Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘plotting’

In my last blog post, I stated my three main goals for this week. They were:

1) Write at least three hours this week
2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges
3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. (I’ve been doing great on exercise, but my old eating habits are sliding back into my life.)

I was a miserable failure at 2 and 3. No housework to speak of. I’m still struggling with the eating habits. Not TERRIBLE, but not that good, either.

Let’s talk about that first goal. Honestly, I can’t say I succeeded or failed since the week isn’t over. However, I’ve been reading all of Susan Bischoff’s notes on plotting (using the term “notes” is putting it mildly) and figuring out how to apply them to my current WIP. So I HAVE been working on writing stuff, but not actually writing. I’m planning on doing the actual writing on Thursday and Friday, when I’ve got some things sorted out. I usually write more on Saturdays, but since hubby and I are doing our anniversary trip on the weekend, I’m going to try to get my three hours of writing in on those two days.

More writing news. I’ve been tossing around a paranormal romance idea (no vampires or ghosts this time!) for awhile, and I think I’m going to start doing a little plotting with that. I want to see how I do with Susan’s method on something I’m just starting rather than something I’m halfway through. I’m excited about this idea because, like Soul of a Vampire, the title came in my mind before the story. And the cover for this one can be awesome considering the subject matter. Curious yet? 😉

So, how are the rest of you doing so far this week?

Read Full Post »

Yesterday, I spent several hours with Susan Bischoff. This is always fun, not to mention that she always inspires me to write. We talked about a lot of things. First, she helped me expand on the plotting I was trying to do, giving me lots of good advice about plot points and where they should be in my story. And I finally admitted to someone (Susan!) that I had been finding excuses not to write because every time I thought of my WIP, I got this scared feeling in the pit of my stomach. I’m AFRAID of my manuscript. (And Susan GETS this.) There, I admitted it to all of you. Honestly, this is very new to me. I used to be able to churn out words with no problem, they all made sense, and I wasn’t afraid to publish them. This fear of my own work is SO not me. But I guess it IS me, isn’t it? I’ve never understood writers that were afraid. Now I get it. You know what, though? I’m not going to let myself be held back by that fear any longer. I’m tired of it, and I’m stronger than this. So there! *blows raspberry at the fear*

So my goals for this week (baby steps, no long term goals):

1) Write at least three hours this week
2) Do at least 15 minutes of housework per day using the FlyLady challenges
3) Get back to my healthy eating habits. (I’ve been doing great on exercise, but my old eating habits are sliding back into my life.)

After this week, we’ll see what needs to be done next.

Read Full Post »

During lunch today, I took Lynn Lorenz’s spreadsheet template and started (oh my!) doing a little plotting. I actually filled in chapters and scenes that I had already done on my WIP and will work on the future stuff tonight or this weekend. I can already see that I’m going to have to tweak it a little and do it my own way. Lynn makes a great big cell for each chapter, and I have trouble fitting stuff in. I think I’ll make rows for each chapter and maybe have columns in each row for my scenes. I don’t know. I just love playing with spreadsheets. I do want to pay attention to her plot points, though.

I remember when I was eating with Kait Nolan and Susan Bischoff one time, they were trying to explain to me that plotting didn’t have to be scary. That I didn’t have to lose my creativity. That I could still be flexible. Then I tried it and failed miserably. Did I do it wrong? IS there a wrong? Was I just not ready then? Or was the thought of USING A SPREADSHEET what sparked my interest? I don’t know, but I was all excited after I talked to Kait and Susan that time, and then I was disappointed that I couldn’t do it. I think maybe we should have talked about it longer, and they should have beat me senseless so I could have awakened as a plotter. LOL. So let’s see how my latest venture in plotting will go. I’ll keep you all posted. 🙂

Now for something fun. These are the guys we got to spend time with all week at the RNConvention in Vegas. Four of them were the Mr. Casanova contestants, and the one in the middle is a Hunk-O-Mania dancer and a friend of Jimmy Thomas, who was the creator of this convention. Their names are Justin Tatum, Michael Mecucci, Julian Mora, Michael Hendrickson. and Shawn Cunningham. Shawn won the Mr. Casanova contest. The guy is 6’8″ tall! And all of these guys are really sweet and friendly. You know, because it doesn’t matter that they’re GORGEOUS.

the guys

Read Full Post »

I’m a pantser. I admit it. What’s hard to take is when you have friends who mention they can tell a story has been “pants” like it’s some kind of evil. So you can imagine how that makes ME feel. I’ve tried to plot and outline. Every attempt has left me frustrated and made me feel I was losing that creative flow that comes from sitting down and writing before the ideas stop coming. A pantser HAS to write when the idea comes.

If there was one thing I took away from the RNConvention, it was that there’s a better way than plotting OR pantsing. I took a class called “Plotting for Pantsers” given by Lynn Lorenz. She gave us reasons why plotters are too rigid, often taking years to write a book. She said many times they get so caught up in plotting that they never write the story. She also said pantsers often get lost, forget what they named characters, and lose the plot because they forgot to include this or that. So she showed us a way to blend the two together. I won’t go into the whole process, but she basically uses a spreadsheet to start with. She has lines for chapters, different cells for scenes, etc. The way she does this seems really doable for pantsers. And maybe plotters, too. The point is, I think I’ve finally found something that could work for me. Some books, especially novellas, are easy to pants. But when the plot becomes more complicated, you need more structure. She talked about turning points in your story, etc. The way she does this, you can pretty much tell where that turning point is going to be without having a rigid outline. This lady just had it all together, in my opinion.

Btw, the majority of authors in the room were pantsers.

Read Full Post »

Hello, my name is Lauralynn Elliott, and I’m a pantser. Kait and Susan have given me a good talking to about plotting and why I should. I understand the concept. I understand the reasons for plotting. I sort of plot in my head. But, alas, I’m still a pantser. And there’s a very good reason why. Here’s the story:

I don’t know what’s going to happen. Seriously, I don’t. I get an idea. A GENERAL idea. And I know the MAJOR points I need to hit. I almost always know the ending. I know certain things must happen. But if I sit down to write an outline for the book I’m about to write, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the book. So I can’t write the outline. This is going to sound strange, but there’s something almost magical about my hands typing out words. That’s the only way I can make the story happen. I don’t even think I could dictate the story. I HAVE to be typing it out, and the story unfolds as I do. I’m very surprised sometimes by things that happen in the book. Characters do things that I don’t expect. An example: I just wrote a character in my WIP who was going to be this older, snobby, stuffy woman who owned an antique store. As I was writing the interaction between her and the main character, she suddenly became a woman who seemed stuffy on the outside, but really had a good heart and a sense of humor. I had no idea. Now, sometimes, I’ll be sitting at my desk or somewhere, and I suddenly know what needs to happen in the next scene. But even that ends up changing as I write. I’ve never been able to do it any other way.

So maybe I need another weekend with Kait and Susan. Maybe they can beat me into submission. Is it possible for me to change? Maybe. I think if I could quit my day job, my mind would settle down and be more open to plotting. If I want to eventually get into writing mysteries that have very complicated plots, I will probably HAVE to change my method. Although, some of my beta readers tell me they like the twists that have been in the books I’ve already written. One said, “You think up the best twists and creatures.” But, honestly, for something a lot more complicated, plotting is probably necessary. Stephen King is a pantser. But I’m not Stephen King. I don’t have his experience. I think I’m going to start a WIP at some point during the summer and maybe work on plotting on my vacation when I’m relaxed and my mind uncluttered. We’ll see what happens.

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts