>I’m Running Out of Excuses

>Ok, I’m running out of excuses here, but I can’t help it that time is slipping away from me faster and faster as each day passes. This post was supposed to hit cyberspace last week, but somehow it didn’t. Ummm, could that be because I didn’t click the PUBLISH button???

Anyway, last week over at the GabWagon one my blog partners came up with this neat idea of posting some questions that all of us would answer. She made it easy for me. Well, making it easy for me and actually being able to take it easy are two entirely different things.

Anyway, the questions are related to how I write. It may or may not entertain you. Hopefully it will entertain as opposed to lulling you to sleep.

1. Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter?”

Pantser. I always fly butt naked. I like to be free. Recently though I’ve learned that doing a little plotting can keep one out of a corner and help in writing a synopsis BEFORE the book is done. So I’m slowly being taken over by the dark side of plotting.

2. Detailed character sketches or “their character will be revealed to me as a I write”?

If I spent all that time building a character sketch, I’d wind up dropping the story. I think devoting a huge amount of time to a character sketch in most instances is a way to avoid writing. I do add bits and pieces to a chart as I’m moving forward with the book. It’s helpful down the road if I need to remember who the hero’s nanny was or who the heroine’s BF4E is, especially if I’m doing a series.

3. Do you know your characters’ goals, motivations, and conflicts before you start writing or is that something else you discover only after you start writing?

I so despise GMC…I know a character has to have goals and motivations, but those generally come from a strong internal conflict and the obstacles thrown up in front of the character along the way help to define the “GMC.” So NO, I don’t worry about the GMC…what I focus on is the internal conflict of the characters.

4. Books on plotting – useful or harmful?

Almost every book I’ve ever bought to help me with my writing has gone unread. I’ll buy them because so and so said it was great, then I start to read and I’m going, this boring. Following someone else’s instructions on how to write makes me think I’ll start writing the way that author thinks I should write. Let me just write and learn by practice. I learn and improve better by actually doing something than by reading. The only reading I like to do is for pleasure and that includes research.

5. Are you a procrastinator or does the itch to write keep at you until you sit down and work?

This will depend on the story. I always find I want to write when I actually have other work to do. *grin*

6. Do you write in short bursts of creative energy, or can you sit down and write for hours at a time?

It depends, if the story is going well, then I can write for hours with only bathroom breaks. I’ll even go without eating at times. I’ll dig in for the long haul. Then there are times when it’s a struggle to write just three or four paragraphs

7. Are you a morning or afternoon writer?

I love to write between 11pm and 3am….the world is silent as is the REST of my family. I come alive then if I’ve had a good night’s sleep the night before.

8. Do you write with music/the noise of children/in a cafe or other public setting, or do you need complete silence to concentrate?

Sometimes with music, sometimes in silence. I HATE other types of noises. They interrupt the train of thought and when I have to stop to pick up an unexpected passenger, I get really ticked.

9. Computer or longhand? (or typewriter?)

Computer. I can type fast enough to keep up with my brain. I have been experimenting with Dragon Naturally Speaking, but my voice has a tendency to put me to sleep. *grin*

10. Do you know the ending before you type Chapter One?

I’ve only known the ending to a story one time, and I went ahead and wrote it. It was actually the epilogue. But hasn’t happen since. I like the characters to just take charge. Now that sounds odd coming from this alpha. Perhaps there’ s hope for me yet in becoming a sub to a dom.

11. Does what’s selling in the market influence how and what you write?

I’m not really sure what this question means. I love historicals, paranormals, erotic romance and sometimes contemporaries. So I write what I love. I know I can make lots of money selling m/m books, but I don’t because I’m just made to write them, anymore than I’m made to write inspirationals. I write what I’m good at. If the story’s good, it will sell.

12. Editing – love it or hate it?

Well, I tend to edit as I go, which is why my writing a story in three months has stretched out to about 4-6 months. Granted there’s promotion and life happening there too. Mirage was my first real experience with an in-depth editorial process and it wasn’t painful at all. I only had to add maybe a page, delete over-used words or impressions and some grammar errors. It was relatively painless. Although I confess by round 3 I was pretty much sick of the book. It takes a few weeks to get over hating the book. Thank God there’s time between that final edit and the sell date. I don’t know how I’d promote a book if it went from edit to sell and I had no time to get rid of my angst.


This entry was posted in Blogging, Craft, Creativity, Writing by Monica Burns. Bookmark the permalink.

About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

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