RWA – A Day in the Writing Life of … Dy Loveday

Welcome everyone to another Day in the Writing Life post. Today we have Dy Loveday who writes dark fantasy romance and short horror stories.

What genre do you write in and what made you decide that particular one is your calling?      I was lucky enough to have my first fantasy romance novel picked up by Liquid Silver Books. And I do think luck has a big part to play in being published.  The release date for ILLUSION is end October 2012 and is the first in a series.

As a writer, I describe issues that are personal to me and hope the reader will relate to the story. I worked in the trauma field for 20 or so years, so my stories reflect the reality of these situations.  The emotions are dark and the characters have feelings and thoughts that might not be popular in our culture.  I try not to be a slave to the fantasy conventions and look for an original take on the genre.  Right now I’m writing a post modern gothic horror with fantastic and romantic elements set in Adelaide.

Are there any particular rituals you do to set the mood/harness the muse?     I’m a messy, idiosyncratic writer.  It’s the bane of my existence.  Right now there are so many pads, books and sticky notes crowding my desk that there’s only a tiny space for the mac keyboard. My walls are covered in texts I need to purchase, writing tips, maps, charts, storyboards, photos of places or people and other research for the manuscript.  Eventually, I’ll decide I can’t work anymore in the mess I’ve created and will stack everything into lopsided piles.  Then I’ll hunt for one tiny scribbled-on piece of paper with a terrific idea on it and the piles collapse into untidy heaps.

I can write morning, noon or night, but I need my mac and the long narrow room of my study to ground me.  My partner can’t understand why I don’t take the laptop outside to work in the sunshine.  But if you write like me, the walls and desk are as much a part of the manuscript as the words on the page.

Are you a plotter/planner or pantser?     I wrote my first novel in 6 months with no plot outline, then spent 18 months fixing the god-awful structural problems.   I swore I’d never do it again.  This time I’m trying (with some success) to find the right plotting tools to help organize my writing.   I write in bursts of energy and time and plotting isn’t a natural process for me.  But that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t do it.  There’s a fine balance between following your instincts and innovating by pushing boundaries.  I know I’m growing when I feel uncomfortable and it’s then that I have to fight the urge to protect myself.  Writing can be a lonely, unpleasant existence, but it feels liberating once you stop battling with yourself.

Once a story is on a roll, I don’t edit.  I could spend hours nitpicking previous scenes, which is a waste of time because I might cut them during revisions anyway.

Right now there is a big sheet of paper on my wall describing the character and events for an upcoming scene. I usually know the character’s goal and the major turn (causal chain) of the next chapter.  I find if I plot one scene at a time it’s more accurate and less labor intensive.  I draw my characters for inspiration, create storyboard montages, sketch maps, take photos and use Lego to block difficult action scenes.  So I guess I’m a converted plotter who prefers to fly by the seat of her pants.

Do you take time out to stretch, rest your eyes etc.      Not sure I should admit this, but some mornings I’ll go straight to the keyboard and write for 8-10 hour stretches of time.  For me, writing is an intense, crazy obsession.

Objects near my desk when I write     Pen, journal, Cup of tea, storyboard of my current manuscript, pictures I’ve drawn for inspiration, funky desk lamp (which is on, even during the day).

The last thing I do …Before finishing my daily writing session is to read it through, make final changes or additions and ask myself if there is some truth in what I’ve written.  If the character’s voice has made it to the page with some depth and meaning, I’ll celebrate with a cup of tea … or a glass of wine or two :-)

Her latest story / book Illusion is available this month, October, from Liquid Silver Press.

For further information on Dy and her writing, please visit her website :

www.dyloveday.com

Dy, thank you so much for sharing a day in your writing life and we wish you all the best with your writing career.

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11 Comments

  1. Dy, I love the idea of you using Lego to help you plot! I’ve never heard anyone say that before. I’m intrigued.

    Reply
  2. Wow, DY, your desk sounds just like mine. Before I sit down I make sure the rest of the house is spotless (easy, because the kids have all left home). But my desk… OMG, my desk. Every so often (when I can’t find the scrap of paper with the notes) I’ll tidy it up and swear not to let it get like that again. (Sounds of hysterical laughter.)

    Reply
  3. Maryde

     /  October 26, 2012

    Hi Dy,
    another writer who drinks TEA. Love it. Most authors I know Luuurrrrvvvve their coffee, but for me it’s all flavours and brands of tea.
    The other thing we have in common is we wallow in the mess until we can’t stand it any more … then have a clean up … YEP….

    Reply
  4. Fab interview! Love your (very) creative writing process – the Lego etc!

    Reply
  5. Thanks guys. Lego was a hint from Jeanne Cavelos, writer of SF http://www.sff.net/odyssey/

    Oh, tea. Love love love. Can’t live without the early morning cups. Coffee is great in cafes but I must have tea while working :-)

    The desk, groan. The desk is a mess again. Glad I’m not the only one.

    Reply
  6. Hi Dy,
    Great interview! I’m also intrigued by the Lego. Would love to hear more about that!

    Reply
  7. Lego is great for blocking important scenes. I try and describe the setting as much as possible at the beginning of the chapter so I don’t have to interrupt the action or dialogue with too much description. I remember doing it for a few fight scenes in Illusion.

    My daughter is 10 and has a tonne of tiny lego (it even has windows in it). In the evenings we will sit together and plan out a scene. She is MUCH better at building it. Then I work out where my monsters are in relation to the characters, how far they can throw one another before hitting a wall, the sound it might make etc.

    It also helps in terms of spatial description e.g. what a character can see from where he or she is standing, and helps me get a deeper perspective.

    Reply
  8. chris

     /  October 29, 2012

    Love the article (probably blog in modern speak) Dy. Havent seen u 4 a few weeks so nice to hear where ur at. Tea shmee…..maybe in the mornings….. but I believe it is fermented grape juice that is the sustinence you crave

    Reply
  1. Romance Writers of Australia blog | Dy Loveday

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