About Me

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Queensland, Australia
I'm an Australian author of Contemporary Romance, Romantic Action/Adventure, and Historical fiction. I live in Queensland, Australia. www.noelleclark.net

Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Writing Process - the wisdom that comes with learning from others

This is my second shot at discussing my writing process, however this time around I’m going to be discussing the four questions from the viewpoint of what I’ve achieved in the six weeks since I did my last post.

Have I achieved much in that short time? I think so.

First of all, I’d like to tell you about fellow Brisbane author, Michaela Miles. You see, Michaela
asked me if I’d like to be part of this very interesting chain-style blog that’s been doing the rounds. I’ve been following it now for some time, and have been reading each author’s unique approach to their craft. Whilst we are all different in what and how we write, the commonality of the hurdles, difficulties, and goals, is very unifying. Each author who has participated in the Writing Process Blog has taught me something. It may only be a tip on time management; or a fresh way of looking at my own process. But it has, I believe, made me a better writer to read what others do.

For a glimpse into a busy mother, business owner, home renovator – and writer – check out how upbeat and hard-working Michaela is. Click here to read her writing process.

The common thread in all of the posts is that we don’t write for fame or money. We write because we are driven to bring to life the characters, places and stories that buzz around in our head. But above all, we write because we love it.

What am I currently working on?

I’m currently half way through my third contemporary romance novel, Honor’s Debt. But as often happens, my characters are playing hard to get with each other, and I’m being taken on a merry chase into uncharted territory. My plot outline has been thrown out the window, as my characters surprise me by taking over the direction of the story. However, I’m going along for the ride to see where they take me.

I’m also writing a couple of erotic romance novellas; doing final edits on my historical novel; and am doing some editing for a friend. I also just finished a series of author talks at libraries in my region, delivering an hour-long talk called ‘Person, Place and Passion’. Add to this, several book club visits to chat about my books, and it’s been a pretty busy month or so. But I’m loving every minute.

 How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I don’t know that my Contemporary Romance books are all that different to several other authors who like to use locations and settings that they’ve travelled to and fallen in love with. But what I do try to do, is to have several little subplots weaving through the stories which contain mystery,
intrigue, suspense, danger, adventure. I also like to have a couple of interesting support characters, who will one day be the main characters of future books. I then combine these elements with a well described (I hope) exotic location, two likeable main characters, and some pretty good romance.

My historical novel, Stone of Heaven and Earth, will – I hope – be fairly unique, as it’s based on fact and my family history.

Why do I write what I do?

I write books like Rosamanti, Let Angels Fly, and Honor’s Debt, because they are the sorts of books I

love to read. I also love to use locations that I’ve travelled to or lived in, and then watch as the setting makes my characters behave in a particular way, which may not have happened had I set the stories somewhere else. I believe strongly that location/setting has a huge influence on the behaviour of characters.

But apart from writing books, I have written many songs, essays, short stories, as well as academic papers and online education content in my career.

How does your writing process work?

Last time I answered this question I thought I had a process that suited me.

But I am revising that
thought now.  Instead of just one idea pinging into my brain, usually when I’m driving, or when I’m just waking up in the morning, I’m now receiving dozens of random, way out, crazy ideas. I’ve always loved those moments when the creative right side of the brain is acting superior to the normally dominant, logical, left side. I became a full-time writer two months ago – I can only guess that the freedom I now have to focus on my writing is allowing my creativity to run rampant. How lucky am I?

I still jot down dot points, everything I can about the characters, setting, conflict etc that spins
through my grey cells. But that’s it. What I’ve learned with Honor’s Debt, now that my creativity has this newfound freedom, is that no matter how much I plot, sometimes the characters are strong and pull the story in directions I didn’t even think of.

I’m enjoying this new (to me) way of letting them have their way.

Who will we meet next week?

Well, last time I did this blog, I passed the baton to fellow Aussie authors Isabella Hargreaves, Kendall Talbot and Susanne Bellamy. This time I’m going to ask any writers who read this to volunteer.

But right now, do me a favour and click on these three other authors. They are, like me, sharing their writing process. We can all learn from each other.
Renea Mason
Lea Bronsen
Roberta Pearce
Kerry J. Donovan


  1. I love that you've shared the learning and self-understanding that has evolved through your writing, Noelle. Even when I thought I'd plotted my current story, things 'happened' out of the blue that were absolutely right for the characters and I went with the flow too. I don't imagine ever being able to completely 'know' my story when I start and I LOVE being surprised by characters and events! If I'm taken by surprise, I hope my readers will be too. Isn't this writing life fabulous!

    1. Yes indeed! Absolutely fabulous, and each day it gets better! Those serendipitous moments; those surprises our characters throw at us; the journey our stories take us... There is no better life.

  2. Thank you for sharing Noelle!

  3. Writing never ceases to amaze me. I find it is such a learning curve and I, too, am in such a different place than when I started writing years ago. Processes change, plots change direction, locations fascinate me, my characters come alive on the pages but the passion to write still remains.

    1. Tania, great to see you coming to visit. Apart from everything else, writing has brought me into contact with so many wonderful people. Thanks for your comments.

  4. What a great post Noelle. Stone of Heaven and Earth sounds more and more appealing by the second. .Weave on girl and let your characters pull you! xx

    1. Thanks Shey. You have been my most influential mentor in this writing journey. Your constant support and down to earth advice has been so important to me.

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