1. What am I working on?
Writing-wise, right now? Blessedly nothing. I have 3 stories (no, 4) on submission and a 0.5th draft of a novel, for which I am reading a book about the politics in Berlin in 1961 as research, and once I finish, I'll start revising it.
Not-writing-wise, I am in frantic pre-con mode for Shatterdome Atlanta (May 31) and taking exam 5 in my German-teaching class. I'm not certain I'll pass this one, and this time I actually mean it. Like, there's one 3-point (out of 30) question that's all or nothing. 19 points is passing. (The first exam I got 19.5.)
2. How does my work differ from others in my genre?
Uh. Which genre? The most common theme/genre of my writing is (alternate) historical fiction with places as characters that is somewhere between fantasy and magical realism (that's 2 of the 4 shorts out right now; the novel is alternate history with superpowers and spies). They're also mostly set in Germany (and mostly Berlin).
One short is science fiction on a space station with cyborg prostheses and a bisexual dockworker protagonist. The last short is a flash pseudo-fairytale.
3. Why do I write what I do?
Because people seem to like it. My two published pieces are (alternate) historical fantasy, and a historical fantasy got me in to VP 17. I suppose that also means that I like it and that I'm good at it.
I wanted to write politically driven space opera, but it turns out I'm terrible at it. I love reading it, though.
4. How does my writing process work?
I've recently started using the outlining method Mary Robinette Kowal describes here. I find that it suits the way my brain works quite well, even if I kind of fudge the last stage and have a few "and then a miracle occurs" points (quite frequently the ending).
I tried not outlining a novel or two, but as it turns out, that means I have to delete a whole lot of words where there are plot holes or the plot sucks. In short fiction, if I don't outline, it's not as arduous to fix the broken shit in the middle.
In the novel writing process, the 0.5th draft (I don't call it a first draft until it's something I could give to a beta reader) is a detailed outline, and there's some amount of writing to figure out what happens next. There's not much description or emotion, especially at the end (when I just want to get the damned thing out of my head already). Then once I know how it ends, I can go back and fix the beginning and middle, add foreshadowing and characterization and description and all the other things. And take out the things I already said.
I use Scrivener on my Macbook Air, and I love it.
I'll tag whoever wants to do this.