I always love the conversations writers have about whether or not they are plotters or pantsers. I’ve always thought of myself as a plotter with my color coded spreadsheets and I do a fare amount of plotting before writing. But its not detailed. I write backstory for my characters (which sometimes changes as I write). I make sure I have a good handle on characters goals and motivations. I almost always have the climatic scene in my head. Key word is almost.
I’m 50k words into DEADLY SEDUCTION, which comes out 23 May 2017 (pre-order is only 0.99 but that will change to 3.99 on release day). When I started the book, all I had was this one line: “What if the woman you were sleeping with was sent by the man who had vowed to destroy your life.”
I wrote the first three chapters and was loving where the story was going. I had figured out the Heroine was playing the Hero, so that they could still have a relationship, but I would try to think out past the next five or six chapters, and nothing. I had no idea how the climatic scene was going to go down and that halted my writing. I read what I’d written a few times, adjusting a few scenes. Adding a couple new scenes, but still, I was stuck. So that either meant, I wrote myself into a corner, or I wasn’t spending enough time day dreaming about my story.
In this case, it was both.
That’s when it hit me that if I changed one thing about a secondary character–the proxy for the bad guy–I could head to a very interesting climatic scene. Once I did that, I could easily see the dark moment and how my heroine was going to save herself…and the hero. However, a new twist developed that I hadn’t seen coming with one of the characters. I’m very excited about this twist.
I used to believe that the way to write a book is to plot it out, hence my spreadsheets. But I fill that in as I write. I do have scene ideas, but sometimes those ideas never make it into the book. I think its important to know a lot about your story, but its equally important to be open to new directions.
Now all I have to do is finish!