Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Blog Tour: My Writing Process

Are you following this current blog tour?  Last stop, Andrea Nasfell's blog--an excellent writer with great writing perspective.  Read here if you missed it: 

Andrea passed the questions on to me, so here's my take on the writing process!Andrea Nasfell's blog

Who are you?

I’m Rene Gutteridge, aka freelance writer, aka mother/wife/daughter/sister/friend.  I wear a lot of hats as a person and as a writer. I was pretty much born with an interest in storytelling, which then turned into an interest in screenwriting, then to writing novels, then to stage writing, sketch writing, ghostwriting, freelance writing…I decided early on I’d have a better chance making a living as a writer if I could do a lot of forms of writing, and it’s served me well and allowed me to be a part of some really great projects.

What are you working on?

My upcoming novel is a novelization of the feature film Old Fashioned.  It is my very first straight-up romance. I typically do romantic comedy if I’m going to go down the romance road.  I’m extremely proud to be a part of the Old Fashioned project.  To read more about the movie, click here:  Variety magazine just released a short article about it as well:

I’m also working on two different films, in different stages, as well as working on the promotion of my feature film SKID which is due out next year.  You can follow the progress here: Skid movie

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Well, that’s the funny thing about working as a freelance writer—I’m multiple-genre in everything I work on, whether it’s novels or screenplays or whatnot. I wanted very early on to make sure I didn’t get boxed in to one type of writing or genre.  Some writers love writing only in their genre, but I have a wide interest in a lot of things, so for me, remaining flexible and open has always been the best choice to keep me happy. And although I’m a novelist, I immensely love collaboration, which opens up a lot of different kinds of projects as well.

Why do you write what you do?

I am a very curious person.  All my stories are derived from my curiosity. I often tell writers that while creativity is certainly a great tool, they will be best served by their curiosity.  That is what will help them find the stories they need to tell, and the stories beneath the stories too.  Every single story I’ve worked on comes from vast curiosity, one that probably makes my family miserable.  I ask an obscene amount of questions everywhere we go and about everything we do.

How does your writing process work?

I’m seat-of-the-pants. I’m the writer that’s jotting stuff down on napkins. I have five writing apps on my phone I never use.  I’m a bit of a mess. One of my writing partners, Cheryl McKay, is amazing with her organization.  She has color-coated storylines. She has tabs in her binders for each character.  Sometimes I’m so unorganized I’ll just switch names of the character right in the middle of the story.  He starts out as Chuck and ends up as Derrick.  But somehow in the end I pull it off. I’m less interested in formula and more interested in finding where the story goes. I use my gut. I use my instincts. I dive straight into the story and characters and don’t come up for air. I do outlines and treatments only when required (they almost always are) and that’s probably what keeps my whole process from coming loose at the seams. But weirdly, I almost always produce a very strong first draft because I hate rewrites so I don’t tolerate from myself a messy first draft.

My writing life seems a bit easier these days.  When my children were born and tiny little tots…that was rough. I grabbed writing time during naps and Barney and then late at night. I don’t even think I could do that now. I don’t have much brain power after 8 p.m.  But now they’re older (high school and junior high!) and my hours are during their school day. I finish and call it a day when they get home and I’m a much healthier person because of it.  God gave me the strength to get through the early years for sure!

Keep following the blog tour!  Next up are two of my great writing buddies, screenwriter Cheryl McKay: Cheryl McKay's blog 

And novelist friend Susan Meissner:  Susan Meissner's blog

See you next time!

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