We’ve made it to Friday! Amid ballet classes and doctor appointments, I’m going to sit down and get started on this book. I’ve had my eye on it for a while, and it’s been on my TBR pile. I’m thrilled to have author Laurie Lucking on Fantasy Reads giving us a Behind the Scenes look at her book, Common.
Author Name: Laurie Lucking
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Behind the Scenes of Common
When I first started writing Common, I’d just accepted that my first manuscript, a story I’d worked on for years, was never going to find a publishing home. Rejection after rejection left me feeling discouraged and beaten down, wondering whether it was worth continuing to put time, effort, and resources into my writing. But an idea had sparked for a story about a shy, red-haired palace maid struggling against her growing feelings for her best friend, the unobtainable Crown Prince, and it wouldn’t let me go.
I began with childhood scenes in which the maid and prince met and formed a friendship, chapters that never even made it to the final draft! I delighted in adding hints of romance to their relationship as teenagers, only to agonize along with them when barriers kept them apart. When I got stuck with what needed to happen in the middle for these characters to reach my intended destination, I jumped to the ending, writing whichever scenes inspired me on a given day. Basically, my writing process was a plotter’s worst nightmare! But as a mom of young kids, at least it kept me writing through hundreds of daily distractions. Wrangling the edits for such a mashup of scenes took a lot of hard work, but after at least a dozen drafts, I eventually pulled together the final product. Finding the right publishing home for Common was a dream come true I appreciated all the more after my earlier disappointments.
As I approached writing the second book in my Tales of the Mystics series, Traitor, I intended to have a much more organized writing process. I would know where every scene was going, and every step it would take to get my characters from the beginning to the end. In reality, my process has been messier than ever. *Sigh.* But I’ve realized something this time around. For me, a disjointed approach to writing actually allows me to add so much more depth and complexity to my story than my original vision. When I attempt to outline, scenes each have one main purpose and thus turn out a little flat. But as I’ve given in to the freedom of following my inspiration wherever it leads, I’ve found instead that new layers of subtext develop I hadn’t anticipated—new connections form between side characters, or powerful emotions arise out of what I intended to be straightforward dialogue.
So, at least for now, I’m embracing the chaos. Just as Common turned out to be a bigger, more powerful story than I initially envisioned, I want to give Traitor the same opportunity. Maybe someday I’ll manage to create depth and complexity in outline form and produce a first draft that doesn’t require months of editing. In the meantime, I’m buckling up to enjoy the wild ride! 🙂
I love how everyone approaches writing differently. For me, I can’t jump all around, unless I force myself. I’m not a heavy plotter either, but for some odd reason, I need to go in order. LOL!
Only one person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.
Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.
And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.
But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Rafe’s parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess, and she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. When she reports it without proof, her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.
Harbored by an unusual group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.
Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?
An avid reader practically since birth, Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. Her debut young adult fantasy novel, Common, won the Christian Editor Connection’s Excellence in Editing Award, and her short stories are published in Mythical Doorways, Encircled, and Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and three children. Find out more at www.laurielucking.com.
Before you go, take a moment and connect with Laurie on social media and check out her novel, Common.
Readers’ Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1191276077665496/