Monday, 21 April 2014

Writing Process Blog Tour 2014

Many people have argued that the proliferation of social media sites has an undoubtedly negative influence on writing, in terms of industry and quality of writing. This may be true for some, but it is impossible to talk about the influence of the internet without speaking of how much it helps writers interact with one another and share ideas on a growing range of issues. How a writer decides to use this is solely that writer’s prerogative. The idea of a blog tour especially appealed to me because of its capacity to introduce me to new blogs (and writers), who are doing wonderfully creative work on their blogs. 

My dear Obinna Udenwe, whose work can be read here,  introduced me to the blog tour and has introduced me to writers such as Tricia Nicholson and Kwabena Agyare whose writings were unknown to me before now.
Then, there is the part where we each get to speak about our writing processes. I like the idea of reading about other writers’ writing lives, and discovering that I’m not so weird after all.

Here’s my writing process unveiled:

What am I working on?
I am currently working on a novel which is as yet untitled. It is a riveting story about a family’s travails in their search for a brother, after a boat trip goes awry. It explores how lives change and different truths emerge in the whirlwind of experience. The novel has a bit of a love story and some heart racing suspense.
I am also writing short fiction when that particular muse seizes me. Here I tell stories of the joys, pain, romance and realities of the everyday Nigerian. My poetry muse is a faithful lover in all this; giving me space to explore fiction, yet whispering sublime verses to me every now and again. This is the burden of first loves, I guess.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?
My writing tends to be very particular about human reactions. I like to explore the ripple effects that a single action (or inaction) can have on the lives of people. How people discover true self in their struggle with latent traits or weaknesses, triggered by one incident. I try to see my characters as complete representations of your guy next door, or your aunty or old friend. In drawing a reader onto their lives and minds and fears, my writing tends to get emotive.
I have also been accused of being very graphic and detailed in my writing; this must also be a unique feature in my work.

Why do I write what I write?
Human nature fascinates me. The human mind is such a an endlessly intriguing tool to work on, and with. There are a plethora of possible outcomes in any given situation when a human being is involved. This realization is what moves my writing. Coupled with the fact that each undertaking is an opportunity to question and understand human nature some more.
I write what I write in order to discover what drives people in different conditions. There are stories that need to be told and those of us with the gift of words have the added responsibility to be as honest as possible to the craft.

How does my writing process work?
Due to the fact that I may not always have the luxury of time, I try to discipline myself to put down my thoughts in anyway possible, for future referencing. This could be scribbled short/long hand on a jotter, notebook or piece of paper. It could be an idea typed on a smart device, or a thought voice-recorded on a smart phone. My most productive writing period is in the wee hours of the morning when the only sounds are the tick of my clock, or the distant hum of the early train.
I find myself constantly editing as I write. I am told that it slows down the writing process, but this is the way I write, and I am mostly unable to move the story along if I am uncomfortable with the last part. Thankfully I don’t aim for overkill at first draft.
The first draft of my novel was completed in one month, while at a residency. I may spend another year on further research to make the story as plausible as possible, then do some more editing.
For short fiction, I put the idea down once it strikes me, then after writing the main story; I leave it to simmer for a while before I decide on a suitable ending.
Pre-plotting does not always work for me, but I try to mark out a decent plot perimeter beyond which I will not dance. Then I trust my muse and let the story tell itself.

Now to pass the baton…
The three favourite writers that I will hand over to are:

Dami Ajayi:

Dami Ajayi is a medical doctor, poet, short story writer, occasional essayist and book reviewer. He co-publishes Saraba and edits Fiction for the quarterly magazine. 
Dami writes a fun blog, with suprisingly profound insights, where he talks about a wide range of things that tickle his fancy.
pick his brains at

Iquo B. Essien:

Iquo is a Nigerian-American writer, director and photographer. Her short film, Aissa's Story, was a regional semifinalist in the 2013 Student Academy Awards. She is currently writing a memoir, Elizabeth’s Daughter, about losing her mother to cancer and finding herself through writing.
Her debut (draft) novel, Alligator Legs, earned her a Hedgebrook Writers' Residency in 2009. Her publishing credits include the Dreams at Dawn anthology, as well as online and print magazines NigeriansTalk, The African Magazine, PopMatters, and the Stanford Black Arts Quarterly.

Iquo divides her time between Brooklyn and Lagos, and writes about art and life on a popular blog www.alligatorlegs.blogspot. 

Terh Agbedeh:
Terh is a journalist and writer, who dabbles in photography. His background includes over 10 years in the print media in Nigeria and is presently assistant editor for The Niche newspaper, based in Lagos. 
He blogs at about life, particularly as it relates to literature.

He is working on a book and lives in Lagos with his wife and daughter.


  1. Like I didn't have enough insight into your mind before! This is a better expo sha! now I know how the Duchess of words forms the tales and poems! And the writers you are handing over to, excellent choice!

  2. Thanks for dropping by Ibrahim. and for sharing...

  3. Thanks for dropping by Ibrahim. and for sharing...

  4. Nice one Iquo. Enjoyed reading about your writing process. Can't wait to read the novel.

    Great choice of writers. Can't wait to read about their writing processes.