Thursday, July 11, 2013

All's Fair In Love and Lion: Bethany Averie and Writing Pantster Style

Blurb for All’s Fair In Love & Lion by Bethany Averie:
High school Junior year English teacher Sasha Brighton has always dreamt of having her own Prince Charming. But she doesn’t believe it’s possible. After all, fairy-tales are just stories, not reality.
However, when Monroe Dubay steps out of her dreams and into her apartment, she’s forced to rethink the whole concept of what’s real and what’s fairy-tale. But believing means she’ll have to choose between everything she knows, or give it all up for the unknown.

Meanwhile, another female from his world doesn’t think Sasha should have Monroe; and she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to stop Sasha and Monroe from having their happily-ever-after. No matter what.


Half-In-Half Writing & Character Plotting
by Bethany Averie
Whenever anyone asks me about my writing process, a .part of me panics. Partially because I always feel like I’m doing it wrong, and partially .because in some cases, I draw a complete blank. I can’t offer an exciting answer like the pantsers who say, “I just sit down and write whatever pops into my head!” Nor can I offer detailed notes for every character, scene, and plot development as a plotter might do. I’m what I self-term a “half-in-half” writer. I part-plot, part-pantser my work. I don’t know if it’s literally half-in-half, but it’s a mixture of the two.
There’s some plotting involved. I’ve got my GMC worksheets for characters (Goal Motivation Conflict) where I also figure out their physical attributes. However, this doesn’t mean I follow these things down to the last word. I use them as direction, and let my imagination do the rest.
For All’s Fair In Love & Lion, it was almost completely a pantser experience. There was a sparkling of an idea soon after I figured out where my writing niche was. When I remembered the types of heroes and heroines I liked, off I went.
In hindsight, having a GMC worksheet might’ve made the editing and revising process easier. I had so many notes in so many places—on my computer, in notebooks, pieces of paper. I’m certain I have way more notes for this novel than any other novel I’ve written. It was as if I was afraid of forgetting something important.
Now when I write, I generally have 1 or 2 places for notes, and a GMC worksheet I can use (if I need to). My critique partner, the incredibly talented and awesome, Tess St. John, gave me the idea of going backward through my novel and writing a summary of each chapter to use as reference as I edited. This worked well for AFIL&L. I was able to use those notes to get to whatever scene I needed to without searching the entire manuscript for it.
Monroe and Sasha were very pantser-ly developed. From the moment I wrote the first chapter, I didn’t contemplate too much what personality traits Monroe had, or Sasha had for that matter. It came pretty quickly and easily. Then I entered editing, and I had to think more on how to improve on them, which is another reason why I have my “half-in-half” method. My GMC Worksheets give me a jumping off point, but my imagination still has room to fill in the blanks.
When it comes to the complete pantser approach, the idea of going in and just writing whatever makes me a little nervous. Sure, some of my best ideas have come from those lightning strikes while I’m writing, but I also know if I don’t have some kind of an outline I’ll run out of steam. By the same token, I can’t imagine having nearly every single word planned before I even write “Chapter One”. From my perspective, the approach leaves little room for spontaneity. I’ve had a plotter contradict me, telling me it wasn’t so. This author told me her stories have plenty of surprises, but I can’t comprehend it. After all, if you know exactly what’s going to happen then where’s the element of surprise?
However, every author is different. One author’s technique is another author’s kryptonite. In the end, the author has to decide for him or herself what will or won’t work. It’s rare two authors I meet will have the exact same approach. The nice thing is, when you got a variety of approaches you have different perspectives, which helps when you’re receiving critiques or giving one.
I guess this means, I shouldn’t panic over the question then, should I? After all, uniqueness is what makes each author’s work stand out.
Whether you’re a reader or a writer, enjoy being yourself. Being comfortable in one’s skin makes life a lot easier, no matter what your career you have. Use your approach and talents to make life awesome.
Happy reading and/or writing!

Bethany Averie Author bio:
Bethany Averie is the second-to-the-youngest of eight children. As a kid, she loved fairy tales, especially Cinderella and Beauty & The Beast. Bethany still loves fairy tales, Greek & Roman Mythology, and romance. She resides in the Lone Star State with her real life hero, and a shadow who calls her ‘Mom’. When not writing, Bethany enjoys time with family and friends and dreaming up new worlds. You can reach Bethany at where she blogs about books, writing, and whatever strikes her fancy. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Blog:  Write By Bethany
Twitter:  @WriteByBethany


Bethany said...

Thank you so much for having me, Dana! I really appreciate it. :-)

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, Bethany. I need to have the basic plot figured out before I get much of the story written. I can start with a few character sketches, a scene or two, but without the A-Z plot, I wander too far afield and the story gets lost. Once I have the plot, I create a worksheet for the next scene and THEN I free-write my heart out. Thanks, fun post!

Bethany said...


Yep, I think there's several authors that need at least some plan.

Thank you for dropping by and for commenting :-)