Thanks DD for inviting me to guest post.
Have you wondered how a writer gets their story on the page? We writers come in different flavors, from people who plan out every tiny detail (plotters) to those who wing it (pantsers).
Let me tell you a little about how my quirky writer’s brain works.
My life would be so much easier if I was content to daydream about stories instead of actually having to write them down.
It’s true. When I decided to write the stories down, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. Plucking a story from my imagination throws their faults into glaring light. Every blemish and WTF moment highlighted with a big beam of what-were-you-thinking. And then there’s the problem that the things that made so much sense to me, make no sense to anyone else who reads the words. Dang brain.
I realized that it was the details and assumptions that could bridge the gap. I had to go back again and again and again to pull forth the details to enhance the idea and make it more understandable for the rest of the world not blessed/cursed with my brain.
I’m what’s called a pantser. I write by the seat of my pants. I have no outline and only a vague idea of what’s going on. Many times I start with a scene. I haven’t a clue who anyone is or why they’re doing what they’re doing. Sometimes I’m not super clear what they’re even doing.
Example 1: Fantasy Romance
A man walks into a big government building and the crowd parts for him until he is first in line at a machine which can tell if you are human. The crowd is there waiting for him to fail.
Then I have to go back and start asking myself questions about the scene.
Why are they testing to see if people are human? Because this is after the world of myth and the human world merged and they can’t always tell. (of course…)
Why is everyone watching? They think he is about to fail the test and don’t like him much.
Why? He spent the previous night with a shifter and he may no longer be human. Oh, and he is a hard ass boss, so they don’t mind seeing him brought down.
If he knows the machine can tell he is no longer be human, why did he come to the office? He doesn’t know what happened the previous night. (Huh.)
See what I mean? I go back again and again until things make sense outside of my head.
This scene became Book of Secrets which did win some RWA chapter contests, but is yet unpublished.
Example 2: Sci-Fi Erotica
A man who opens up a spacecraft shuttle pod and wakes the passenger with cunnilingus.
Ummmm…. Why would he wake someone up with oral sex like that? That’s how all passengers and some special crew wake up on the cruise spaceship. They choose from a menu of options as to how they would like to start their journey.
I’m still a bit flabbergasted. Not really sure where to start. Who are the special crew that can also be woken up this way? Why the Sirens, the ones who fuel the ship.
How do Sirens fuel the ship? The ship runs on sexual energy and Sirens are humans who are able to direct the power of their orgasms to the ship’s drive.
Who is he? He’s on the Lick Squad and is part of the crew that wakes the passengers.
So what’s the big deal in this scene? It’s sort of interesting but why should I care? The Siren is getting woken up because the one she is replacing died of a broken heart. He’s doing it for the money and does not want to get close to anyone. A little giddy voice says they need to get TO-ge-ther.
As you can see, it would be so much easier if I just kept the daydreams in my head, but I am a pantser and this is how I get the story out.
No matter the technique authors strive to tell you a great story. Tell me about your favorite scene in a book. Or that scene that makes you want to pick the book up and read it all over again.