Thursday, November 14, 2013

Let's Talk About Outlining (or Plotting)

I use Grammarly for english proofreading because nothing is wurser than having yer mistooks found by a reeder.

It's a bit of a hot topic in the writing world, whether or not you must outline your story.  There are hundreds of articles and blogs out there about how and when to outline your story, what the best ways to go about making an outline are, how outlines might be the difference between a good story and a bad one, etc...

The outline is 95 percent of the book. Then I sit down and write, and that’s the easy part. - Jeffrey Deaver

So that's one side of the argument.

Another set of voices is out there saying that they don't, or can't, outline.  That the story and characters come together as they will, and trying to force them into one certain direction, just because you said you would, is a mistake.

Plot is, I think, the good writer’s last resort, and the dullard’s first choice. - Stephen King


I never understand people trying to force their ways on others, or saying any way that's not your way is wrong.  Art, religion, politics, sexuality, education, diet, raising children, drinking scotch, buying a home, reading a book...  Unfortunately, no matter what you're doing these days, it's very likely that someone out there does is willing to tell the world that you are doing it wrong.

I hate to pull the "Can't we all just get along?" card, but seriously, Can't we all just get along?

I don't plot my stories.  I've tried.  For years I forced outlines and structure and plot onto paper, because my English teachers told me that I had to if I wanted to write something.  I can honestly say that I never finished writing a story that I plotted out first.  I lost interest, grew frustrated, stopped caring about the story.

I wrote To The Bone because I pictured an old, grizzled PI that was trying to find a lost girl, got captured by a cannibal, and wound up having to eat his own feet.

That's not what the story turned out to be.  A lot of my original ideas made it through, but the story itself became another animal entirely.  It's better, I think, and it became that way organically.

But that's only what works for me.  If outlining works for you, for the love of God, outline.  Whatever it takes to make your story better, do it. That's what I'm going to do.  I'm just happy to know there are so many people out there that love writing, I don't care how they do it.

That's all for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then

Monday, November 11, 2013

WARNING *Lots of Sh!t* and Some J. A. Konrath Collaboration News

I've been writing most of the day today.  That shouldn't be a big deal, it's what I do.  Right?

Well, yeah.  But I have these days, these awful days, when I just know that every word I put down on paper is shit.  Hell, every word I have ever put down on paper looks like shit on these days.  It's a simple choice to walk away from the keyboard on days like today.

Walk away.  Watch a movie.  Read a book written by someone who isn't shit.  Stare at your half-empty cup of coffee and listen to the Decemberists until you pass out.

Those are all viable options on days like today.  Everything makes sense except for the writing...

Maybe that's why it's so important to write on days like this.  Trudge, stomp, fight, kick, cuss, murder your way through every single word you can squeeze out of your brain meat.  When I accomplish something on a day like today, I know it was worth it.

Speaking of worth it...


Gavin English isn't in Chicago searching for an unfaithful woman's wedding ring out of the goodness of his heart.  He's doing it for the fifty thousand dollar check the unfaithful woman gave him.  All he has to do is track down the pretty boy who stole it—in one of the biggest cities in the country.

Lucky for Gavin, ex-police Lieutenant Jack Daniels knows her way around the city—her city—and she's agreed to set aside her mommy duties for a few days, so that she can babysit him and his assistant while they're in town.

But somewhere between Gavin's visit to the busted-down crackhouse and their stop at a low-rent donut shop, Jack's peaceful babysitting gig turns deadly and the bullets start flying.

BABYSITTING MONEY brings together Ken Lindsey's heavy drinking, hard-boiled PI (TO THE BONE, ON THE EDGE) and J.A. Konrath's retired hero cop/brand-new mommy (WHISKEY SOUR, SHAKEN) for an intense, laugh-out-loud thriller.

On a brighter note, this is happening any minute!  I've collaborated with J. A. Konrath to write this fun, short thriller, BABYSITTING MONEY.  It's been kind of a dream, because Konrath is one of my favorite writers (who has sold somewhere around two-million ebooks and has an incredibly popular blog about the publishing world) and he just happens to be a lot of fun to work with.

BABYSITTING MONEY should be released on most popular platforms any day now, and it's only going to be $0.99.  Another piece of awesome news on this front is that Joe Konrath and I will be putting out a follow up full-length novel, which will also feature Gavin English, Jack Daniels, and a bunch more characters from each of our worlds.  I have two other manuscripts I'm working on right now that I need to finish up before that happens, but I'm thrilled and can't wait to get started.

I think that's it for now,
thanks for reading,
buh bye then