Today I have a guest post from Author of Cursing Athena, Lisa Sanchez and a giveaway of the book. Thank you so much for being here today Lisa!
Owning your writing style and feeling good about it
If you’re a book junkie like me, and you stalk author’s and book reviewer’s blogs for the latest and greatest, then the words “plotter” and “panster” should sound very familiar to you. If not, no need to worry. Rest assured, I’m going to give you a quick rundown before I continue on with my post.
Plotter- this particular brand of author prefers to “plot out” the events that will happen in their novel before they begin writing. They’re very organized, and often use tools such as timelines, charts and detailed synopses to aid them in completing their story. There are no surprises. They know exactly where their story is going before they start typing the first paragraph.
Panster- this brand of author flies by the seat of their pants. They don’t plan ahead. Or, if they do, their planning is nothing like their “plotter” opposites. Oftentimes, they have an idea for a story and just start writing. Pansters might have a vague idea of where they want their story to go, but the details that get them there are a complete surprise. In fact, “surprise” is a key word in a panster’s world. They’re often surprised, and even sometimes downright frustrated when faced with stubborn characters who refuse to fall in line and do what they’re supposed to.
I’m a panster. I know this about myself. Well, at least, I do now. Scratch that. I’ve always known I was a panster, but for some strange reason, this past year, I denied my writing style. Straight snubbed it and tried another way. The results weren’t pretty.
Usually, when I start a new story, I have a vague idea of the beginning, middle and end. I know most of the basic details about my characters (hair color, eye color, height, weight…) and how I want them to come together. Everything else is a mystery. For me, the excitement and fun in the writing is finding out what is going to happen next. When I stray from this particular style, things fall flat.
I got a wild hair up my ass last year and decided I needed to be “organized.” I was positive that if I were to become organized and plan ahead, I’d be able to write faster and put more novels out (I write about a book and a half a year.) I saw my peers putting out book after book, and thought, Hey! I want to do that too! I sat down with an idea I had for a new erotic romance and plotted the heck out of it. No joke, I plotted the chapters, and made little charts.
I killed the excitement. Once I was done plotting, my interest in the project disappeared. I couldn’t muster the excitement to write a single paragraph, much less an entire novel. My venture into the world of plotting failed. Big time! You would think, after this travesty, I’d have learned my lesson, yes? Sigh… Sadly, this was not the case. I tried forcing an idea I had for a YA as well and gleaned the same results. The ideas for both books now live in little blue folders on my desktop, waiting for the day I’ll become interested in them again.
Cursing Athenacame to be while I was on break from writing Pleasures Untold. I needed a little break from my Hanaford Park characters, and have always found short stories to be a great way to keep my muse working. I told my critique partner I planned on writing a short, and asked her to give me three elements that needed to be included. I had no clue, at that point, what I was going to write. She came back with: a lion, the phrase abracadabra, and a pair of red heels. About two weeks later I had the first draft of Ty and Danika’s story.
The moral of my story is this: embrace who you are. If your writing style involves pie charts, character bios and timelines, roll with it. If you’re a panster like me and require the element of surprise to keep the excitement rolling, embrace this about yourself. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Write your way, and the results will be marvelous.
For Danika, the only thing worse than going commando while wearing a fugly, silver bodysuit, was dealing with her deadbeat, ex-husband James. Catcalls, unwanted groping and lecherous stares weren’t really her cup of tea either, but she’d endure all of it and more if her new job serving cocktails at Masquerade meant ridding herself of his mountain of debt. It was just a job, after all, and what choice did she have with James’ creditors breathing down her neck? What she didn’t bargain for, however, was falling heels-over-head in lust with a two-hundred-plus pound, shape-shifting immortal from Ancient Greece. On a mission to take down a parasitic demon, Ty doesn’t have time for distraction. Not even when that distraction could prove to be his possible lifemate in the form of sweet, innocent, yet sexy-as-hell Danika. But when the leech he’s hunting goes after the cocktail waitress, all bets are off. Unable to resist her siren call any longer, Ty surrenders himself to Danika, body and soul, treating them both to a night they’ll never forget.
Lisa Sanchez is a California cheer mom taxiing her way through life, one car ride at a time. Along with chauffer, she sports several job titles, including, but not limited to: author, chef, seamstress, videographer, nurse, enforcer, and general slave to her three daughters.
The first two books in her Hanaford Park series (Eve Of Samhain, Pleasures Untold) are published with Omnific Publishing. The third book, Faythe Reclaimed, is currently on submission. Her erotic suspense, Obsessed was published March 29th 2011 with Loose Id.