Writers will tell you there are three types of writers:
Pantsers, those who write extemporaneously (by the seat of their pants.)
Planners, those who write using outlines and by planning ahead.
Plantsers, those who utilize a combination of the two.
I’m a plantser…but not by choice.
Although a lot of my character development happens when the characters start talking to each other, I begin by planning them, and I like creating a skeletal outline for the plot that I fill in as I go along. I also answer a set of questions before writing each scene.
But with every book, all of that planning falls apart at some point.
Maybe instead of a skeleton, I’m creating outline spider webs. It’s frustrating and frightening. Sometimes, it’s a characters fault. (Thomas Carillon, don’t look away. You know who I’m talking about.)
Often, however, it’s simply because I forgot to look at my notes and got carried away. It’s like swimming in the ocean, looking back, and realizing you’re a lot further out than you intended. You’re out with the sharks now. Land looks faraway and your blanket and cooler are barely visible.
I’m treading those waters now. My throat is clenched with fear, and I’m worried about that thing that just bumped against my leg.
I hate feeling like I don’t know what I’m doing. Out of control. The bones all nothing but wispy fragments. I know I’ll work through it and find my way back to the story I had planned—to those scenes I was waiting eagerly to write and the Happily Ever After that has kept me going. By the time I finally get to that HEA and do a few revisions, I should have something a little different than I had planned, but better.
Sometimes being a writer means clutching spiderwebs in your hands and swimming with the sharks.
So, I’ve been doing some other things besides wanting to strangle Facebook and WordPress for their horrible lack of support regarding GDPR. (They could really learn a thing or two from MailChimp, who provided tools and easy to follow instructions for their users. I LOVE MailChimp!) But I’ve actually been focused on more than just GDPR. I’m creating an audio book!
Soon, my M/M contemporary romance Zen Alpha will be available as an audio book. I found a wonderful voice actor to narrate it, Hugh Bradley.
This is my first audio book, so I’m really excited! Working with Hugh has been fabulous. If you’re an author looking for someone to narrate your book, you should check him out. He not only has an attractive voice, he has a great sense of timing and seems very versatile.
Some writers are pantsers. They ‘fly by the seats of their pants’ and write what they feel at a given moment. I’m more of a plotter. Usually, I come up with a couple of characters and start imagining situations they could be in. I mull things over until a few scenes really gel, then I make a rough outline and start writing. I’m a control freak. I need to have some idea where all of the bits and pieces go before I can lose myself in the writing.
The new story I’m working on has decided to make me crazy. I’ve never written a mystery, but I thought it would be fun to write a gay mystery romance. I’ve never written a historical. So, why not a gay mystery historical romance? I actually did a significant amount of research for my epic fantasy series, and I enjoy research, so I thought researching this new book would be a lot of fun. Ha! The story had other ideas….
I thought I understood my story. I thought I knew what it was going to be about. I had a spiffy outline that told me what I wanted to hear. But my research turned up new things. Horrible things. Things I thought I knew, thought I understood, but….um…no. The world I’m writing about is so much darker and more frightening than I imagined–and I chose the area because it always frightened me as a child. I chose the era because it seemed like a spooky period, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
My research turned my pathetic little outline on its ear. The story is morphing, growing into some hungry new beast. It’s thrilling, honestly. Is this why pantsers get so starry-eyed when talking about their process? I, because I’m still a stodgy control freak, am slavishly bleeding out another outline. Being thrown into the briars was fun, however.
I have an ambitious project to tame. I imagine it will throw me again when it feels bored. For the moment, I’m excited by where it has taken me.
The Novel Approach, a book review blog, posted a nice review of my M/M romance Because Faery Godmonster! They said the book was: “Sweet, a little angsty, comical and sexy all apply to this story. It’s such an easy, breezy read.”
Here’s an excerpt from the review:
This book is at once lighthearted but also touched by the somber notes of both Goss’s and Pox’s individual conflicts. It’s equal parts adorable and weighty, and I loved the building sexual tension between the hobgoblin and the nightsprite. Their quest is ambitious and the eventual consummation of their feelings for each other was unexpectedly erotic. I feel like I should throw in here, now, that there is a fisting scene, because Pox evidently doesn’t like his sex entirely vanilla, so do check your comfort level with that if you’re considering giving Because Faery Godmonster a try.
Lover, Destroyer is available for preorder on Amazon. Although it is a fantasy romance, it contains adult content.
Can he build his dreams with a destroyer?
Beautiful young Elarhe, crown prince of Ayklinn, leaves his homeland disguised in rags because he wants to learn how to use his magic. He travels to a border city in the Grandimanderian Empire, where magic isn’t forbidden. But that land isn’t fond of immigrants; fear permeates its streets, and cruel things lurk in its shadows. One of these cruel things is a man who wields a terrible magic that—instead of healing or mending—deals only in death…. And Elarhe wants to rule his heart.
As a child, Kite destroyed an entire city with his dark magic. Now, he serves the Overfather of Grandimanderia. Feared and alone, Kite is content with the ice in his veins…until a talented young immigrant challenges everything he thought he knew.
This gay erotic romance depicts two lovers testing each other’s boundaries and discovering new experiences together. It contains sexually explicit scenes, including scenes with BDSM and various fetishes such as bondage (cuffs, suspension, straitjacket), pony play, spanking, flogging, gut punching, wax play, and others. Some scenes are extreme. (But there’s actually a story!
It releases July 11th. To reserve your copy, go here.
This is just a quick update for anyone interested in what I’m working on now. I’m about 50 thousand words into the third Astralsphere book. I’m estimating it at about 100-130 thousand words. We’ll see. It is sort of on the back burner at the moment. I realized I could finish an m/m (gay) romance that I had started more quickly, so I’m devoting all of my current energy to it.
No, it’s not the sequel to Because Faery Godmonster, my first m/m romance. That one was a zany romantic comedy. This new one has some humor, but it’s more serious. It’s set in the dystopian world of my het fantasy romance, The Inquisitor’s Gift. (Cinder actually has a supporting role in it because I love him and can’t resist writing him into everything. His world clashes with that of The Astrasphere Spiral, otherwise he and Lycian would be buddies. Lycian could really use a friend like Cinder. sigh)
I’ll probably write the sequel to Because Faery Godmonster after I finish the next Astralasphere book. So, that romcom sequel will probably be out sometime around the first of next year, but I’ll try for sooner. I think the Velvet and Chainmail series is going to be really fun to write. The sequel is currently in a rough outline form.
I don’t know that the genres of my books make much sense from a marketing point of view–I have coming of age tales mixed with erotic romances, but they all have a fantasy element. They make sense in my head.
People have asked me which of my novels is my favorite. The answer is whatever I’m working on at that moment. The novel of now is always my favorite.
Maybe this is because I’m an INFP. NFs look to the future. When I’m writing a novel, I’m living for the future–for that moment when it’s born and real and ready to be read by people who aren’t me.
I usually know the end of a story around the same time I find its beginning. I write toward the ending, adjusting it if necessary. I also usually have more than one going at a time. If one takes off, it gets my undivided attention until it’s finished.
Once it’s done, I usually hate it for a while. I move onto the next project in line, my new love. I used to feel guilty about this, but I think it’s my way of letting the work go, letting it be complete without me. Ultimately, my books are for readers; I merely produce them.