Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Age Old Question - Pantster or Outliner?

I used to be a pantster - loved just sitting down and seeing what would happen. Like someone handing me a blank sheet of paper and a box of crayons and saying "draw a masterpiece." I still like doing that sometimes, but I've found it generally leads to long, very involved revisions that, more often than not, turn into complete rewrites. Which adds a LOT of time to the whole process :)

So I tried outlining. Nothing major...just the bare bones. Like coloring in a coloring book. There's an outlined picture that I can fill in any way I choose. I even have a cool little chart where I can plot out the inciting incident, my rising action, a couple turning points/reversals, my climax, and the resolution. I didn't go into detail, just gave myself enough of a road map that I knew where I was going. I liked this method. It gave me the freedom to let things develop as they would with enough of a plan that I didn't experience as many moments of staring at the screen thinking "uhhh and now what?" :D

And then my editor gave me the go-ahead to submit on proposal. Which means I can write a few chapters and a nice synopsis instead of having to submit the whole book first. Writing a synopsis for the entire book, before writing the actual book, meant I needed to know what was going to happen every step of the way before actually writing it. And you know what? I LOVE writing like this. I love sitting and brainstorming the entire book and writing out a synopsis and THEN writing the book. It's like working on one of those paint-by-number projects. I know exactly what's going to happen, exactly what I need to do.

Sure things change. As the story develops, little tweaks happen, new ideas pop up. But for the most part, this method has made writing the actual book so much easier for me. And has greatly cut down on revision time. First drafts have always been difficult for me. I'm great at revisions. If I have something to work with, even if it needs major rewrites, it's much easier than if I'm staring at a blank screen that needs words. This process lets me go crazy (in the brainstorming process) and then lets me stay organized (I LOVE being organized) when I'm actually writing. It's a total win-win for me :)

How do you like to write? Do you like to open a blank page and just let it flow, or do you like mapping out the details first?

Don't forget! Two more days to enter Cole's giveaway!! (see below post)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Cover Reveal and Giveaway! Senshi by Cole Gibsen

I am just squeeeing out loud ya'all :) My good friend Cole Gibsen is revealing the cover to her book Senshi, the sequel to her amazing Katana. Senshi continues the story of reincarnated samurai warrior Rileigh Martin (see Katana blurb below).

Without further ado.....

And if you want to start the series from book one, be sure to check out Katana:

Kill Bill meets Buffy in this supernatural samurai tale: 

Rileigh Martin would love to believe that adrenaline gave her the uncanny courage and strength to fend off three muggers. But it doesn't explain her dreams of fifteenth century Japan, the incredible fighting skills she suddenly possesses, or the strange voice giving her battle tips and danger warnings.

While worrying that she's going crazy (always a reputation ruiner), Rileigh gets a visit from Kim, a handsome martial arts instructor, who tells Rileigh she's harboring the spirit of a five-hundred-year-old samurai warrior.

Relentlessly attacked by ninjas, Rileigh has no choice but to master the katana--a deadly Japanese sword that's also the key to her past. As the spirit grows stronger and her feelings for Kim intensify, Rileigh is torn between continuing as the girl she's always been and embracing the warrior inside her.

(awesome book - go read! :D )

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY! Cole is not only an amazing author but also a crazy talented crafty lady and is giving away a super cute hand-embroidered coffee sleeve!

How cute is that!? All you need to do to enter to win is leave a comment below. I'll take entries until midnight next Wed (Aug 1) and announce the winner Thursday Aug 2. 

Congrats on another amazing book Cole!!

For more info on Cole, you can find her at the following links:

Also check out her mermaid tale, Breathless - another awesome read :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Forsaken by Lisa Stasse

The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)The Forsaken by Lisa M. Stasse
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Loved this book! It's sort of a cross between Hunger Games, Divergent, and Lord of the Flies. Great characters, plenty of twists, and a satisfying ending that still leaves me dying with impatience for the sequel. I didn't love the cover, and the romance in the book could have been played out a little better, but over all, it was a very enjoyable reading experience. If you liked any of the books I mentioned above, you'll enjoy The Forsaken. (Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this book from the publisher.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Genre Switching

I've always written more than one genre. I like the freedom it gives me to explore different aspects of my creativity. I write non-fiction and historical romances and paranormal romances (lol I always have to have romance in my stories :D ). And just last night I finished a proposal for a zombie story! Not something I'd ever thought I'd write but it's been so much fun :) I guess it's technically still a paranormal romance but it was fun spending time with a monster I don't usually hang out with much :)

I suppose since all my stories are technically romances, the genre doesn't change much. Just the sub-genre. The romance is always the main plot - the only thing that changes are the settings and side stories. Still, I like being able to delve into the past or play in a present that has a few extras :)

Do you write more than one genre? Why or why not?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Summer Reads

I have read so many good books lately...and I have a stack more waiting for me :D (I get to read if I'm a good little writer and get some work done :D ) I just finished OBSIDIAN by Jennifer Armentrout and LOVED it!

What great summer reads have you been loving?