• Hot Pants…or Why I Don’t Plot

    It’s Wednesday!  No lost days this week…at least not so far.  And this week’s Blog Carnival Question from YA Highway is:  Are you a plotter or a pantser? 

    I’ve actually posted on this subject way back in November (Here’s a link to that post).  And my writing style hasn’t changed much since then. 

    To summarize: I’m a pantser.  I usually visualize a beginning and an end, then write to connect the two points.  This method works for me…most of the time. Sometimes I get serious writer’s block (haven’t added anything to my WIP since April 28th…yikes) and it takes a long time to figure my way out.  I know what has to happen next, but I’m having a hard time getting the words onto the paper. 

    It happens. It’s frustrating.  I’m working on it. 

    There is one thing always seems to help me get unstuck.  I write a synopsis for a query letter (not that I have to query any more…phew!).  It’s sort of like a mini-outline that identifies the major plot points.  Here’s a link  for what I wrote for THE BIDING TIME.  It’s certainly not perfect, but it helped remind me where my story is supposed to be heading. 

    I’m hoping SAW IT COMING will go on submission soon, and maybe (just maybe) someone will be interested in turning it into a series.  And perhaps that editor would like to see my plans for the next book (an agent I talked to told me to prepare one…just in case).  I might have to write an actual, detailed outline.  My first attempt…well it turned into the first scene of the sequel (and it was way hotter than I intended. Which is sort of the reason I don’t like to plot — unexpected awesomeness!). But I’m interested to see how outlining will change the writing process and if I’ll be able to stick it. 

    Doubt it.

    How many of you are plotters/pantsers?  If you plot, are your outlines rigid or fluid?  If you’re a pantser, do you get writer’s block frequently or does your imagination always pull you out of trouble? 
  • The DVD Menu Method

    I don’t plot. I never write anything down, brainstorm, bubble box, any of those classic writing techniques. When I start a book I know the beginning and the end. The middle…well that’s a different story all together.

    I lay in bed at night and dream of what’s going to get me from Point A to Point B. In my head it sort of looks like the scene selection screen at the beginning of a DVD.

    I know what’s going to happen next, I can see the images in my head. Sadly, there is no mental remote that let’s me click from one box to the next.

    My mental DVD player is frozen. I’ve turned it off, let it reboot, unplugged the darned thing, and nothing, NOTHING is working. No matter how hard I try I can’t get from Chapter 38 to 39. I know what’s supposed to happen in those two chapters. They are “explanation” chapters, they build a bridge to 40. Chapter 40 is the climax and it’s practically written (okay, not on paper but it my head).

    I went online and looked for suggestions on how to combat writer’s block. None of them were helpful. Change your work area, write something else, do a writer’s prompt. It’s crap, all of it!

    So, I’ve been sitting on my couch for the last four hours watching TV.

    I suck.
  • And the Award for Stupidest Person Alive Goes To…


    Don’t mind the scary, scaly, underbelly-of-a-snake white leg. I’ll explain this picture and how I got the enormous bruise in a couple paragraphs.

    A few posts ago, I wrote about my inability to balance my life with my attempts at authoring. Since that time I’ve added a new workout routine to my schedule that I start every morning at 5:45 a.m. (Yay me!)

    That doesn’t, however, mean that I’m going to bed any earlier.

    Last night I rolled into my 600 thread count sheets at about 11:15 p.m. I’d been reading, writing, and plotting before I went to sleep. Those are never a good concoction for a good night’s rest. (FYI: This is where I blame this morning’s stupidity on lack of sleep.)

    Alarm goes off, I bolt out of bed, change my clothes, and dash to the basement. I pop in Barry’s Bootcamp and start my workout. As I was doing my “power squats” with my workout band tucked under my feet, my mind drifted to the dialogue I was crafting the previous evening.

    “Would he really say that to her?” I thought. “Wouldn’t she have a more, like, dynamic response?”

    My mind literally snapped back to my workout. The band slipped out from underneath my feet–and acting like the giant and super-tight rubber band that it is–popped across my leg with all the tension my 1%$ pounds could put into it. (And if you honestly thought I’d post my weight, you are freaking delusional.)

    I screamed. Not a little “Ouch! That really hurt” whimper, but a real bloody murder shriek. I pushed pause on the video, limped around for a couple of minutes and then laughed my butt off (notice that I laughed my butt off, not worked it off).

    The best part of the story is that the mark didn’t fade. I’ll be wearing that ten-inch long bruise like a badge of idiocy to the pool today.

    Anyone have a sweet piece of fiction I can tell that will make me sound super tough, smart and maybe athletic? Maybe something that includes trail running and hurdles?

    Have a great day. And good luck finding balance in your life.