3 C’s: Chocolate, Caffeine, and Critique Buddies – My Writing Process

Photo by ilco

Photo by ilco

I’ve been invited on a fun blog hop to tell about my writing process. On the blog hop last week, Amanda G. Stevens, who is releasing a series with David C. Cook, was the featured author.  Check out Amanda’s  website to hear more about her upcoming series. Thanks, Amanda for inviting me to join you in the blog hop!


About me as a writer?

My writing process leans heavily on the 3 C’s: Chocolate, Caffeine, and Critique Buddies. Without them I would be lost.

*My favorite variety of chocolate would be Ghirardelli’s caramel and chocolate squares. Sigh. Now I’m hungry.

*My favorite caffeine is Mt. Dew hands down.

*My amazing critique buddies are Lisa Jordan, Colleen Coble, and Cynthia Ruchti. (Others have helped me along the way like Amanda Stephens, Amy Lindberg, Patricia Bradley and some of my Minnesota N.I.C.E. pals.)

What am I currently working on?

Right now I am working on a three book collection called the Tranquility Collection. I finished book one already and am on book two, Deadly Invasion. The story takes place in Tranquility, Minnesota where everything is anything but tranquil. Avery Jamison is a single mom who works as a 9-1-1 dispatcher in small town where the methamphetamine trade is just beginning to impact their tight knit community.

How does my work differ from others in its genre?

This question is tough to answer. I’m going to say what stands out about my writing instead:

*My heroines are fiercely independent survivors who have struggled with difficult situations in their past that would cripple some people emotionally. They are strong and have forged lasting friendships with others in the community.

*The heroes are intensely masculine with a gentle side that sets them apart.

*The chemistry on the page is sometimes feisty and funny.

*The villains are multidimensional with strong motivations and are unraveled in layers that often reveal plot twists.

*A vivid small town community where everyone knows everyone else.

Why do I write what I do?

I absolutely love plot that twists and surprises me! Romantic suspense is fun to write for that very reason. My characters are survivors because I understand what it is like to go through difficult things having struggled through both heart and brain surgery, as well as some other things on my journey. I want to touch readers who have deeper questions about faith and thrive on the heroine who can survive some of the worst life has to throw at them.

How does my writing process work?

1. Eat chocolate and brainstorm

2. Brainstorm, noodle on ideas with critique buddies, and drink caffeine

3. Do some pre-story character work from Susan May Warren’s The Book Buddy.

4. Write the rough draft, eat chocolate, chat with critique buddies, and drink caffeine

5. Edit, send to critique buddies, buy more chocolate, buy more caffeine, and remind myself that writers have thick skin.

6. Final edit and polish after critique buddy suggestions.

Thanks again, Amanda Stephens for inviting me to the blog hop. Next Monday check out:

Joseph Courtemanche’s blog for our next stop a week from today. Joseph writes his novels from a Christian perspective with the gritty realism that modern readers demand. His as-yet-unpublished Assault on Saint Agnes won Second Place in the prestigious Athanatos Christian Ministries 2013 Christian Novel Contest, and was a 2013 Final Five Finalist in the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel. He is represented by Jessica Kirkland of The Blythe Daniel Agency.

What is your writing process like?



About Michelle Lim

Author Michelle Lim is the Brainstorming/Huddle Coach with My Book Therapy Press and the Midwest Zone Director for American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle’s romantic suspense is represented by Karen Solem of Spencillhill Associates and has gained contest recognition in the Frasier, the Genesis, and the Phoenix Rattler, winning the Genesis in 2015 for her genre. Michelle writes devotionals for The Christian Pulse Online Magazine and Putting On The New. Since her nonfiction book release, Idea Sparking: How To Brainstorm Conflict In Your Novel, through public speaking and online chats Michelle helps writers discover the revolutionary power of brainstorming to bring new life to their stories.

3 thoughts on “3 C’s: Chocolate, Caffeine, and Critique Buddies – My Writing Process

  1. Thank you for the mention,but you have helped me far more than I’ve helped you! Mine is somewhat like yours. I discover who my characters are through questions like what name would you give your personality, what is the lie that you believe, the wound you carry? After I know my characters or rather as I’m getting to know my characters, I work on the plot, putting proposed scenes in the squares of a big desk calendar. Once I know these things, I start writing and have a goal of 15k a week.

  2. […] Michelle Lim, for inviting me to the blog hop. Next week, on Monday, my esteemed colleague Brandy Vallance will […]

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