Planning Versus Pantsing

b-rtI so want to be one of those organised writers who can plan everything down to the last detail. Sadly for me that’s never going to happen. I’ve tried, believe me I have. I set out a chapter by chapter point system saying this will happen in this chapter. then by halfway through chapter three my characters have taken over and my straight path becomes a rambling track that has no end in sight.

Yeah, so I’m definitely a panster when it comes to writing. I never quite know what’s going to happen until I sit in front of the computer, or pick up a pen… sometimes I even shock myself. My daughter quite often got random calls going: “You are not going to believe what just happened.” Usually she tells me to bugger off because she’s busy.

maxresdefaultI’m also one of the strange few who cannot listen to music when I write… it distracts me too much. though when I’m not writing there are certain bands/singers who remind me of a character or a story line. For example:

Nickelback—and I automatically want to start writing The Lines of Marsden.

Falling in Reverse—and the Experimental boys are putting their hands up to be written.

David Bowie—and I start thinking about what’s coming next in The Connelly Chronicles…it doesn’t even matter which character.

Bullet For My Valentine—and The Diamond Rose come to mind… always telling me to hurry the hell up and figure out whose story is next.

I also usually have to shut down all social media because if I don’t I’ll get sidetracked. But I think that might be a problem for most writers no matter how famous, or how hard of a worker we are. I guess in the end it’s up to you how seriously you take your own writing career.

My Thoughts

On Formatting:

20151022_083954I sometimes—okay, most of the time… get confused in how to set out a story because each publisher seems to have different formatting. Now I try and set each book up as I’m writing to the correct formatting required by each publisher… thank the great be-all-and-end-all that I only have to worry about three.

for anyone out there just starting out, I’d suggest going to whichever publisher you are planning on going with and finding out their preference and get used to automatically setting your work for them the way they like it. And for those publishers who accept any formatting style… see how the first lot of edits come back as it’s usually changed to the way they really prefer it. I’m pretty sure the editors as well as the publisher are grateful for it.

On Contractions:

wordsI’m really a bad one for writing everything out long and not shortening it like a person would in everyday speech. I don’t know why I do it writing books but not when I do my blogs or write out notes to other people.

My editors are always telling me to go back through and contact them to make them normal speech. This year I’m trying to  go through and check that I’m on top of what needs to be done. I know long (like he would not—instead of he wouldn’t) adds to the wordage, but remember that it gets bloody annoying for the readers. I just re read some of my own work and it drove me nuts seeing all the ones we didn’t catch.

On Head Hopping:

povThis is another one I really suck at… I’m a head hopping queen. In my longer books I now try and put something in there so my poor editors know where I’ve intentionally swapped heads.

In my novellas I now just swap heads for each chapter. It makes my life so much easier to deal with. Thankfully I have very understanding editors who point out where I do it and don’t realise.

I’m the type of person that likes to know what’s going on in everybody’s head at the same time. I now know that is often chaotic and very confusing for the readers. It’s still hard when all my characters what their point of view to be heard.

Weekly Report

B - UDOnce again I have my wordage count met. I’m actually even surprising myself. I thought I would’ve crashed and burned long before now. I must admit that at times I thought: What the hell am I doing? I was getting the stories and characters mixed up—but we all know that’s nothing new for me. Anyway… here’s where I’m at:

Moon Runners 2: I Won’t Let You Go 30K

The Lines of Marsden 4: The Trail of Red Roses 30K

Wardens of the Guild 2: All That Shimmers 30K

Unsubmitted Plan

question-mark-god

These are the books I have wanted to get written—or—rewritten, because they mean something to me. I’m just hoping that everyone enjoys them as much as I do. It’s so hard trying to figure out which story belongs with which publisher. I only hope that I choose wisely. I’m also hoping I can finally try my hand at writing some more one off books and some young adult books. I’m not sure if I’d be very good at them, but I want to give them a go.

Admetus Gaea 1: The Gaean Prophecy 28/07—24/08

SPAM Inc. 1: Claiming Roxy’s Heart 25/08—21/09

Taking Chances 1: Lie to Me 22/09—19/10

Quaide’s Crossing 1: Matthew’s Way 20/10—16/11

Guardians of the Dragon Born 1: Cullen Arianan 17/11—14/12

The Brothers McCrieve 1: Justice 15/12—11/01/18

Pride Plan

PRIDE_transparent-3-300x143Even though there is only a small amount of books here it doesn’t mean that this will be the end of my time with Pride. It just means once I get to the end of the lists for this publisher I’ll be able to think about submitting different stories and series. there will still be 3 more in The Connelly Chronicles, and 4 more in the Destiny House series—which is a spin off from The Connelly Chronicles.

Wardens of the Guild 2: All That Shimmers 01/01—27/01

Wardens of the Guild 3: Heart Strings 29/01—23/02

The Connelly Chronicles 3: Because Of You 24/02—04/05

Wardens of the Guild 4: Gilded Cages 05/05—02/06

Destiny House 1: Saving Shane 02/06—29/06

Destiny House 2: Needing Norman 30/06—27/07

Fireborn Plan

10259753_695003427211884_6309451945217256490_nThere are so many stories where I need to figure out where I’m heading. Okay, I should clarify somewhat. I know where I’m heading I have to work out how to get to the end result—the path I should take with the least resistance. Sometimes my stories like to walk in circles for a while before they say okay enough piss-arsing around, and let’s get on with the damn story. But, I know I’ll get there in the end. Especially, if I have all of you out there kicking my arse with encouragement.

