process.

    I must admit, my books tend to start off as a one-liner or a premise, and then as part of the teasing out process from this one idea, my characters begin to walk onto the set. They act and react, and begin to show me their characters, even reveal their pasts.

    As you can tell, I am very much a pantser. If I plot, I'm like you - the story's already told and I can't seem able to make myself write it!


  19. Hello Serena and Nina,
    Writing processes are so interesting. I'm so glad you can't outline. I'm the same. If I outline, I'm bored, the story's written and that's the end of that! I write a messy draft and then I work out all the problems in the story and re-write. I gets frustrating but at least I get to the end that way! I'm glad others have messy processes.

    Good luck with "Secrets of the Knight".

    All the best,


  20. Thanks for an intersting read. Always like to hear how others manage to work. Good luck with your latest publication.
    Janis Lane

  21. Hi Nina.

    I loved reading your Secret's of The Knight!

    It had all the elements I like- mystery, thrill, adventure and romance!

    Thank you Serena!

  22. Hi Michelle, Catherine, Janis and RR,
    Thanks for coming in and commenting. I'll get Nina to pick the lucky winner of her wonderful book, Secrets of The Knight. And don't forget to follow Nina's Blog Tour and be eligible to win the $100 Amazon gift voucher!

  23. Hi Nina and Serena!

    A great craft post, Nina. Thanks for sharing. Thanks Serena for hosting Nina!

  24. And thanks, Nas for organizing it all :)

    Now I'm waiting for the name of the winner of Nina's wonderful book - Secrets of the Knight!

  25. OK have heard from Nina and the winner of her wonderful book - Secrets of the Knight is... Michelle Somers! I'll organize for you to get that, Michelle.
    And don't forget to follow Nina on her blog tour and be eligible to win a $100 Amazon voucher! For the full itinerary and more chances to win, check her AUTHOR PAGE!