On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Plotting: Panel -- Everything You Want to Know About Selling Commercial Fiction

What methods do you use to plot your books?

Ouch! Of course I passed the microphone on this one -- as those of you who have been reading the blog know, this is tough for me. Carol Berg said she gets into her characters skin and writes from beginning to end. Cindi, I think, said that she has an idea and writes as she goes along -- so there were three Pantzers (writing by the seat of their pants) people up on the panel. It's about 1/2 and 1/2 I've found, but in our critique group, we are the overwhelming majority. Heh!

That said, I've done brainstorming with my critique buddies, I just went over to my mentor's who plots, I've used software, most notably Dramatica, and I've used Pam McCutcheon's The Writer's Brainstorming Kit: Thinking in New Directions In short, I've tried everything except Story Magic -- which is a weekend away with two buddies where you work on 3 books. I'm hoping to try that soon.

It's not writing the book so much, as writing the SYNOPSIS, which I sell on, now. And in writing the book, I usually have the most problems at the 3/4 point and I've found killing people then helps a lot.

Love to all,


Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

Plotting... my least favorite subject. I'm finding myself starting with characters and a problem and a hopeful conclusion (doesn't always work out the way I thought it would) and then searching for emerging themes. I'm finding leaning on themes helps a lot.

Mental note: Plot stale? Kill someone off. I like it!

9:17 AM  
Blogger Jeri said...

But if you sell a synopsis, doesn't that require doing a lot of plotting ahead of time? Thus eliminating (or at least minimizing) the Pantzer in you?

Ideally, I guess, you'd sell a general idea and work out the kinks during the actual writing. By killing someone--yay! ;-)

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Danica said...

A plotting weekend sounds like fun! I did that once, a long time ago, and it was cool. I didn't realize it had a name

2:14 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

First, yes, selling on synopsis is VERY tough for me, and why I've taken so long to send in some of my proposals. I am hoping that I will eventually make the "trust me baby" forever (Heart Quest was like that, they bought sight unseen). Unfortunately, I'm still having problems plotting after 6 books...and I sometimes actually consult the proposal synopsis, but not often.

Raymond Chandler said that when he got stuck he always had a guy come in the door with a gun...

Danica: Story Magic is a particular technique that Robin Perrini, Laura Baker, and Laura DeVries (hope I spelled that right) developed, and several friends have formed groups, but I've never done it...yet.

Thanks for the comments,

2:39 PM  
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10:26 AM  

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