Wednesday, August 14, 2013

GUEST BLOGGER LYNETTE EASON: Welcome ... to the "Edge of Your Seat" Style Writing! (And Giveaway!)

Julie, here, and let me just say I am in complete AWE of suspense writers! For years Debby Giusti has been like some kind of suspense goddess to me for tackling a genre that requires SO much more gray matter than I possess. I mean, to make readers sigh with a truly wonderful romance  while taking them down a rabbit trail … well, I'm sorry, but I just think that takes extra talent.

Which is why my guest today blows me away as well. When I read a Lynette Eason book, I am up VERY late at night -- not just because I can't put the book down -- but because I'm scared to death to go to sleep! Lynette's tagline is "Welcome ... to the Edge of Your Seat," and trust me, the lady knows what she's talking about! So please welcome my good friend and bestselling Revell author, Lynette Eason, who is not only a must-read for romantic suspense readers, but anyone who thrives on Christian fiction that both intrigues and races one's mind, heart, and soul.

***

Hi everyone, Lynette Eason here. So happy to be here at Seekerville. I love the ladies of this blog and am honored my buddy Julie Lessman asked me to fill in for her today. I hope I can do her justice. When she asked me what I was going to write about I froze. Then thought about a question I get asked quite a bit.

“What’s the right way to write a suspense novel?”

I had to think about that one and couldn’t come up with an off-the-cuff answer. Or the answer that I considered “right.” Instead, I decided the right way to write a suspense novel is: whatever way works for you!

And then I decided to share a bit of my process. I hope you find it a tad interesting and a bit helpful.

Writing suspense can be quite…suspenseful. Especially if you’re a MOSTLY seat-of-the- pants writer like I am and never really know what’s coming next! Oh, I like to try to impersonate a true plotter upon occasion, but it never really seems to work for me. But I do plot some, so I’ve come up with a term to describe myself:

I’m a PLANTSER. A seat-of-the-pants sort of plotter writer.

I know. Now you’re really confused. Keep reading, it  gets better, I promise.

So…how does a seat-of-the-pants/plantser writer manage to plot a suspense book with twists and turns to keep the reader on the edge of the seat?

Good question.

The truth is…I don’t really know.

Okay, probably not the answer you’re looking for, but seriously…here’s a little how I do it:

Characters are definitely the first thing I have to figure out.

I get to know my characters. I have a character sketch sheet that I snitched from Randy Ingermanson about five of six years ago. (He had it posted on his website as a freebie so don’t go thinking I did anything sneaky…)  Once I have that filled out for my hero and my heroine, I start thinking about that first scene. And then I start brainstorming with the “what if” question. I even ask other writers for input. Or readers. Readers can be great brainstormers.

Okay, so, I have my characters (and please don’t spend a billion hours on this). Just one-sentence descriptions of name, age, eye color, hair color, occupation, past hurts, faith arc, family, education, past loves, pets, personality (i.e. - high-strung or laid-back? etc.), and I know a little about them. I have the first scene. Now I just need about a zillion more scenes, right?

Not a zillion maybe, but it helps to know what’s going to happen next.

So, with my handy-dandy little software thingy called Scrivener, I start posting scenes to my corkboard. Things that could happen. Things that need to happen. The faith element, the dark moment. Etc.

And then I start writing chapter two. Then three, then four.

Then I’ll get an absolutely BRILLIANT idea and have to go back and add it in, which usually causes me to have to rewrite the entire first part of the book.

I know…I’m crazy. But it seems to be working for me. I’ve tried other ways, plotting, outlining, singing my story (okay, not that last one), and I always come back to my own unique way of writing a book. Which is RIGHT for me. But maybe not for someone else. I can just see the shudders going through all of you plotters who are reading this!

But I digress…

Once I get to a certain point in the book (most likely the part where I stop because I can’t figure out what’s going to happen next), I stop and re-read, and edit and beef up the characters that I know much better now. I may add a red herring or two. Or go back and add an entirely new character to help support the story.

Or I kill someone off. Because that ALWAYS moves the story right along, right?

Then I write another scene or two and take inventory. Is the suspense high enough? Is the reader yawning at this point? Do I even make sense? Is my police procedural accurate? (I usually find out it’s not when my police officer and FBI buddies get ahold of it…ha!)

