My thanks to Plotting Princesses for having me here today!
So it’s hard to make a visit to the “Plotting” Princesses and not naturally think of plot while preparing a blog topic. In thinking about what I wanted to talk about today, I began playing with the concept of plotting and “pantzing” (writing by the seat of your pants) and how my process has changed somewhat over time.
While I’ve always considered myself a pantzer – and frankly, find the joy in writing the story the discovery of what’s going to happen – there is a roadmap. My publisher requires a synopsis/outline of the story, but I’ve got the freedom to veer from the outline where necessary as my story grows and develops.
What I’ve come to realize over the last few books, however, is that while I am writing the story as I go, I’m also thinking about plot development far more than I realize. I’ll see these snatches of story that I quickly scribble into a notebook (usually when I’m sitting in the middle of a client meeting for my day job or the moment I’m stepping out of the shower!) as I’m working through the development of the book.
This has been an incredibly interesting revelation. As someone who considers myself very character-driven as a writer, it’s actually quite gratifying to know the plot is cooking in my head, developing in my subconscious as I write the book.
So what about you? As you’re working on a manuscript, what’s getting fired up in your mental kitchen? Do you see plot first and then work through character development? Or are you developing the plot as you go, shaping it to fit the characters you’ve developed and the conflict that exists between them? One commenter today will receive a copy of BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE.
Excerpt from BABY IT’S COLD OUTSIDE
“Just because I choose to humor my grandmother doesn‘t mean I have to actually be in the contest.”
“Play the tough guy all you want, Counselor. I don‘t think you‘re quite as immune to all this as you say.
“Oh, really?” Walker stepped closer, seized by the urge to reach out and touch her. He moved before he could question the impulse. “And what gave you that impression?”
“I think you like being an object of such intense attention. All those women fawning over you. You and your buddies, the eligible bachelor brigade, on display.”
Walker took the last few steps to close the gap between them. Despite the heavy layers of clothes—and the oversized coat she‘d wrapped herself in—he could still smell her captivating scent. The rose notes that must be her shampoo filled his senses. “Why don‘t you compete and find out?”
“You may not like what I write about you.”
“That‘s a risk I‘m prepared to take.”
“I refuse to be influenced by my subjects.”
Walker leaned down to press his lips against her ear as he settled his hands on her waist. “I can‘t promise I won‘t try to influence you.”
Her voice fell from her lips in a hushed whisper. “I wouldn‘t be a very good reporter if I allowed myself to lose my objectivity.”
Sloan‘s head fell back slightly, allowing him better access to her neck, and Walker reached up to lay his hands on either side of her throat. He shifted so his mouth hovered over hers, anticipation humming through his body with eager pulses that matched the beat of his heart. “You can remain as impartial during the competition as you‘d like, Ms. McKinley. Just so long as you don‘t remain impartial to this.”
With a tenderness that belied the crazy, raging need that gripped him, he pressed his mouth to hers and plundered.