Monday, May 23, 2016

Outlining A Story — #OpenBook Blog Hop

Welcome to anyone new dropping by, and welcome back to anyone who has dropped by before. For those of you who don't know, each week a group of authors talk about a common subject. It's wonderful to see how alike and how different we are week to week!

This week we're talking about how we outline a story. For those of you who don't know, authors tend to fall into two groups: plotters or pantsers. Plotters are those who outline their books, and know the complete plot (for the most part) and everything about the characters before they begin writing Pantsers, on the other hand, are those who write by the seat of their pants. They may have a general idea of what the story is about, but fill in the details as they write.

And I'm a pantser. I may have a beginning and an end to my stories when I start writing, but I rarely know what's going to happen in the middle. I listen to my characters as I write. Yes, my characters talk to me and no, I'm not crazy.

That means outlining isn't really a "thing" for me. And occasionally my characters surprise me and I have to go back and rewrite a chapter or two. For example, in my last book, Wolves' Knight, my main character had a very different idea about where she wanted her love life to go than I did. We had a discussion—okay, we argued about it—and naturally Tasha won. It was her life, after all, and her story.

That doesn't mean that I allow my characters to completely take over. I've had to override Gavin Fairwood, the alpha of the Fairwood pack, a time or two. He's still not happy about it.

The book I'm currently working on, the next story in the Oak Grove series, was a little more structured when I started. I had a general outline for the main plot—in my head, but not on paper—when I started. I'm about 3/4ths of my way through the first draft, and I've been able to stick to the main plot. Some of the subplots, on the other hand, have ended up going places I never expected.

I'm looking forward to seeing what the others on this hop have to say. You can find out too, by following the links below

May 23, 2016 - Your process for outlining a story.
1. Link your blog to this hop.
2. Notify your following that you are participating in this blog hop.
3. Promise to visit/leave a comment on all participants' blogs.
4. Tweet/or share each person's blog post. Use ?#?OpenBook? when tweeting.
5. Put a banner on your blog that you are participating.

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  1. So far we're all pantsters in the blog hop!

    1. I've never understood how someone can plot out the entire story ahead of time. :)

  2. "Yes, my characters talk to me and no, I'm not crazy." LOL LOVE it!

  3. Yeah, my characters have told me "Uh, you know I won't do that, right?" a few times. If I try to force it, they stop telling me their stories, so I have learned not to argue, though sometimes I can apply gentle persuasion. Not with Shane Delaney, but his brother Cai is much more malleable.

    1. I think we have to be true to our characters as we write or our readers will spot the falsehoods.