And yes, let me just interject here how very, very important research is.  If your background is not police, law enforcement, etc., please have someone in that field read your story. The ins and outs of law enforcement can be crazy, even downright confusing, and the only way to get it right is for someone in that field to read it and give you feedback (i.e. – how to fix it.)

So. Moving on. We’ve got characters, plotting seat-of-the-pants way, and research. What about theme? Setting? Time period? All important.

Again, not something I spend a lot of time on in the beginning phase of writing. My goal is to get the story into the computer as fast as possible and then go back and fix it. That way if my deadline arrives, at least I have something to send to my editor to fix. I mean…er…ahem. I mean I always finish my story in time to be completely edited, polished, and shined up like a pretty new penny before I send it off. Yes, that’s what I meant. Really, I did.

Now, I’ve got all these scenes and part of the story written -- it’s time to write out the synopsis.

“What???” (Note to writers, NEVER use three question marks after a word in your manuscripts.) I can hear you screeching. “Write the synopsis now?”

Well, yes. Like I said, I’m a MOSTLY seat-of-the pants writer. I have no idea what to put in a synopsis until I’ve gotten to know a few of my characters and have some scenes already laid out, either in my head or on the computer. But once I get the story started, then the synopsis seems to come pretty easy for me.

I get the synopsis written up to the part where I’ve stopped in the book and then I brainstorm the rest of the story (hence the sort of a plotter writer). Not scene by scene, but the basic plot points, the black moment, crisis points, etc. And the end.

Once I know how it ends, the story really takes off for me.

For the first time ever, I wrote the ending to my story before I actually finished the book. And it worked for me. I had to change a few things, but for the most part, I was able to keep the ending.

GIVEAWAY:
So…how do you write? Pantser? Plotter? Or Plantser like me? Leave a comment and we'll enter you in the draw for my latest book, When a Secret Kills.

ABOUT LYNETTE:
Lynette Eason has written/contracted thirty-six books since 2007. She has fifteen Love Inspired Suspense books on the shelf with more due to release soon. Lynette also writes for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her current release, WHEN A SECRET KILLS hit the CBA bestsellers list this year. Currently, she is working on her third series for Revell and is contracted for three more books through 2017. She has been teaching for more than ten years and is very happy to make the transition from teaching school to teaching writing whenever the opportunity presents. She is married, has two children, and lives in Simpsonville, SC. You can contact Lynette through her website at http://www.infinitesuspensefromlynetteeason.blogspot.com/.

83 comments:

Courtney Faith said...

Love hearing how writers write. I'm working on a story (just got Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell), and it always helps to know another's process.

I'm more of a pantser, but that's why I bought Bell's book :) I seem to always have the characters in my head but not necessarily a plot.
Working on that now which is why I'm up so late. . .
I'm a scaredy-cat, but I do like suspense stories. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Mary Curry said...

Lynette, I LOVE this. It makes total sense to me because it's pretty similar to what I do.

Last summer I found Linda Goodnight's "Plotting In a Circle" article on her website and that clicked with me, so when I get to that point of pretty much knowing the characters and having lots of scenes written, then I fit the story into the circle and try to figure out where I'm going from there.
Eventually, it all works out somehow.

Thanks so much for being on Seekerville today.

Julie Hilton Steele said...

Love the Planster label. It's a new one to me but I am discovering I need to be a blend!

So glad I got to meet you in Atlanta.

Peace, Julie

Melissa Jagears said...

I don't believe I've ever read a romantic suspense yet, (no one throw rotten veggies at me!) but I like the sound of this one.

I become more and more of a plotter with every book. Not that things don't change as I write, because actually dealing with the characters causes you to see things you couldn't before you breathed life into them.

Connie Queen said...

Okay Lynette, I can relate to the write your novels. The starting it, going back and making sure it's on task, writing more before even knowing how it's going to end. So cool.

BUT 36 NOVELS IN 6 YEARS? (I know, some may only be contracted and not written yet.) So not only does the planster method work, it's time-economically friendly.

Did I mention I love the title and cover? Please toss my name in the hat for the drawing.

Jackie said...

Hi Lynette,

Welcome to Seekerville. Hearing how you pull a story together is freeing for me. I hit 40000 words in my WIP and wondered if it's worth anything. So I read through it, changed some things and picked up fresher and with more direction.

I'm headed to Murrels Inlet from KY for Labor Day weekend. I love SC.

Thanks for sharing. Please enter me in the giveaway.

Rose said...

