Plotter or Pantser, which are you?

Now, until I’d joined Instagram and befriended other writers, I had never come across these two terms, let alone contemplated which I might be. However, since joining Instagram, I’ve quickly realised I am neither. It turns out I am a Plantser or Plotser, or whatever a hybrid of the two is.

This revelation shocked me quite profoundly as I am OCD. It doesn’t rule my life but it’s there. I like things clean and tidy but I’m not obsessive. My ‘thing’ is checking things: locks, windows, items, is my alarm set? Did I lock the car? Is the window that’s been locked all winter, still locked? Double check, triple check, quadruple check. It’s not (totally) a bad thing because I know for certain if something’s amiss, but it does waste time and I know it’s not healthy. But, I digress.

So, despite being OCD I’m not with regards to my writing. Contradictory, right? I mean, I plot. I have a basic timeline, chapter outline, back stories for my characters, I research names, terms, phenomena, anything and everything that’s relevant. But I don’t have the full outline written down. I know the key points, I know some of what happens in between but not everything; and writing like that suited me fine for Book 1.

However, for Book 2 I’m trying to plot more, not necessarily the entire story, but more. So far, I have worked on my Beats, but I could only plot so many; I have plotted and planned my key characters in more depth, using Sarra Cannon’s freebie “Plot your Novel”; and I am 5,000+ words into typing up my Series Bible (using the free outline courtesy of Bethany Atazadeh). And I’ve still got my plot embryos to draft!

I really recommend the freebies, they’ve given me direction and have made me contemplate things about my characters and world that I would never have done. Which can only be a good thing, right? Nonetheless, it’s been difficult. Not the plotting or Series Bible, they’ve been fun; but the Story Beats (a section within Bethany’s freebie). Bizarrely, pinning them down was really tricky; my brain reached a point where it couldn’t take anymore and suffered a meltdown: “I don’t know! Let’s just write and see!”

I’m certainly not a Plotter! I am determined though to do a month’s more plotting before I start writing. I have a feeling it’ll save me time later, and time is my most precious commodity.

Does this resonate with you? Are you in Team Plotser/Plantser? Or a clearcut Plotter or Pantser? Any tips you’d be happy to share? I’d love to know!

Today I created a #hashtag!

Today I created a hashtag for Urban Fantasy authors: #urbanfantasyauthorcommunity

I’d been think of creating a hashtag for a while but thought I was being silly. Then yesterday, I received a message from a fellow author who said how glad she was to meet a fellow Urban Fantasy author and it struck a chord. So, on checking Instagram and seeing no hashtag had been created, I created a post and made one myself. The response has been overwhelmingly supportive and I’m so excited where this could go!

The KeyMaster: A Mood Board

I’ve never put together a mood board. I’ve always loved their aesthetics but just never put one together myself. That has now changed!

I initially saw the day’s prompt on Instagram and thought: “I haven’t got the time for that one”. But I made the time and, whilst it took ages (and it did), I’m glad I’ve done it. I have missed the deadline though… Ah well.

But, here it is!

The boots represent Erica, whilst Michael is depicted by his top hat. Time travel is key to the series, and is hinted at by the central and top left images. The black and gold of the top left and bottom right images reflect the spirit and soul. The bottom left are the sinister Lost Souls that are taking over the world and the top right depict the Faeries’ elemental powers.

I’m planning to make further mood boards for each of the key characters, but this is a general one providing an overview of the key aspects of Book 1.

What do you think?

(Pictures courtesy of Pixaby and Pinterest).

NaNoWriMo 2018

As the dust settles for those who completed NaNoWriMo 2018, I’d like to reflect, as one who didn’t take part.

As a semi-full-time mother (with a broken laptop!), I knew there would be little point me taking part this year as I rarely get time to read let alone write, especially with Christmas on the horizon. But I’ve been watching colleagues on Instagram take part and following their journeys.

I won’t deny to being a smidgen jealous of those with the opportunity to take part, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching them reflect and clock in their daily achievements. It’s been great seeing people post their graphs and their winner pages and being part of such an amazing journey. Because it is. Writing 50+K in a month is no mean feat!

So, will I take part next year? Honestly, no. I can’t see my situation changing that much to allow such dedication. (Though I do hope to have a new laptop soon!) My family comes first. People might argue that that shouldn’t be the case, that writing should be the most important thing in my life, but I can’t let it. Not when my child needs me. One year, I will get the opportunity so I shall enjoy that adventure when it happens.

If you are toying with the idea I would highly recommend it. The NaNoWriMo community is very supportive on Instagram (from what I saw), and would help make the experience even more special. Visit http://www.nanowrimo.org for more information. Happy writing!

#oktowrimo

I’m quite a visual person, so I’ve been enjoying completing photo challenges in Instagram. This month’s challenge has been #oktowrimo by @author_r.c.martin and has involved a mixture of challenges regarding my WIP and Halloween. I’ve really enjoyed it, plus I’ve got to know some great people.

If you’re on Instagram please follow me and say “hi!”

Instagram photo challenges

Sorry! I’ve been a bit quiet on here this month. I’ve been wrapped up with my first round of self-editing plus I’ve been busy on Instagram, taking part in two photo challenges #bawritinglife and #fantasywipseptember

Whilst the two challenges have varied in length they have both been enjoyable and enlightening. Although I reflect daily on my story, its world and characters, I’m not accustomed to sharing my reflections. So it’s been good practice for me. Plus, it’s been great meeting so many nice people!

Have a look at my Instagram Feed for my contributions and posts.