The Best Laid Plans of an Author

Pickled Petunia

2020 has been a year like no other, hasn’t it? I mean, it’s been three centuries long. So much has happened that I keep forgetting random massive events that happened in January or February because it feels as though they occurred a few years ago and not months.

And like everything else, my writings plans haven’t gone….to plan. I haven’t struggled for inspiration. But trying to stay focused in a trash-fire year has seemed almost impossible.

I fully intended to start November 1st with Pickled Petunia, book 3 of my Motts Cozy Series. It’s likely I’ll start a week late as I’m wrapping up another novel.

The lessons I’ve taken from 2020 have been to try and stay open to change. And don’t get so wrapped up in what and when you think things are going to happen. Life, particularly this year, doesn’t always go how we expect.

It’s not easy as an autistic. I like my routine. I need a schedule that makes sense for me. 2020 has shredded my regular routine completely.

I’m hoping to end 2020 with four novels written. I’m 80% through my third, Ghost Light Killer. With a bit of luck and hard work, I can add Pickled Petunia to the list. We’ll see.

What about you? How has 2020 affected your writing plans?

My Favourite Moment.

Poisoned Primrose Cover600

….from Poisoned Primrose

Why did I agree to this?

And why didn’t I put on my coat or a thick jumper instead of this hoodie?

Motts pulled her mobile out of her pocket when it rang. She answered on the fourth ring. “Teo?”

“What are you doing?” He sounded angry, but his voice kept cutting out.

Motts walked up the steps a little way. “I can’t hear you. It’s really windy. What’s happened?”

“Go….Orchard….almost there….hello?”

Motts pulled her phone away from her ear when they were disconnected. She tried to call him back, but the signal wouldn’t go through. “Bugger.”

My favourite chapter from Poisoned Primrose is the one where everything finally comes to together. I included a spoiler free excerpt above. It was really hard to find a snippet that wouldn’t give anything away.

It’s where we discover *redacted* is the one to *redact.*

Ha!

It’s the chapter where all the little knots I’ve tied into my plot suddenly begin to unravel.

*Redacted* appears out of nowhere. They’ve been slithering around in the shadows. And if I’ve done my job, they’ll be a surprise to all of you lovely readers.

And yet, that’s not why it’s my favourite chapters. Well, not entirely, anyway. I love it because of Motts. She’s wonderfully epic and courageous.

I adore her.

And this chapter solidified it for me.

 

 

Coming up with a Title

Poisoned Primrose Cover600

It’s always fun to share the process of coming up with a title.
Primrose Poison definitely didn’t start there.
First, I had:
1. Under the Hedge
2. The Daffodil Murder
3. Lost in the Daffodils
4. Primrose Poise
5. Forgotten in the Foliage (I still kinda like this one.)
And then, at the VERY last minute, we changed it once again to Poisoned Primrose. =)

 

I’m Sensing a Theme

praline-182861_640

Five gifts Teo and Motts (from Poisoned Primrose) would want:

1. Teo: Yarn

Motts: Origami Paper

2. Teo: Historical Books

Motts: Plants

3. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

4. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

5. Teo: Chocolate

Motts: Chocolate

(Image by Alexander Stein from Pixabay)

Anticipation.

Poisoned Primrose Cover600

What was the most difficult part of writing Poisoned Primrose?

Waiting.

That’s it.

That was the only hard part of writing late year’s NaNoWriMo novel.

I had the idea for Pineapple Mottley almost a full year before I was able to write her story. I began creating the book bible (where I put research, plot notes, etc) long before I wrote a single word. It was the story I wanted to write.

I had to slog through three other stories first.

And they were a slog.

2019 was a hard year where each story seemed harder to write than the last.

When I finally got to Poisoned Primrose, it felt like the heavens opened and the angels were singing. The book was a joy to write from beginning to end. None of it was hard.

I didn’t have to push myself or struggle for what happened next.

It was bliss.

 

Cover of the Month Contest.

They say not to judge a book by its cover but I need you to do just that. If you liked the cover of my book, Poisoned Primrose (Motts Cold Case Mystery Book 1), please vote for it for the Cover of the Month contest on AllAuthor.com!

I’m getting closer to clinch the “Cover of the Month” contest on AllAuthor! I’d need as much support from you guys. Please take a short moment to vote for my book cover here:
Click to Vote!

 

NaNoWriMo 2019

Primrose Poison

Post National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), I’m often drained and exhausted. And while, I found myself tire and definitely in need of a break in December. It wasn’t the same.

I didn’t feel defeated or emotionally wrung out like I did in 2017 or 2018.

This NaNo, I reveled in writing for the first time in over twelve months.

Between November 2018 and November 2019, only two things  changed. I wrote a story I’d wanted to write for over a year and a half. But more importantly, I had more of an outline than I’d ever used before.

I read (well, skimmed) Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. I used a bastardized version of the beat sheet to time my chapters out. And I found it helped a great deal with pacing and not writing too quickly (one of my greatest sins as an author.)

I also outlined the who, what, where, why and when. I didn’t actually have an outline so much as putting down the details for the victim, several suspects, and the killer. It helped keep track of them all, which is important in a cosy mystery.

What I also enjoyed was writing an autistic, asexual main character who happened to have an asexual love interest. I’m going to enjoy exploring their connection more as the series continues.

I had the most enjoyable experience with NaNo ever.

And I definitely believe it showed on the page.

Did you take part in NaNo?