Why I now use an outline.

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Sort of.

I hate outlining. Always have. I hated it when I was in school. Still hate it. It, to my autistic mind, is unnecessary and illogical. I don’t like the pattern of standard outlines. They irritate me.

And I am a proud pantser.

Except.

I’m not–not entirely a pantser anymore.

I now use a bastardized version of the beat sheet.  Plus, a cozy mystery outline I found online that is basically just a series of questions to allow an author to keep track of the details of the victim, the killer, and the main suspects.

These are new additions to what I usually keep in my book bible.

As I’m now working on what will hopefully be two lengthy book series, keeping outlines and additional information will save me from losing my mind when I write book 2.

I hope.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a full planner. I doubt I’ll work with a traditional outline. They annoy me too much.

But, a little bit of planning has definitely kept my last two WIPs from going off the rails.

What do I do when I’m not writing?

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Do you have hobbies?
It’s one of the questions authors get asked. What do you do when you’re not writing? And sometimes it’s a hard one to answer.
Writing, technically, started as my hobby.
I’ve turned one of my hobbies into my passion and career.
The boring answer is my hobbies are mostly writing, reading, and playing video games. I’m the perfect combination of Gen X and Gen Z. =)
But, I’m also autistic, and I have a tendency to throw myself headlong into trying new hobbies.
When I was younger and not really aware of this habit, I used to buy EVERYTHING required to try a new hobby. And frequently, I’d wind up abandoning it after a few months.
A lot of autistics I know struggle with this as well.
We go all into an interest/hobby. And when we’re done, we’re 100% finished. No looking back at all.
So, what have I tried and abandoned?
Making soap: The fragrance stared making me sneeze.
Knitting: The yarn bothered my fingers. Damned hyper-sensitivity.
Chainmail: Fun, but my fingers also began to struggle with it.
Painting: I can’t even draw a straight line. I don’t know what I was thinking. Seriously.
Scrapbooking: Just. No.
 
What about hobbies that have stuck around?
Photography: I adore photography. I really want in 2020 to get back into doing macro photography. Maybe I’ll do one of those 365 challenges again.
Video Games: It counts.
Reading: Lifelong hobby that I’ll never give up.
Planning: A more useful version of scrap-booking, in my humble opinion.
 
What about you?
Do you have any hobbies?
 

What am I binge watching this month? Part Deux

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I thought I’d share the shows I’m currently enjoying on TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime. They’re in no particular order.

  1. Rosemary & Thyme
  2. This Farming Life
  3. Cold Case Files
  4. Father Brown
  5. Million Pound Menu
  6. Nailed It! Holiday
  7. Murder Maps
  8. Queer Eye
  9. Broken
  10. First and Last

What about you? What are you binge watching this week/month? Do you binge watch at all?

My True Crime Playlist

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For writing cosy mysteries, I have two TV playlists–one for cosy style shows (like Father Brown) and a second for true crime shows.

I watch a lot of true crime shows. A lot. My hubby and I often binge-watch the ID channel on weekends. Here are a few of the ones I tune into when I’m writing a mystery novel.

  1. Cold Justice
  2. Homicide Hunter – I LOVE Kenda. Love him.
  3. Murder for Hire
  4. Snapped
  5. Homicide for the Holidays
  6. See No Evil
  7. First 48
  8. Shattered
  9. Evil Lives Here
  10. The Devil Speaks

What about you?

Do you enjoy true crime shows?

 

 

What am I binge watching this month?

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I thought I’d share the shows I’m currently enjoying on TV, Netflix or Amazon Prime. They’re in no particular order.

  1. Hunted UK
  2. Bake Off
  3. SAS: Who Dares Wins
  4. Blown Away (a fascinating glass blowing competition)
  5. This Farming Life
  6. Alone (on History channel)
  7. Forged in Fire
  8. Deadliest Catch
  9. As Time Goes By
  10. DIY SOS

What about you? What are you binge watching this week/month? Do you binge watch at all?

Funniest Search Term Ever.

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I don’t usually do ‘search term’ blog posts. I’ve read loads of them and find them hilarious. But mostly the search terms that lead people to my website are my name or one of my book titles.

This year…I had what might be one of the funniest ones I have ever read. And I have so many questions. I also want to know what site they actually wanted.

The search term?

“names for boyfriend’s hunky dory

I am still dying laughing.

The less funny, but still confusing other terms?

marathon juggler

an ode to ears

meaning of love hot

Still, my boyfriend’s hunky dory is the funniest one. Ever.

Fighting Your Muse.

Inspiration

I’m writing this blog post on Sunday. And my brain is all over the place. It’s hard to find peace and joy when the world seems chaotic and filled with pain.  And writing a holiday novella seems almost impossible.

Though, that is not the topic of this post.

I wanted to talk about fighting your muse. Something I don’t recommend, and something I frequently do as a pantser.

My muse likes to dump ideas on me constantly at inconvenient times and places.

In the middle of writing a story?

My bastard of a muse: “here’s a brilliant and completely unrelated idea.”

Falling asleep?

My muse: “Have you considered….”

In the shower?”

My Muse: “I am a genius.”

So when do you fight the muse?

It can be dangerous to ignore good ideas. I mean, they’re good. You want to write them.

Some ideas I have to let go because I don’t think they’re mine to write. Others I jot down in my idea notebook (I start a new one every year.) And some, I start immediately because my brain won’t quit.

The key is to know when to battle your muse into submission–like when you have a deadline and don’t have time for a new idea.

And when to go with the flow.

How about you?

Does your muse flood you with ideas at the worst moments?