Saturday, May 26, 2007

Just Kiss!

DH and I went to see "Pirates of the Carribbean: At World's End" last night while Grandma watched the little peanut. Without giving too much away, I'll just say it lived up to everything expected of a Jerry Bruckheimer film. Definitely worth watching, and better than "Dead Man's Chest." Johnny Depp was hilarious as usual, and lots of fun. And though I may not be into Orlando Bloom, per se, let me just add a WOW for the end of the film, 'cause Purrrrrrrrr.

You'll see.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Pantsers!

Pantsers, as opposed to plotters, write by the seat of their pants. Pantsers don't know anything about where the book is going, and may not even know much about the characters, before they start typing (or writing) away. It may seem scary, but pantsers live for that flash of insight that makes them go, "HEY! This is an awesome twist!" or, "What'll happen if I drop this man-eating lion in front of my hero?"

I used to be a total pantser. I loved that jolt of energy I got just from a sudden idea that went right from thought to paper without any editing in between. And hey, sometimes you can get a great surprise in that way - a surprise even to you, the writer! It can lead to some wild and memorable writing.

Now, I think I'm a hybrid between the two, and most writers are. It's nice to have a loose structure as a road map for my book, but sometimes I'll write a scene without an exact idea of its contents. I'll know where it needs to GO, but not how it'll get there, and I still sometimes surprise myself. Whatever way you write, I encourage you to try it the other way, or even mix them, just for a scene or so. You may be surprised at the results, and it could jog you out of a writing rut.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Plotting vs. Pantsing

I thought I'd talk a bit about Plotters vs. Pantsers. This will be a discussion of Plotters.

Plotters will tell you that a book goes much smoother when you've ironed everything out in the prewriting stage - GMC, outlines, synopses, snowflake plotting, index cards, sticky notes, character interviews - everything is given the once-over before words hit the page. Plotters know their characters inside and out before they write the story, which helps when you want to plop Joe Hero into a situation he'll hate, just to get a little tension going.

Many plotters begin with character interviews, just as if they were interviewing a live person. Remember all those stupid forwards you used to get in your E-mail asking for name, DOB, likes, and dislikes? Well, they're good for something. Use them on your character!

Plotters continue with figuring out what a character's GMC is. (That's Goal, Motivation, and Conflict to you and me.) Once those are worked out, plotters will outline the story with the meet, the major turning points, the black moment, and resolution. In romance, of course, you must have a happy ending.

Plotters flesh out their skeletal structures with many other tools, but the most important one is the synopsis. That's where they'll work out whether a certain twist works, or where something can be tweaked to get the most out of a scene. By the time a plotter is done with this synopsis, the hard work is done, and all that's left is to write the story in connect-the-dots fashion! There is wiggle room, of course, but if you are a plotter and you find yourself writing way off into left field, the synopsis will help you get back on track. Not bad, if you're on a deadline.

Next time: Pantsers!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

De-Stressing Rocks!

Let me tell you what doesn't suck. Sticking your bare feet in grass after months and months of snow. DH and I met some friends at the park for sandwiches last night, and it was AWESOME. He tossed his football around with his buddy, while the baby and I sat in the grass and let it tickle our toes. The baby seemed to like it - except when I laid him down and the grass started tickling his ears, LOL. But I so needed this little break from daily life, and actually, it sort of helped me focus on my current book, so really, I was working. Not just sitting around on my rear watching the world go by.

But I was doing that too. :-D

Monday, May 07, 2007

OK, So Maybe I Am Part Geek ...

... but I have an excuse. This weekend, I was working on a website and promo materials for a fellow author, and she had THE coolest flash drive EVER. The thing has a retractable USB port! I saw that and got all giddy. My flash drive's been through the wash and lived to tell the tale, so I have a soft spot for the ol' thing, but man, I gotta get me one of those newfangled critters. (And while we're on the subject, why don't you ever hear of OLDfangled things??? That always bugged me. LOL)

Normally, when it comes to techie devices, I'm the type to wait for hand-me-downs. My old computer? Hand-me-down. Digital camera? Same thing. And I'm still waiting for someone else to get bored of their MP3 player so I can inherit it. But I'm running out and getting one of those turbo-cool little flash drives next paycheck I get. Hee hee!