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Warrior Witch  (The Malediction Trilogy, #3)
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Stolen Songbird Read-Along > Extra #7 My 'Process' for Writing WARRIOR WITCH

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Danielle Jensen | 359 comments Mod
I’m frequently asked about my writing process, and it’s a tricky question for me to answer, because it has been quite different for each of the three novels of The Malediction Trilogy. STOLEN SONGBIRD I wrote before I had a contract, an agent, or a deadline, so I worked on it when I felt like it. HIDDEN HUNTRESS I had about a year to write, which is the ideal length of time for me. WARRIOR WITCH… well, let’s just say, it was the most stressful of the three, because I really only had about six months to draft it. This was how it happened.

After I turned in the draft of HIDDEN HUNTRESS in the fall of 2014, I got to work writing the first three chapters and a detailed synopsis of WARRIOR WITCH, which I provided to my publisher as part of my contractual obligations. It basically gave them the opportunity to see what I had planned and to let me know if they had any issues with the direction I was going, which they did not. Yay! I then set aside the novel while I waited for HIDDEN HUNTRESS’s edits, because I wanted to make sure none of the changes would significantly affect what I had planned for WARRIOR WITCH. This, in hindsight, was probably a mistake on my part.

I received my edits for HIDDEN HUNTRESS in November 2014, delivered a revised manuscript in December, and once that draft was blessed, I got to work on WARRIOR WITCH. For about a month. Because in February, I had a baby, and WOW was that a game changer. All the very limited time I had in February through until April ended up going to the HIDDEN HUNTRESS copyedits, which proved more intensive than I’d anticipated. And then my time went to preparing blog posts and interview answers for HIDDEN HUNTRESS’s launch in June. WARRIOR WITCH was only about 15% done at that point (eeep!), and I had to concede that it wasn’t going to be done any time soon. My editor took a look at the schedule, and told me we could extend my deadline to November 1. Which gave me a little less than five months to write the last 85% of the manuscript.

Now for some authors, that’s lots of time. But I’m not the swiftest writer, and on a weekly basis, I actually had about 50% less time to write than I did with HIDDEN HUNTRESS. Imagine trying to fit a full-time job into part-time job hours, and you’ll understand what I mean.

So I had to reevaluate how I write a novel. Typically, I like to spend A LOT of time in the middle, which is the most challenging portion of the story, and I won’t move on until I’m satisfied. With WARRIOR WITCH, I actually skipped a big section in the middle (where I was bogged down), wrote the ending, and then wrote that tricky middle section last.

And you know what? It ended up working really well for me. The plot problems I was having with the middle resolved themselves as I worked through the last half, and I didn’t suffer the frustration of going weeks with little progress like I normally do. The experience has made me rethink how I write, and I’m hoping *crosses fingers* that it will make me a more productive author. Which hopefully means more books for YOU!

And YES! I did make that deadline. I sent the manuscript to my agent on November 1, and both she and my editor loved it! Both of them provided me with a bunch of plot related edits, which I handed in just before Christmas. Everyone was really happy with the changes, so it went to the copyeditor, then back to me, then to the proofreader, and then back to me again. I just handed in the FINAL draft on yesterday, and Angry Robot is in the process of formatting it to put up on NetGalley

I am SO SO SO pleased with how WARRIOR WITCH turned out, and I can’t wait for everyone to read the end of the story that’s consumed my life for almost six years. I hope you all LOVE IT!


Louisa (lpcoolgirl) | 14 comments Awesome :) Well, not that you were stressed, but that you found a different and faster approach :) And yeah for Warrior Witch soon being on NetGalley! And I know I'll love it!! :D


Melissa (thereaderandthechef) (melissarobles) IT IS FANTASTIC. ♥♥♥♥♥


Nicole (nicole_t) | 43 comments That's awesome! Thank you for sharing this process with us, it's so interesting, and it makes reading the books even more special knowing what you went through. I'm a PhD student so I understand a little how the process of writting can be, since I have to write scientific papers. I also like to skip parts where I'm stuck and come back later. It really works for me, so I hope it keeps working for you! Since you said "which hopefully means more books for you" does that mean you already have in mind to write other books after Warrior Witch? :D

And (very late) congrats on having a baby! :)


Ellie M (byelliem) | 28 comments Wow, so much work and juggling. Thanks for sharing! I'm always curious how authors time manage and what deadlines they have. So insightful :)


message 6: by Danielle (new) - added it

Danielle Jensen | 359 comments Mod
Nicole wrote: "That's awesome! Thank you for sharing this process with us, it's so interesting, and it makes reading the books even more special knowing what you went through. I'm a PhD student so I understand a ..."

Thanks, Nicole!

Yes! I've got a few projects that I'm working on, and hopefully I'll have more to tell everyone later this year!


Pili (piwi) | 34 comments You made your deadline and found a new way to write a book that is faster, so despite all the stress, it was positive in many ways so hooray!!


Nicole (nicole_t) | 43 comments Danielle wrote: "Nicole wrote: "That's awesome! Thank you for sharing this process with us, it's so interesting, and it makes reading the books even more special knowing what you went through. I'm a PhD student so ..."

Yay! :D


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