Moon Runners 2: I Won’t Let You Go 01/01—27/01

The Diamond Rose 2: So Pretty on the Outside 29/01—23/02

The Freedomers 2: Craine’s Everlasting Faith 24/02—23/03

Hidden Hearts 3: Going By The Book (Travis) 24/03—20/04

Moon Runners 3: It’s Gonna be Okay 21/04—18/05

The Diamond Rose 3: Sometimes It Hurts 19/05—16/06

The Freedomers 3: Drake’s Broken Prophecy 19/06—17/07

Hidden Hearts 4: Couples Cover (Macen) 18/07—14/08

The Freedomers 4: Finding Arotol’s Destiny 15/08—11/09

The Diamond Rose 4: Monsters Like Me 12/09—09/10

The Freedomers 5: Maven’s Guardian Angel 10/10—06/11

Moon Runners 4: Something That You Said 07/11—04/12

Moon Runners 5: Finally Figured You Out 05/12—01/01/18

MLRPress plan

36764_105130762871417_6990716_n

If I keep my mind on what I’m doing this will be the writing list and the dates I plan to start and finish. I plan on getting them all written, but that doesn’t mean they will all get submitted as I want to pace out the editing factor. Honestly, I don’t mind if i only just get them written because I know I’ll have time in the future to submit the to where they need to go. I’m just enjoying the whole writing process again. I’m going to do everything in my power to stay on track.

The Lines of Marsden 4: The Trail of Red Roses 01/01—08/03

The Lines of Marsden 4.5: On the 12th Day 09/03—05/04

Sons of Evenmore 3: Fear The Scarlet Moon 06/04—03/05

Lancaster’s Way 3: Pre-Loved 04/05—30/05

Lancaster’s Way 4: Riding Fences 31/05—27/06

Lancaster’s Way 5: A Stuart Family Christmas [Ends] 28/06—25/07

Experimentals 3: Messages from the Dead 26/07—22/08

Sons of Evenmore 4: Pieces of You 23/08—19/09

Intended Mates 2: Dancing to the Sounds of Madness 20/09—17/10

Experimentals 4: Movements in the Dark 18/10—14/11

Sons of Evenmore 5: Always Been Yours 15/11—12/12

Sons of Evenmore 6: Touching Shadows [Ends] 13/01—09/01/18

Weekly Update

open-book-clip-art-1816875I’m slowly getting to where I need to be. And for once I’m right on track. I’ve even sent some stuff to my beta reader James A to work on for The Lines of Marsden 4: The Trail of Red Roses.

I think my typing is picking up a little each day and is getting faster—I still make just as many spelling mistakes, but I can’t become perfect over night—or ever…

I’ve also been rereading my own work making sure I’m clear on where I was heading with each story and hopefully allowing me to close up any and all story line holes from previous books..

Each week on a Friday I’ll stop in and let you know what the hell is going on, and so you can kick my arse if I fall behind again.

I’m halfway through

Moon Runners 2: I won’t Let You Go

I’m a 5th of the way through

The Lines of Marsden 4: The Trail of Red Roses

I’m halfway through

Wardens of the Guild 2: All That Shimmers

Catch you all next week.

NJ

My Three Year Plan

NJN_Avatar_FbI’ve spent part of the past week coming up a writing plane for the next 3 years that will in effect clean out my WIPS page—all except for some back burner books. This plan allows me time for writing each day and edits as they come in. I plan on writing all these books but I’m in no hurry to submit them I’ll do that as time permits. as I don’t want to be swamped with too many lots of edits at once. I think I could handle one from each publisher at a time.

So I need all of my readers out there to keep leaving me messages to make sure I don’t lose sight of my goal and get sidetracked by life. 2016 was bad for that, and now I’ve moved I’m in for a new start in both life and my writing. There are too many books to list here, but they are all on my WIPS page… if not on this blog than definitely on my blogger one. in the next few months I’ll be updating both my blogs so they are up to date.

Each week (starting tomorrow) I’ll give you a report on how I’m doing.

Catch you tomorrow

NJ

What’s Going On #4

question-mark-godThese are books that are in my WIPs list, but I haven’t yet decided where I’ll be submitting these to─but I guess I’ll figure it out when I get there.

Admetus Gaea: Yes I wrote and published this through Silver publishing, but have since pulled it apart and when I re submit it will be the same story line, but will be less cluttered… if that makes sense. #1 Zadyn & Jarkebb, #2 Raeligh & Coen, & #3 Grayson & Jondalar. there will also be more books in this series but I’m still working them out.

The rest are still only ideas and will come to light when it’s their time:

Flagstone Creek

Guardian of the Dragon Born: Cullen Arinan

Inner City Pack

Mountain Made

Outside the Safety Zone

Quaide’s Crossing

SPAM Inc.

Taking Chances

The Brothers McCrieve

The Core