Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Guest Blog: Suz deMello: Writing a Book Series The Right-Brained Way
Digital books have changed publishing quite a lot. Silhouette Romances had to be rigidly structured because the story had to fit into 50,000 words. Why, you ask? Because the pre-cut cover flats are a specific size, and the book, when typeset, had to fit within that cover flat.
Ebooks are different. I write the book I want, and my publisher decides if it’s a short story, a novella, a novel or a saga; the story is priced accordingly. It’s a much more comfortable way to write, but has led to less structured writing over time.
So with my Highland Vampire series, which is projected to reach seven publications, the order which I’ve written them looks like this:
#7: Highland Vampire, a contemporary short story. FMI: http://bit.ly/ScotchVamp
#2: Temptation in Tartan, a novel set in 1747. FMI: http://bit.ly/TemptTartan
#4: Bridling his Vampire, a short story set in 1766. http://www.ellorascave.com/bridling-his-vampire.html
#3: Desire in Tartan, a novel set in 1759. http://bit.ly/DesireTartan
#5: Rakes in Tartan, a novel set in 1816. http://www.ellorascave.com/rakes-in-tartan.html
#1: Viking in Tartan, a novella set in medieval Scotland—around 1260 or so.
#6: untitled Victorian/steampunk, set in about 1880 or so.
#6 hasn’t been written at all yet, though I know the major characters and most of the plot. I just thought up the first scene yesterday driving home from hot yoga, so that’s good. I have a number of other scenes already in mind—again, part of the right-brained bouncing around my mind does. I’m part-way through Viking in Tartan...there’s a steep learning curve in regard to Scottish/Viking medievals. Little writing or reliable historic sources survive, though perhaps that’s an advantage—I can make up stuff.
The same meandering path often applies to writing the books. Authors often categorize themselves as “plotters” or pantsers.” A plotter will do what I did when I wrote my Silhouettes—plot everything out carefully. With a list of scenes, all one has to do is write each scene, like stringing beads onto a necklace. A pantser is completely different. She will eschew plotting, preferring a more casual unstructured approach.
Some writers think of themselves as “scenesters.” I’ve often followed this pattern. A scene that’s completely disconnected to anything I’ve already written on a project will pop into my head, often as the result of a dream or an event that happened in my life. I’ll write that scene, and maybe several others—but they’re out of order. They’ve jumped into my mind in a nonlinear fashion. But I can arrange them in chronological order, and the rest of the book becomes a matter of filling in the blanks.
Can a reader figure out if a writer is a plotter, a pantser, or a scenester? You tell me :)
Read this blurb, or maybe go to my site and read an excerpt, and let me know what you think.
Bridling his Vampire
Edgar, Laird MacReiver, has never regretted his decision to wed Isobel, daughter of Clan Kilburn’s laird, until she bites his tongue and drinks his blood. Still, he's determined to bridle the wild child of the infamous vampire clan by any means necessary, including bondage and discipline.
But are some women impossible to tame?
Best-selling, award-winning author Suz deMello, a.k.a Sue Swift, has written seventeen romance novels in several subgenres, including erotica, comedy, historical, paranormal, mystery and suspense, plus a number of short stories and non-fiction articles on writing. A freelance editor, she’s worked for Total-E-Bound, Liquid Silver Books and Ai Press, where she is currently Managing Editor. She also takes private clients.
Her books have been favorably reviewed in Publishers Weekly, Kirkus and Booklist, won a contest or two, attained the finals of the RITA and hit several bestseller lists.
A former trial attorney, her passion is world travel. She’s left the US over a dozen times, including lengthy stints working overseas. She’s now writing a vampire tale and planning her next trip.
Find her books at http://www.suzdemello.com/
For editing services, email her at email@example.com
Befriend her on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/sueswift and visit her group page at https://www.facebook.com/redhotauthorscafe
She tweets her reading picks @ReadThis4fun and @Suzdemello