Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits with Kari

Hi all! Okay, so I was sitting here finishing my revisions, thinking about what I was going to write.

So I got to thinking...book two of The Samantha Granger Experiment: Fearless, I had NO revisions. And book one of The Fortune Teller Mysteries: Tempest in the Tea Leaves, I had very few revisions for. What was the pattern?

Well, for both books, I was under the gun and had to write them very quickly. I really thought for the types of books I was writing now, I really needed to plot. However, it seems like whenever I try to figure it all out, I get stuck. Yet when I'm under the gun, the books sort of write themselves. I have produced some of the best work ever while under the gun, yet whenever I spend countless hours trying to make myself "plot", I seem to get stuck.

Is it the plotting or is it being behind on a deadline? I don't know for sure. As I start book three of Samanatha Granger: Freedom, I'm at a loss. I want to plot, but maybe something in between being a pantster and a plotter is the answer. Which process works for you? Do I plot, do I wing it, or could it be a combination of both? I do think plotting is necessary to a certain extent, but at times, I wonder if we overthink things. Maybe somewhere in between is the answer for me.

I've come to realize whatever gets the pages written is the process I should follow. How about you? What process works best for you?


Tonya Kappes said...

Hi Kari! I write much better under the gun. I seem to get my head in the game and keep it there. I'm not much of a plotter, but I do know where the plot will go--loosely, but sitting down writing it is much easier.

Cassy Pickard said...

Kari: I think you raise a good point, differentiating between plotting and deadline. I know I work better under a little pressure, or maybe a lot of pressure. Something happens when you decide to push everything out of the way and only concentrate on what must get done. I find I have a focus that helps the quality of my work.

As for the plotting, I'm not sure there really is a black and white on that- more of a continuum. That was part of a very good discussion at CrimeBake with some really big names weighing in on that.

Hmm, I'll pick up on this for my posting tomorrow.

Donna Cummings said...

I think a deadline is a good motivator, which is one reason I like NaNo so much--you don't have time to overthink, or overworry. You just sit down and get the writing done.

I also believe we have a tendency to second guess ourselves if we have too much time to plot and think and wonder "is this fresh?" or "maybe this would work better", and then we get stuck!

So yes, definitely, whatever works for you is the way to go!

Katt said...

Hi Kari, I've discovered a new method thanks to the M&Ms contest this year.
My story was only at little more than a few chapters yet I had to write a 3 line blurb.
I'm a pantser. I didn't know where the story would end up but was suddenly forced to think about it.
Horrified by the prospect, I swallowed hard, listened to a friend's advice, and plunged into the frightening world of plotting.
It worked! I not only won the contest but that little bit of plotting gave me direction I hadn't had.
But then, when my dream agent asked for a full, I was pressed by a deadling(self-imposed)and the book rolled out. Different of course from what the plot line said it would be but it still worked.
Now though, having left it alone for a few months, revision has been a blast.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that while full plotting smothers my creativity, minor plotting and deadline are both terrific writing tools that work for me.

Cassy Pickard said...

Katt: You are talking somewhat about how I approach it. I have a full sense of the story and how I hope to have things happen, but I don't do a 100 page outline. Yup, tomorrow I definitely will talk about my approach and throw that out for comments. Come back everyone so we can continue this thread!

Liz Lipperman said...

Kari's traveling today, so the rest of the gang is filling in for her.

Tonya, to you and the rest of the pantsers out there, I say, how in the heck can you do that?

Katt, welcome back to M & M. Katt won the Hook, Line and Sinker contest we sponsored last year with the manuscript she's talking about. Glad to see you learned something. BTW, we're getting ready for another contest at the beginning of the year. Stay tuned.

As for me, y'all know I'm a die-hard plotter. Always have been - always will.

Liz Lipperman said...

Ooh, I forgot Donna. Nano scares the heck out of me!! From what I've heard, you either love it or hate it. I'm a hater!!

I can't seen to turn off my internal editor, but like Kari, I do my best work under pressure.

Uum! Maybe next year, I'll give it a go.

Coreene Smith said...

Hey Kari....I'm a hybrid, I've discovered. I like to start with character sketches (pretty psychologically based) for each character then I toss them into the middle of an interesting situation and roll from there. I always have a couple of plot points / twists in mind and a possible black moment, but not much more than that. Some of the best stuff in my books comes from allowing myself to explore. . .to discover the story as I go instead of planning it out in advance.

Cassy Pickard said...

I did NaNo twice. I finished both times. Hmm, more material for my posting tomorrow. Liz, I'm with you on the plotting, as long as I give myself the freedom to wander along the trail I have created.

Donna Cummigns said...

Liz, don't be hatin' on the NaNo! LOL Honestly if there were a month-log Plot-a-thon I'd probably be hating. LOL

I think I "brainstorm plot" as I go along with my story. I mean, the characters say and do things that make me think of OTHER things they would say and do. So the plot kind of emerges as I'm writing. I take lots of notes and keep my mind open to different possibilities.

And somehow it just works. LOL

Katt said...

thanks Liz,
Looking forward to the next contest, up to my ears in academic writing at the moment and long to allow my imagination to 'fly, be free'