Lynette,

Thanks for giving us a little insight into your writing process.

Janet Dean said...

Welcome to Seekerville, Lynette! I'm more of a plotter than you, but your process certainly works with 36 books on the shelves! You did a great job describing how you write. I suspect most writers experience as many twists and turns getting the story on the page, as our plots do.

Congratulations on hitting the CBA bestseller list!

I brought egg bake casseroles and fruit for breakfast.

Janet

ellenparkerwrites said...

It's always interesting to learn how different things work for different people.
I happen to work on the plotting side of the equation but once in a while my characters surprise me.

Ellen

Mary Connealy said...

The cover model on your book looks like Sandra Bullock. How'd you get her? I'd have thought she wouldn't pose for book covers. Nice job, Lynette!

Cindy Regnier said...

So admire suspense writers and their ability to think out a plot to keep a reader in suspense. It will not be my writing genre but love to read it. Thanks Lynette. All writers have a different journey with the same destination. Loved hearing how you get to that road sign "The End"

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Lynette!

I used to think I was a plotter...until I started writing fiction. Somehow, having a detailed outline and synopsis just doesn't work like it does with nonfiction.

But I need to have a framework before I start writing, so I guess you could call me a plantster, too.

Great post! Thanks!

Mary Hicks said...

Lynette, I like the way you work—makes sense to me! It's freeing to be told there's no 'one' way to get to 'the end'.

I love to read mysteries, but seems like they'd be harder to write...right up there with historicals!

Anne Perry is one of my favorite mystery writers.

Please drop my name in the pot for your give-away!

Tina Radcliffe said...

Good morning, Lynette!

I like the idea of getting it all down first. That makes total sense.

You can't fix what isn't there.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi LYNETTE, Welcome to Seekerville. Great to hear how your process works for you and obviously it does work since you have so many published books and on the bestseller list. Congratulations.

Have fun today.

And JANET, the egg bake is yummy. Thanks.

Missy Tippens said...

Welcome, Lynette!! And thanks for sharing your process with us. It sounds like a great way to work. Though I'm a bit more of a plotter, we do a few things in the same way. I kind of like your term Plantster. :)

Missy Tippens said...

So I'm going to ask what someone has probably already asked...

What about the synopsis you have to turn in with your proposal before selling???

:)

Terri said...

Good morning Lynette! I love your books. I'm not a true plotter, but I've discovered I can't get by being a panster. I get way off track. Wow - 36 books! Totally awesome. I'd love to win the book, but I already have it. Suspense is my favorite genre.

Kav said...

I love the term plantser...wonder what Vince will do with that?

Lynette, I'm a fan -- have read fifteen of your books -- thinking I've missed out on some of the earlier Love Inspired books but that should be easy to remedy. Personally I don't think you write fast enough. :-) So don't enter me in the draw as I have read (and loved) When a Secret Kills.

I'm curious about how threading a series together fits into your plantsing. Do you start out knowing you are going to write a series or does that fact creep up on you while you are writing the first book?

Jeanne T said...

Wow, Lynette, you have an interesting process! I like it. :) With my first book, I plotted down to the scene. It worked for me, and I liked knowing ahead of time what I was writing. When a scene didn't work the way I thought it would, I cut it or changed it.

With this book, I didn't have time to plot out everything. I had the big picture scenes I knew needed to be in the story, but the relational aspects (it is women's fiction, afterall) I couldn't visualize. God finally got through to me telling me to trust Him with that aspect. :) So, I have. THe story has taken some twists and turns I never expected, but I'm having fun with it.

Who knows, for my next book, maybe I'll try a completely different process. :)

Heidi said...

I'm not a writer, but I sure love reading! This was a fascinating article for me :) Thanks for sharing!

Cara Lynn James said...

I'm more plotter than panster, but actually I'm some of both. Either way, writing a story is a messy process. But it's usually fun -- and frustrating.

Julie Lessman said...

Good morning, all! Goodness, 10:00 AM and I am just now getting to the food spread, but I'm grateful to see that Janet was kind enough to drop off fruit and an egg bake casserole, so BLESS YOU, JANET!!

Lynette, I have to say that I now realize I am a plantster like you, so thank you for helping me to figure out just WHAT I am!! Vince Mooney did an OUTSTANDING workshop on this very subject a few weeks ago, and labeled me a "long-distance pantser," but I think I may embrace your term. I've been very confused at to what I am for a long time, to which most people who know me will attest ...

