Plotting vs. Pantsing (or Both?)
I have a confession to make.
I’ve been outlining of late.
Don’t tell the World Association of Pantsers. They’ll have me excommunicated. Or maybe they’ll throw a sheet over my head, toss me into the back of a van, and drive me to the set of Whose Line is it Anyway? and not let me leave until I successfully complete one of the hoedowns.
A little backstory… I’ve been trying to write Betrayed (Jill Andersen book 5) for almost two years now. I am now on the fifth (yes, you read that right) rewrite. I have not yet managed to complete a first draft. I’m not sure why; I feel like Betrayed has a strong story with a lot of action and intensity and some emotional beats I know are gonna really throw my readers for a loop.
But I keep getting stuck. So you know what they say about desperate times.
A few fellow writers recommended Libbie Hawker’s book Take Off Your Pants! Don’t let the title (or the cover rife with underwear) fool you; this is very much a how-to tailored toward showing pantsers a good, logical method of outlining.
As with almost every book about some aspect of writing, this is not gospel, and everyone’s mileage may vary. There are suggestions in this book I know I won’t be using, or if I do, I’ll use them in a different way from what Hawker suggested. But that’s the beauty of this craft we call writing: there’s no one right way to do it. Everyone has their own method, and what works for me won’t necessarily work for you.
Still, one thing I’ve learned is that it’s okay — hell, even important — to not be so set in your ways. Especially if your ways aren’t working for whatever reason. I can’t tell you why Betrayed has been such a struggle, especially since my previous method had already netted me five published novels and a collection of short stories. But it did, and I had to adapt.
I won’t lie, outlining feels a little weird. But I can already tell it’s also going to help.
Betrayed will get written. It will get published. And then I’ll finally be able to move on to all these other projects I want to work on. And now that I have an outlining format that works for me, I’ll probably become more productive, and at least return to the days when I was publishing two books a year. Those days were better.
So check out Hawker’s book if you’d like.
But more than anything, don’t be afraid to examine your process and make changes if you feel stagnant. This entire process is fluid, it evolves, and you have to know when to evolve with it.
About J.D. Cunegan
J.D. Cunegan is known for his unique writing style, a mixture of murder mystery and superhero epic that introduces the reader to his comic book-inspired storytelling and fast-paced prose. A 2006 graduate of Old Dominion University, Cunegan has an extensive background in journalism, a lengthy career in media relations, and a lifelong love for writing. Cunegan lives in Hampton, Virginia, and next to books, his big passion in life in auto racing. When not hunched in front of a keyboard or with his nose stuck in a book, Cunegan can probably be found at a race track or watching a race on TV.
About Lost and Found by Breanna Hayse,
Lance Callahan, MD, is known to his hospital staff as a man with a heart of gold. When a young woman is brought in with a gunshot wound and severe post-traumatic amnesia, Lance is just the man to care for her. No one knows who she is, where she’s from, or why she was left to perish in the unforgiving desert. Even her name, Noelle, is known to Lance only from an inscription on a necklace found in her pocket.
In his effort to help Noelle, Lance determines that due to the trauma she has suffered, the young woman requires retraining to become age-appropriate in all of her activities. Her little girl persona further shocks him when she suddenly claims him as her “Daddy.”
With nowhere else for her to go, Lance turns to his close-knit family for help, and Noelle suddenly finds herself with a new aunt and two new uncles, along with more love than she can handle. She quickly learns that there are some very specific rules in the Callahan home, for both Daddy’s little girl and Lance’s big girl, and that the consequences for breaking the rules include a very red and sore bottom!
Questions remain about Noelle’s past, and as the mystery of her origins slowly unravels, it becomes clear that Noelle has a very special secret of her own… a secret that could tear apart everything she’s learned to love, including the joy of being lost and then found by a man who’s given his heart to her.
The Author, Breanna Hayse
#1 US/INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING Multi-Genre Author in categories:
ACTION AND ADVENTURE***HORROR***SCI-FI***URBAN***EROTICA
***NonFiction- Marine Biology/Ocean and Seas/ Biological Science/Ecology
***Women’s Biography***Politics and Social Science/Pornography
*** YA/Womens’ Social Issues and
Featured in USA Today HEA
BDSM/AP lifestyler Breanna Hayse strives to give her readers truth and reality of the BDSM/Age-Play/Total Power and Erotic Exchange lifestyle.
Who am I?
I’m a native Californian gone ‘wild’, and had the opportunity to travel the globe and discover the world through the eyes of both a Marine Intelligence specialist and a BDSM lifestyler. I left the service and received a BS in Biological Sciences/Marine Biology with a minor in Chemistry and Physics and then went on the gain my Masters in psychology. Following a government shut-down, I ventured into hospice nursing and grief counseling, and extended my practice to marriage and family therapy for those involved in alternative lifestyle development. This experience has allowed me to gain unique perspective for my books and offer realistic plots and relatable characters.
In 2004, my husband, John, and I joined forces to work with both submissives and dominants- teaching, training, listening and loving. Our goal was to take the mystery and fear out of the lifestyle and mentor people in safe, consensual and healthy relationships.
My first book, The Game Plan, was published in 2012 and opened the door to the now-booming world of Age-Play literature. Since that time, I’ve devoted my ‘spare’ time to writing, researching, community involvement, and private and group pro bono counseling in deviant behavior, alternative lifestyle, and addiction recovery.
I was formally ‘dungeon trained’ as a Domme before discovering my submissive side when I joined the service. My scenarios are pulled primarily from either personal experience or observation, including spending time in BDSM clubs as the safety/medical officer. My multi-faceted background allows me to glean from many avenues and give a unique and intelligent literary experience through elements of fantasy and fiction. I also discuss the questions and psychology of the lifestyle in a manner that is fun and informative, and based on ‘the real deal.’
I live with my husband, musician, and fellow-author, John Hayse, and two border collies in southern California. We practice a 24/7 D&S relationship with speckles of AP (and many trips to Build-A-Bear), and happily spend every moment together that we can. My hobbies include my puppies, hiding my vanilla salt-water taffy where John can’t find it, art, yelling at stupid people on the television, and collecting inspirational trinkets. I’ve also developed my own paddle line-Subtle Hints.
Write to me (email@example.com) or John (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Follow the tour HEREfor exclusive content and a giveaway!
As Jessop grows closer to this elite brotherhood,
their leader succumbs to a mysterious ailment,
and Kohl learns that Jessop is hiding dark secrets, raising suspicions
about the enigmatic woman who saved his life. Has the Huntersâ€™ security been
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Allegiances will be questioned.
Loyalties will be betrayed.
Vengeance will be brutal.
“This thrilling, action-packed debut ties
together a strong characters with a building story line that will have readers
clamoring for the next volume in this new series.” â€”Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW, on The Glass Blade