Plotter, Pantser or Somewhere In Between?
First, I’d like to thank The Plot Thickens for the opportunity to be a guest blogger. It is an honor to be here and meet your readers.
As an author I’ve been asked many times how do I begin when I write my books. Do I plot? Am I a pantser? Let me start off by saying I’ve never been one to conform to the rules in anything, so that includes my writing. Some writers will tell you they meticulously plot out every detail of their story ahead of time and know exactly how each scene will play out. I wish I could say the same, that’s not really my style. Other authors will tell you they never plot out anything and simply write by the seat of their pants and edit later. Again, I wish I could say the same. Still not my style.
I have used many techniques when plotting my stories. Once I was so enthralled with one author’s method of using colored sticky notes to plot out each strand in their story that I promptly went out and bought a poster board and a stack of colored sticky notes. I had the best time coordinating colors and jotting down notes about each scene. Green would be internal conflict. Yellow external conflict. Pink love emotions. Well, you get the picture. The lovely board was displayed in my living room for several months while I worked on my book. Unfortunately, I rarely used the board and realized I had simply just enjoyed organizing and playing with the sticky notes.
When I started writing Deadly Image, I had a nice little white board plastered to my wall with a dry erase marker and several written notes about my novel. It was similar to the way they do on the crime scene shows where they have pictures or notes about the case on the wall at the precinct. I will say my board made for an interesting conversation piece when visitors (who didn’t know I wrote books) would come over and see things like “three year old missing from daycare”, “woman on meds for anxiety disorder” or “body found in the bayou”. Seriously. That board led to more than one embarrassing moment until I explained its purpose.
I guess you could say my style of writing is a combination of both plotting and pantsing. My plot outline is the bare minimum. I generally know how my story will start, what the characters’ internal and external conflicts are and how the book will end. That’s pretty much it. The rest is pure fly by the seat of your pants writing. As I begin a scene the story plays like a movie in my head. I visualize the characters in the scene, listen to what they have to say, watch how they act and react, tap into to how they feel and write it all down. I do edit as I go which slows down the writing process a little, but in the end I don’t have quite as much rewriting to do which is great. So, the bottom line is I’m an “in between” kind of writer. A little plotting, a little pantsing and whole lot of staring at the computer screen while the story plays out in my head. But, it gets the story written and that’s what’s important. So what kind of writer are you? A plotter? A pantser? A stare at the blank page on the computer screen until inspiration strikes?
About the Book
Gone without a trace...
Lexi Yates knows she hasn’t harmed her three-year old daughter, yet the Louisiana town of Gator Bayou seems to think she’s guilty. With her daughter missing, the evidence stacking up against her and her faith in God tested to the limit, Lexi must find a way to convince FBI agent Ace Valdez she’s innocent before she becomes the next target.
Ace Valdez doesn’t trust easily, and he certainly knows better than to fall for a case, yet there’s something about the widowed mother that makes him want to believe she’s innocent, but evidence doesn’t lie. Or does it?
Publisher: Steel Magnolia Press (July 6, 2012)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Buy Link: Amazon
About the Author
Tamelia Tumlin sold her first story to Dogwood Tales Magazine many years ago while taking a creative writing course in college. The short story titled "The Traveler" was the feature story for that edition. After graduating college in elementary education, life, a teaching career and a wonderful son consumed most of her time. However, in the past couple of years, the yearning to pen fabulous romantic tales of to-die-for heroes and spirited heroines has taken over. Ms. Tumlin has worked with several online publishers, but she is now writing for Steel Magnolia Press. Juggling motherhood, teaching and writing is a challenge, but one she welcomes to pursue her passion. Her novels range from sweet and sassy to dark and dangerous.
Links to connect with Tamelia:
Web site (author)
Web site (publisher)