Thanks for guest blogging today, my friend, and please help yourself to the full-blown brunch with omelet, pancake, waffle and meat stations to go along with Janet's egg bake and fruit PLUS LOTS of piping hot cinnamon hazelnut coffee.

Hugs,
Julie

Nancy Kimball said...

HI Lynette!
I began a pantser and turn more plotter with every MS I write.
Thanks for sharing what works for you and I agree with Julie that romantic suspense authors are super awesome. =)

Nancy Kimball said...

Missy, that right there is why I'm learning to be a plotter. I can make adjustments if I need to and get them approved if they're big changes, but I believe in faith the day is coming when I'll be selling off a synopsis and three chapters, so I HAVE to learn how to plot that baby out first. Telling myself it's not set in stone and if a character surprises me, I can explore that helps.

Last night I was working with two author friends on the synopsis for the second book in a series and in about thirty minutes of brain storming and thinking it through I changed the second scene and the introduction of the external conflict two times. I told her I wanted to kiss her on the forehead because if I'd written them first, that thirty minutes would have been three weeks worth of scene writing.

CatMom said...

Welcome Lynette! (said in my best southern drawl, LOL) ~ Couldn't resist that since you teased me about my "noticeable" accent last year at ACFW *smile*.

What a great post today--thank you! And I LOVE your term Plantster---yep, I think that's what I am. Originally a Seat o' Pants writer, but have found I must do some plotting in there too.

It's always super interesting to me reading about what works for different authors, and it sounds like you've definitely found a way that works for you. CONGRATS on your writing success and ALL those books--WOW!! Please enter me in your drawing.

Oh yes, also wanted to say I enjoyed the workshop you participated in at RWA last month (and you said you were called at the last minute--but you still did great).
Hugs from Georgia, Patti Jo

DebH said...

wow. i appreciate the insight into what works for you. i'm still trying to figure out what works for me - but it's sort of freeing to know that there isn't ONE RIGHT WAY to complete a story. just git er' done, the way God wired you to write (well, that's what I gleaned from your post).

would love to be in the draw. so many great books, so little cash (or time... *sigh*)

many thanks for visiting Seekerville and sharing a part of yourself!

Debby Giusti said...

HI Lynette,
You are amazing. Thirty-six books? Oh my gosh!

Love your stories, but evidently I've missed a few. :) Need to get When A Secret Kills!

So fun seeing you in Atlanta. Hope you had a wonderful mission trip the following week.

I want to add a bit of pantser to my plotter technique. Thanks for sharing your strategy, which works so beautifully for you. I'll give it a try.

Debby Giusti said...

Julie, thanks for your sweet words about my writing.

Sending hugs and kisses! :)

Debby Giusti said...

DebH wrote: "Just git er' done!"

Love it! Great advice, Deb.

Debby Giusti said...

Patti Jo, anything in the oven today? :)

Peach cobbler, perhaps?

Hubby and I have been enjoying this year's crop of peaches. Juicy and sweet.

Sorry, I didn't offer them.

Placing a filled bushel basket near the coffee. Enjoy!

Lynette Eason said...

Hey everyone! Sorry I'm late to the party!! It's been crazy as usual. LOL. I hurt my shoulder the other day and have been spending quite a bit of time with the chiropractor. SO, anyway I am here now and want to THANK YOU all for stopping by. I'm reading each comment and love hearing the different methods you use to write. If you had a specific question, I'll try to address it. THANKS, JULIE, for having me!!

Debby Giusti said...

Nancy K,
Great point about saving time with your synopsis. I often see holes in my plot when I'm working on the synopsis. Sometimes I make villain changes or other significant adjustments to the story because of the synopsis. That short overview can expose problem areas that need to be fixed! As you mentioned, Nancy, it's easier to make changes at that stage rather then when the story is written. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Let me address the 36 books thing. I don't have 36 on the shelf. I have six book from Revell and fifteen from Love Inspired suspense that are on the shelf, so that's 21, right?? I have six more to be released with Revell starting in january 2014 and seven more with Love Inspired to be released starting in December 2013. So that's 21 plus 6 - 27 plus 7 - that's 34, right? Then I had the free e-read on the harlequin website (which you can still go read) as an intro into the series that started this month with Hide and Seek. AND FINALLY, I had the short story with Revell called Gone IN A FLASH that released a year ago and is only available in ebook format. So, there you go. That's my 36 stories. :) NOT all released yet, but coming soon to a store (computer) near you.

