What’s in a name?

Or a book title.

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Here Comes the Son went through a series of titles before I hit on the punny goodness of the perfect one.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the rejects.

1. Not the Devil

2. Devil on My Shoulder

3. Wicked Satisfaction

4. Morning Son

5. Son of the Morning

6. Son Set

7. Devilish

8. Kingdom Come

9. Wicked Saint

10. Wicked Inheritance

From straight pantser to ever so slightly plotting along.

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I used to be a straight pantser.  (Someone who writes by the seat of their pants instead of plotting with an outline, etc.)

Never did anything, not even writing down character notes, before starting a novel. My mind liked it, but my manuscripts became a bit of a nightmare to edit. It’s hard to keep track of characters, plots, and timelines when NOTHING is written down.

And your memory is a bit shit.

Now, I do better.

I plot a little. I’ll never be a true plotter. Outlines bore me to tears. So, I’ve found a compromise that works.

Stage One: Faces, Names and Places

Three things I usually do before anything else is to pick the location of a story, the novel title, and visual references for the characters.

I’m not a very visual person, so I definitely need an actual image to picture while I’m writing.

Stage Two: Build out a Book Bible.

I use thin A5 Muji notebooks and fill out little character questionnaires for the main characters along with notes about family/friends. I also jot down a loose timeline. I find this helps keep the novel on track, but also with writing newsletters and blog posts once I’m done with the book.

Stage Three: Media.

Before writing, I build two essential lists. A musical playlist, my current WIP has a mostly country music playlist. I also create a TV/movie list. I find watching shows or movies based around the theme of what I’m writing can really help me get in the mood.

For The Royal Marine, for example, I watched a lot of Bake Off. For the Grasmere trilogy, it watched Poirot, of course.

Stage Four: Let’s Play Pretend

This is the stage where I’m usually supposed to be giving myself a writing break, but I’m chomping at the bit to write.

Stage Five: Write

Self-explanatory that involves a lot of coffee, sobbing, and hitting my head against the keyboard.

If you’re a writer, are you a pantser or a plotter?

 

Five Reasons to Love Fie

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Fie is one of my favourite characters that I’ve ever written.

Here are a few reasons why you should love him as well.

1. Beard. The Beard. His beard. Beardy bear of a man that he is.

2. His strength and courage facing his fears.

3. Did I mention the beard?

4. His love of pottery.

5. His relationship with Haggard, his service animal and best friend.

And a million other reasons.

Five Ways At War Surprised Me

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I’m a panster (I write by the seat of my pants, usually without a plan at all.) So, in a way, my stories always surprise me.  Here are a few ways that At War with a Broken Heart surprised me.

  1. MacFluff – Did not see him coming at all. I was a quarter into the story when I realised the novel was shifting into m/m/m.
  2. Davet’s uncle – the complexity of their relationship did catch me off guard a little. I had to make sure I got it just right.
  3. Condoms. You’ll understand when you read the novel. =)
  4. All the various familial relationships. There are a lot of complex emotions. I worried quite a bit about getting those the way I wanted.
  5. Fraco. I can’t give away too many details here. *spoilers* But the entire storyline around Fraco broke my heart and surprised me.

 

My Travel Bucket List

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As I’m working on my current WIP, Pure Dumb Luck, I’m thinking a lot about travel. Growing up, we travelled a lot. I’ve lived in five countries and visited well over twenty. But, I still have a bucket list of places I’d loved to visit–or revisit in some cases.

  1. Australia
  2. New Zealand
  3. United Kingdom
  4. France
  5. Norway, to visit my cousin.
  6. Alaska
  7. Singapore, even though I lived there for ten years. I’d love to visit again.
  8. Spain
  9. Canada (Vancouver and Prince Edward Island, especially)
  10. Japan

What’s on your travel bucket list?