Monday, June 1, 2015

By The Seat Of My Pants

There are two primary ways to write, either you're a plotter or a pantser. Neither is wrong, all that matters is what works for the author. As the name implies, plotters plot and plan, many have the entire book mapped out in a detailed outline before they move on to the writing stage. Panster's are the opposite and typically have an idea of who the characters are and where they want the tale to start. From there they follow where the characters lead, writing by the seat of their pants.

I didn't learn that until I actually became an author. All through grade school and college, I thought there was something wrong with how my brain worked because I could not outline to save my life. Every time I had to write a paper, I had to complete the whole thing well in advance of when the outline had to be turned in. After writing the paper, I would then go back and write the outline required for the assignment from the finished paper. I had no idea there were many others who did the same thing. It wasn't until working on my bachelors degree that a teacher finally told me that being a pantster was normal for many people.

And then there's another wrench in the whole thing because some people can write various scenes out of order while others have to write in a straight line from start to finish. That's  me. I have to start at the beginning of a story and work my way straight through to the end. So I am a linear pantser. I start knowing who my hero and heroine are, what sub-genre or romance their world revolves around, what they do for a living and how they meet. I will have a general idea of how I want their relationship to develop, some obstacles I want to throw in their way and then I sit down and write.

Most of the time this works great but there are times I will get stuck and cannot see where they are going next. At those times I have to step back, do some thinking about their goals and motivations to figure out how to continue. Then there are those rare, wonderful times when writing feels as if you are channeling the characters, everything is just there and the author is merely a scribe, writing it all down.

I've had that happen once. A story came to me out of the blue. In first-person, which I had never written in that style. And it was from the hero's perspective. Going with the flow, I let the character drive and still to this day have no idea where his story came from. I wrote Sebastian's story so quickly, stunned by how it was just there. As if I'd channelled the character.

Recently, I had the rights to that story, Trip My Switch, reverted to me and did some revisions to re-publish. It was really cool to get back into the hero's head and discover that I still feel a strong connection to him. When I picked the manuscript back up it was instant and almost like visiting a close friend who will always have a special place in my heart.

Getting to design the cover for myself this time was a lot of fun for me. I spent days searching stock sties for the perfect trio for this naughty BDSM M/M/F menage. The revised story is in the hands of my editor and will soon be available for your reading pleasure. I hope you'll fall for Sebastian, Chris and Marissa as deeply as I have.

Happy Reading,

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