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Courtney Faith, thanks for stopping by. And I'm like you. I have the characters pretty well established in my head and have to work on the plot a bit more.

Lynette Eason said...

Mary Curry, Hey there! I've never seen the Plotting in a Circle, but you've got me curious. I'll check it out. Thanks for stopping by!

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Julie! So glad to see you here. It was a pleasure to meet you at RWA. I look forward to getting to know you more.

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Melissa, rotten veggies coming at you!! LOL. Just kidding. Hope you'll give a RS book a try. You might like it!

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Connie, thanks so much and so glad you like the title and cover. I do too! :)

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Jackie, Enjoy SC!! I'm about 4 hours from Murrell's Inlet, but go to Myrtle Beach a couple times a year. It's a great place!

Lynette Eason said...

Hi Janet, thanks for the yummy food! Love the calorie free kind. Ha.

Lynette Eason said...

THAT's who she reminds me of!! Thank you, Mary, for clearing that up! LOL. Yes, Sandra Bullock. Hm...I don't know, you'll have to ask the art people with Revell. But I KNEW she looked familiar.

Lynette Eason said...

Cindy, Jan and Mary, thanks for stopping by!! :)

Julie Lessman said...

COURTNEY ... I'm a "scaredy-cat," too, but Lynette's books are good enough to risk it ... :)

MARY ... "Plotting in a Circle" sounds good ... maybe I need to check it out myself. :)

JULIE H.S. ... Nothing like a blend, eh?? A little bit of this and that works in cooking, so why not in writing??

MELISSA ... you've never read a romantic suspense??? Holy cow, that's hard to believe, especially with so many good ones out there like Deb Giusti, Lynette, Dee Henderson, etc. I kind of hope you win so you see what you're missing! :)

CONNIE ... I know, 36 novels in 6 years is mind-boggling!! And lucrative ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Lynette Eason said...

Missy, the proposal I have to turn in before selling stinks. Emily and I have an understanding. I can turn in a stinky synopsis and she will buy it anyway. HA! Actually, she does ask a few questions that I usually have to answer and a few things I have to tweak in the first three chapter that she gets, but she's learned that while my synopsis may be pretty bad, the story will be much better!

Lynette Eason said...

Kav, thanks for asking. I generally know I need a series idea because I usually sell at least three books at the same time. Publishers love series stuff. SO...I generally have all the main characters. Like the series I'm working on now. It's called the Hidden Identity series and it's about one agency that helps people hide out when the WITSEC program isn't good enough. :) For Love Inspired, I do the same thing. I come up with sibling groups or friends or cousins or something. OR, in this proposal that I'm going to turn in Oct 5th, it's about a small town in Tennessee called Wrangler's Corner. And it's about a family who has a horse ranch and all of the trouble that comes their way.

Nancy Kimball said...

Debby, I know!!! Some of my most beloved writing is on the "cutting room floor" from my first novel. That was an important growth experience but I like working the synopsis much earlier now to be able to save myself the angst of having to lose a scene I really liked that doesn't fit later.

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Jeanne, all the different processes keep the writing interesting, eh? I think once you try a few, you kind of come up with our own system. And my theory is, once you find a system that works, stick with it!

Mary Curry said...

Hi again, Lynette,

I didn't say it before, but I really enjoyed your panel at RWA. Very helpful.

If you're curious about the plotting in a circle, you can go on Linda's page -

http://www.lindagoodnight.com/

Then click the "For Writers" tab.

It's the second article.

There's no direct link just to the article.

It was one of those things that just clicked for me.


Tina Radcliffe said...

I would stick around and chat more but I am going to find something comforting and chocolate flavored to shove in my mouth after reading about the whole 36 book thing.

Julie Lessman said...

JACKIE, you lucky dawg ... Murrels Inlet sounds heavenly right about now ... :)

ROSE ... it's always fun to see how various authors write, isn't it??

ELLEN ... it is SO fun when one of our characters surprises us, isn't it?? Mine surprise me ALL the time ... especially that Charity girl ... ;)

CINDY ... that's exactly how I feel too ... like suspense writers are Yodas or something, soooooo knowledgeable and smart! :)

JAN ... you are SO right!! Plotting didn't work for me with fiction either till I got DEEP into a family saga, then plotting became my friend because that "framework" is key.

