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PLANTSING: How I Wrote A Novella In 3 Days by Sara R. TurnquistPlantsing...What a weird word, huh? Especially to those who are not in the writing world. But even for writers, this word may not look familiar. It is what happens when a pantser begins to bring plotting into their process or vice a versa.Hold on a minute...what’s a pantser? What’s a plotter? I'm lost...Let me help.A pantser is someone who "writes by the seat of their pants". There is no planning, there is no outlining, they just sit and write and let the story come as it may.A plotter/outliner/planner, to the opposite extreme, plans out the entire novel, sometimes down to the most minute detail. Plotters can have pages upon pages of notes, diagrams, charts, and whatnot before they ever write one word of the manuscript.Pantsing tends to be more work on the back end, giving you a pretty rough first draft. While plotting is a heavier workload on the front side, giving way to a more polished first draft. I've heard it said that for a pantser, the first draft is just a very detailed plotting session. Take from that what you will.So, what are you? What am I?It is said that what you are in life (a list maker, a scheduler, etc), you tend to be in your writing. That is so not true of me. The idea of going to the grocery store without a list makes me anxious. Not having my day planned and a "to do" list in hand would probably give me a panic attack.But I was a total pantser when it came to my writing. I would just sit and write with little idea about where I was going and how things would turn out. Vague ideas...very vague. I love letting the story unfold and surprise me...setting the characters in motion and having them take over the story.Once you have established your characters, the way they will react/interact is pretty set. You can't have them doing something or react in a way that is outside of the character you've established, right? So, through the twists and turns of the plot, you can let your characters lead you where they will go. Pantsing is exciting and exhilarating.But...As I have learned more and honed my craft, I have begun to see the wisdom in taking time to plot…some. At least sketching out my characters. This deepens the character, and thus the readers’ experience with them.And, as I began to do some plotting with characters, I found that the novels went deeper and flowed out of me faster. The most recent novella was completed in 3 days. And that's not 3 long, arduous, 10-K-craziness kind of days. I put in probably 5 hours each of those days.What does that process look like?First, you have to pull out your hero and heroine, your POV (point of view) characters. Then you fill out character profile sheets on them and do some preliminary daydreaming. Then, I get down to business. I love Susan May Warren's The Story Equation - drilling down and deepening my characters by finding their Dark Moment Story (you just have to read Warren's book).Then you can take that, and sketch out a basic plot outline, which is discussed in her book. I do one of these skeleton outlines for each of the POV characters. Now I'm ready to dive in and begin writing. Unless I'm still feeling stuck. Then I might go to the Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method and go through the first 4 steps. This will help wrap my mind around what the novel is really about.At this point, I have deeply developed characters, the whole iceberg, so to speak. Am I going to put everything on the page? No. The reader will only see the tip of that iceberg. But I need to know the entire structure in order to make that piece the reader interacts with feel three-dimensional.And with my characters firmly in my mind, I can let my pantsing take off. Since I know them well, I can give them more freedom to "take over" the novel and go places I never could have imagined.
A Convenient Risk
By Sara R. Turnquist
Publisher: Sara R. Turnquist
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 259 Pages
About the book:
He never imagined her heart would be so hard to reach.
Forced into a marriage of convenience after her husband dies, Amanda Haynes is determined she will never love again. Not that it bothers Brandon Miller. He needs her husband’s cattle ranch and life insurance policy. She needs financial stability and long-term support for her son and herself. But she never expected to care so much about the running of the ranch.
Butting heads over the decisions of the ranch, adding to her frustration and grief at her loss. Her wellbeing is soon threatened as their lives become entangled with Billy the Kid and his gang. What has she gotten herself into? What kind of man has she married? Is there any way out?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Excerpt“My son…where is he?”Brandon’s hands grazed her elbows still. Did she dare take comfort from it?“He couldn’t get to sleep on his own, so he’s in the room with Uncle Owen.”“Oh.” She turned away, wishing she could pull her arms away from his touch.He remained quiet for a few moments. “He was quite worried about you when you didn’t return for dinner.”Amanda looked in his direction again. His features were coming into focus as her eyes took in the little bits of moonlight coming in through the window, but only in forms, no details. “He was?”Brandon nodded. “We all were.”“Oh?” Why would she bait him? She did not know. But the utterance was beyond her lips before she could stop it. Amanda tightened her lips to keep anything else from coming forth.“Yes. As was I.” His voice was thick.His confession stirred something high in her chest. Something that spindled and twisted. Something pleasant. It was but a taste, and she wanted more. But how?“You were?” What was that in her voice? Hope? She barely recognized it.He stepped closer to her. Heat emanated from his body. “Of course I was.”
Her head began to swim as the stirrings in her chest spread throughout her whole body, tangling and weaving into her being. Was he going to kiss her? Did she want him to?
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Sara is originally from Middle Tennessee. After a short stint in Memphis, where she earned a degree in Biology and began a career as both a Zoo Educator and a Sleep Technician, she then followed a dream to work for a large zoo in Orlando, FL as an Educator. Once she and her husband started their family, they moved back to Middle Tennessee where they currently reside.
Sara and her husband now enjoy a full life with their three beautiful and very active children. She enjoys many creative outlets – singing, piano, drawing, drama, and organizing anything. And even though she has enjoyed her career as a Zoo Educator, Sara's great love of the written word continued to draw her to write. She has always been an avid reader and, for many years, has been what she terms a “closet writer”.
Her travels and love of history have served to inspire her to write clean Historical Romance. Sara has made several trips to the Czech Republic. Her time among the Czech people and the landscapes of the country inspired her and greatly influenced her work on her debut novel, The Lady Bornekova, set in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic. Sara is also the author of The General’s Wife, Off to War, Hope in Cripple Creek, and A Convenient Risk and a member of ACFW.
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