My Writing Process (Blog Hop)

Tag! I’ve been caught and now I’m it.

You may have noticed, a game of tag has been going around in some author circles.

Kids Playing Tag

Who caught me? Why, fantasy author, J. L. Mbewe of course. I hear she’s part elf, so clearly I had no chance of outrunning her. [grin] We met online through some writer circles. I then won her book, Secrets Kept, in a giveaway. It’s a fantastic read for anyone who loves fantasy. Can’t wait for book two!

The repercussions of being caught: I’ve been entered into The Writing Process Hop. That basically means I get to post a couple updates on where I am with my writing. You’ve all been dying to know, right? 😉


Man Walking Through Wall - NB

Going through the Wall.

1. What am I working on?

Writing-wise: Today I plan to complete the line edit on A Time to Die and send it in (no pressure!) Then I hope to make enormous, never-before-seen headway on book two, A Time to Speak. I’m 30,000 words in. Just for fun, here’s a tantalizing picture from my inspiration gallery for A Time to Die. (Well, it’s tantalizing to meI hope it is to you, too.)

Editing-wise: I’m up to my ears in delicious fiction novels just waiting to be scrubbed clean. Three projects this week and then four new ones next month. Every morning, I think, “I love my job!”

2. How does my work differ from others in its genre?

My book is dystopian (ex. The Hunger Games, Divergent, 1984.) It has many similarities to the giant dystopian trend attacking the bookshelves right now — female character, first-person narrative, a fight for survival — but I like to think it has both strong and subtle differences:

  1. My main character, Parvin, isn’t a lionhearted, never-cries, I-was-practically-born-in-the-wilderness type of girl. I see a lot of that in the female protagonists. They’re tough and practically fearless, they reign in all emotions (especially attraction to the male character,) and never show weakness. I like to think Parvin’s a bit more…human. 😉
  2. Christian themes. This is the biggest difference. Parvin’s pursuits, her purpose, her struggles, all come from a desire to know God deeper and to pursue a world the way He intended it to be. Though the dystopian trend is huge right now, there are only a handful of dystopian books revolving around relationship with our Creator.

3.  Why do I write what I do?

Because God’s calling me to. Three years ago He interrupted all my other writing projects — and my life in general — with the idea for A Time to Die. It’s a long story that would better fit in its own blog post. But, at the start, I didn’t want to write it. Then, I decided to be obedient and I said, “Fine, but it’s a one-book deal.” Now I’m contracted for three. [grin]

I write Christian speculative fiction in general because there is a certain power about believing we can rise “above and beyond” what this world calls normal. I love conveying that message through fantasy in the hopes it pushes us to believe it’s possible — to push readers (and myself) to live out that type of action and adventure. To pursue it.

4. How does my writing process work?


I’m not sure it works yet. I’m still trying to find that nice balance between writing and editing. But, I thrive off inspiration. I create it through smells, music, movies, snacks, and then sit down to write until my inspiration is sucked dry. After that, I’ll edit a few times and then move forward.

I usually spend two days brain storming and then one day writing. Then two days brainstorming and…you get the picture. It works rather nicely for me.



Because I have no one to pass this on to, I’m linking to some of the other author blogs who filled this out. (If anyone else wants to jump aboard the blog hop, contact me and I’ll link you in this post!) Now, go discover some new authors!

J. L. Mbewe – fantasy

Bethany A. Jennings – portal fantasy (fun!)

Rebecca P. Minor – fantasy

Kat Heckenbach – YA fantasy

Jeff Chapman – fantasy, fairy tale, and ghost stories


To join my newsletter list for all updates and announcements regarding my books and my editing, click here.

About Nadine Brandes

Nadine Brandes is an adventurer, fusing authentic faith with bold imagination. She never received her Hogwarts letter, but rest assured she’s no Muggle (and would have been in Ravenclaw House, thank you very much.) This Harry Potter super-nerd has been known to eat an entire package of Oreos (family size) by herself, and watches Fiddler on the Roof at least once a year. She writes about brave living, finding purpose, and other worlds soaked in imagination. Her dystopian trilogy (The Out of Time Series) challenged her to pursue shalom, which is now her favorite word (followed closely by bumbershoot.) When Nadine’s not taste-testing a new chai or editing fantasy novels, she and her knight-in-shining armor (nickname: “hubby”) are out pursuing adventures.
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  1. Looking forward to your book! Will it be first person present or past? Thanks!

    • Thanks, Jennette!

      Present. I wrote it that way because it came so naturally. Then it seemed to be in every book I picked up! I hope it goes over well with my readers. I know it annoys some people, but the book just can’t be the same without it.

  2. So fun to hear a little more about your book and what you’re working on! Thanks for the link share, too. 🙂

    Personally I enjoy reading first person present. I am looking forward to A Time To Die!

  3. I love what you said about the biggest difference in your work. It’s so true! There isn’t enough writing out there that shows the Lead struggling with classic Christian issues.
    God IS the one calling us to write, and He will provide His intended audience.

    Just curious Nadine, how far ahead are you booked when it comes to editing? Just wondering how soon I need to contact you to get on your list when I’m ready…

    btw, I’m looking forward to A Time To Die too! (as well as Ashlee’s book, The Word Changers)

    • Yes He will!!

      I’m glad you mentioned Ashlee’s book, The Word Changers, because I hadn’t heard of it. It looks delightful! Looking forward to its release.

      Regarding editing, right now I’m booked until May 26th. I have about a 4-6 week turnaround and would love to put you in the schedule whenever you think you’ll be ready. If you want to discuss it further, shoot me an email through my contact page. I can probably give you more specifics. 🙂

I love hearing from you!