MARY ... I soooo think writing mysteries and suspense would be harder to write, which is why I am strictly a romance writer. :)

TERRI ... good girl ... you already KNOW how good Lynette is if you have her book, but if you win, just maybe she give you another???

LOL, KAV ... I'll think we'll find out what Vince would say about that soon ... ;)

JEANNE ... it's SO fun to see everyone's methods to writing. VERY enlightening ... and in some cases ... downright scary!! :)

HEIDI ... and we LOVE "readers" here in Seekerville, girl, so thanks for being a part of us.

NANCY ... same here, my friend, which is what happens when you are writing series/sagas or on deadline ... ;) And you are SO lucky to have author friends who brainstorm with you, girl. The Seekers do that, too, and it's SO awesome!!

PATTI JO ... how lucky are you, girl, that you got to see Lynette in action at RWA -- VERY cool!!

DEBH ... I sure agree that it is "freeing" to know that there's no one "right way" to do things because God knows I wouldn't find it ... ;)

Hugs,
Julie

Lynette Eason said...

Heidi, glad you found it interesting. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Julie, we're kindred spirits! LOL. and you're welcome to embrace the term. Think I should copyright it? LOL.

Lynette Eason said...

Nancy, if you can plot the story first, that's awesome. You WILL save yourself a LOT of work. Unfortunately, I may plot it out, but then I'll get some other idea and wind up changing the thing anyway. So...I don't bother. Ha. I think it all winds up even in the end. Maybe. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Patti Jo! Hugs back. :) It was great to see you in Georgia at RWA. :) thanks for the congrats and thanks for the encouragement about the workshop. I was definitely a last minute addition (like the night before) and felt a little awkward. But it was fun and I'm super grateful to Renee Ryan for asking me to join in. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Debby, so good to spend time with you at RWA. Thanks for letting me join you for dinner and whatever else I managed to crash. LOL. I really enjoyed talking with you. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Thanks for the link, Mary, I'm going to check it out for sure. And I'm so glad you enjoyed the panel. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Lynette,
Didn't you tell me that you sometimes work on two books at one time?

Could you reveal your secret?

Debby Giusti said...

Mary Curry,

Thanks for info about Linda Goodnight's circle writing technique. Interesting article. I'm drawing a circle NOW!

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Debby, yes, I do work on multiple books at a time. The secret is: You have to be crazy. No, just kidding. I'm not sure really how to explain it, but I'll try. Okay, so I write for Revell and LIS. I have the deadline I have to turn each book in as well as the next proposal for LIS. SO...I get out my calendar and set the deadline for a month ahead of when it's actually due. Then I figure out how many words I have to write per day to meet that goal. I also factor in sick days, days I may just not want to work and "crisis" days. So while I usually work seven days a week, in actuality, I could work five days a week and still stay on schedule. So, for Revell, if I start early enough, I may only need to write 500 words a day on that manuscript. If I get going really well, I'll write 1,000. Then I'll move to the next story and may need to write 750 for that one, so I do that. I have a filing cabinet in my brain. Then, I go to the proposal I'm working on and brainstorm a bit on that. I can jump from story to story without getting things mixed up. Now THAT is a God thing, I think because I don't have another explanation for it.

Lynette Eason said...

Oh, one other thing. I don't cook, clean or do yard work. I take care of the dog and I write. And that's perfectly fine with my family. My kids clean, my hubby does the laundry and vacuums (he works from home), we have someone who does the yard, and we eat out almost every meal except for breakfast and occasionally lunch. It's unconventional and weird, but it works for us. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Hello, my name is Pam and I think I'm a planster..er.

Debby Giusti said...

Ah, the secret...you don't cook. Wonder if I could use that with my hubby? Probably not! :)

Thanks, Lynette, for an inside look at your writing schedule. Not sure I could separate books the way you do. I believe you're right. It HAS to be a God thing!

So glad you could be with us in Seekerville today! Wish I could join you at the Writers' Police Academy. Maybe next year. I know it'll be great.

Nancy Kimball said...

Thanks, Julie! =)
Lynette, that's awesome! LOL @ "you have to be crazy" hehe.

Sarah Stewart said...

Thanks so much for sharing your writing insights! It's great to hear how different everyone is when they write. :)

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Debby, we'll miss you at the WPA, but definitely looking forward to next year with you!

