Friday, April 27, 2012

Outlines, Plotting, or Seat of Your Pants

Writers exist in two main camps: Those who outline and those who don’t. There’s value in each, but I think the majority do at least set out to follow some sort of plot structure. Letting the story flow on its own path can lead to getting lost mid-way through in my opinion.

I work with detailed outlining, tracking the passage of time and writing a paragraph - at least - for each chapter. Before that, I create personality sheets for each character so I can identify them by appearance, their backgrounds, temperament, etc. These are pasted on the walls around my computer, at least until I know them so well, they’re like family.

That doesn’t mean outlines can’t change, but working with a strong understructure keeps me better on track and looking forward to the ending. That’s why it’s also good to know the characters before I get to writing. That way, they’re less likely to do or say something that’s out of character.

The path to the end can at times be frustrating if a new twist or turn pops up. That’s bound to happen, and it’s part of the fun.

Plotting or not, reaching the last chapter is exhilarating and sad. I always hate saying goodbye.

THE END

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Early Edit Agony of Manuscript #3

Goodness, March whizzed right on by, leaving me still in the early edits of Manuscript #3. I’m a little conflicted with this one as it’s exactly the type of book I’d like to read, but as a “techno-thriller,” it may be a little too slow in the beginning. This is the way it flowed, though, and I think it’s important to have a bit more backstory before the real action begins.

Labeling it “techno-lite,” it’s a story about (something) that will save the world, of course. I love the characters in it, all except for one. That’s the same fix I was in with Island Run. In the beginning edits, I realized the heroine was someone I didn’t really care for. She needed re-building, which wasn’t a difficult task, just an interesting one.

That’s where I am with the next book. All of a sudden, one of my male characters is just too bland. He’s a Texan, but not in a bigger-than-everywhere-else-is-Texas sort of way. There are some really bad people in here, a gruesome murder or two, and a race to save the day.

Back to my biggest worry, and that’s the perception of a slow start. For me, it offers a fascinating history of the company I’m writing about (which in itself is one of the “main characters”), along with the men and women involved. Their background is important (to me) and I’m going to leave everything intact for now. We’ll see what kind of responses that gets!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Island Run - a Thriller in Paradise

We rolled out Island Run at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords over the weekend. In time, it will be available at the Apple store.

This new adventure/action/thriller (take your pick) races around the island of Honolulu, then takes to the water in a big boy’s cigarette boat for some wave action. Lindsay Mason is on the run following a hostage situation in a mall. Her only recourse for survival is Nicholas Bennett, a well-known islander.

I think readers will love the cast of characters and there are stories behind some of the events that I’ll be telling about later.

We’re excited to see Island Run get its e-book “legs.”