Lynette Eason said...

Pam, welcome to the plantser group. Ha.

Melanie Dickerson said...

Lynette, your process sounds a lot like mine! Except I don't fill out any character sketch forms. But otherwise, it's close.
I love reading how other people do it. Everybody is a little different.

Lynette Eason said...

Hey Melanie, whatever works, right? Thanks for stopping by. :)

Tina Radcliffe said...

WEIRD??? NOT WEIRD. I think we just found our new leader. I am at this moment ordering t-shirts.

This dovetails nicely with Missy's post yesterday.

WRITERS WRITE.

AMEN!~!! SISTER!!!

I now love you, in a worship kind of way of course.

WAY TO GO!!!! SOMEONE HAD TO LEAD THE WAY FOR HER OPPRESSED SISTER WRITERS. Thank you for stepping up to the plate for us.

YES!!!!!

Connie Queen said...

She does look just like Sandra Bullock!!!

Even though all 36 books are not on the shelf, that's still a lot of writing.

I've been gone all day so I need to get writing in before Church tonight.

Caitlyn Santi said...

Hi Lynette! I have loved all of your books that I have read, and can't wait to read more!!! :)
My writing process is pretty similar to yours, I love the term Plantser! That describes me perfectly!!! I usually end up writing shorter works, in fact right now I am trying my hand at a suspense novellette/novella! Thanks so much for sharing your writing process! :D
Oh, and just curious, is the story that you wrote the ending of first one of the ones that has already released? If so, I would love to know which one! :-)

Joy Hartshorn said...

I'm most definitely a plantser. I have found that writing a very broad synopsis after creating my main characters helps me keep going. I end up changing the synopsis as I'm going, but it works for me.

Thank you for sharing how you write. I always find it reassuring and refreshing when I see how others who are published write.

Nichole said...

I always find this topic fascinating, especially since I’m still figuring out what I am – Plotter/Pantser. Now I have a new word to try out, Planster!

Thanks for sharing!

Another SC Gal, Nichole

Katy Lee said...

Hi Lynette,

I am a plotter. But I usually plot after my first chapter is written and my opening scene is finished and I have a good idea on who my characters are. Then I plot the whole story out, including the end. Once the book is written, I go back and rewrite the first chapter.

Nice to see here!

Katy

Naomi Rawlings said...

Hi Lynette,

I've never read one of your books, but you're on my "to try soon" list. I keep hearing such wonderful things about your stories! Though I must admit I don't read a whole lot of Romantic Suspense, but every once in a while, I don't mind a good RS story.

So how do I write? I said a little about this in a different post a couple weeks ago. But I'm a weird writer. I write the way I build a jigsaw puzzle. I start at the beginning by putting the edge pieces together, and I always know how the story ends (like how you have a picture of the finished puzzle on the front of the box). But how to get from the beginning to the end? Well, that's the question, and I use a combination of free writing coupled with plotting to get there. But I always have that end picture in mind and so it helps to know the general direction my characters have to move in to get there.

Hope to be reading one of your books soon!

Chill N said...

Lynette -- late to comment but what a fun post to read! Your sense of humor and honesty about the process are much appreciated. I really like your idea of when to write a synopsis ... Gotta try that.

Nancy C

Dianna Shuford said...

Thanks for sharing your process. I have to admit, that I have to plot just a bit more than that. I'm not an extreme plotter, but I have to at least figure out the basic bones of my story, including major plot points/turning points.

I'm from the group that says: whatever works for you! That's what makes everyone's stories and voices different. God uses those differences to touch specific people, which to me is very humbling.

BTW- I love reading your stories.

Susan F. said...

I love this. I take notes all over the place. I get one idea and keep building on it so I don't start plotting my patches for awhile.
Thanks for sharing with us.

Mary Preston said...

I'm a reader, not a writer, but if I did write I would HAVE to be a plotter just to keep on track.

Anna R. Weaver said...

Thanks for sharing with us, Lynnette. Your Plantser system sounds like it's right up my alley. :)

Sarah Rebekah Richmond said...

I'm not sure which I have never wrote any books but would maybe like try! Thanks for the awesome giveaway Lynette and God Bless!
Sarah Richmond
N.C.

Barbara Thompson said...

I'm a reader, not a writer. In my younger days, I would plot different scenarios, so if I was a writer I'm sure I would be a plotter.
Barbara Thompson
barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com