YA Indie Carnival: Fiction Plots

As I’m discovering after this last Nanowrimo, the ways to pull together a plot can be as varied as the types of pies there are to make. I’m something of a pantser, meaning that I get an idea, and sometimes a few points or images along the way, and then start writing and connecting the dots. Sometimes I have more dots to connect, sometimes less. Some dots develop as I write, and sometimes I go back and rewrite a whole bunch, or go back and insert a point that I think of later. Not a terribly efficient way of writing, but I’ve found that if I try to write too much of an outline, I either just stare blankly at the page, with the same kind of dread I do when staring at a math equation. Or I wind up with a bunch of vaguely related notes about various characters’ attributes and/or mythological factoids, like some kind of an anthropological glossary written by a schizophrenic person.

Last Nanowrimo, I wrote Pazuzu’s Girl, due out in the spring by Journalstone Publishing. I began with an idea that was something of an amusing joke, a demon trying to control his teenage daughter, and it blossomed into an actual novel. I’m intrigued by Mesopotamian myth, and so it kind of wrote itself. After a few chapters, when I had a few dots to connect in what images came to my brain at different points in the story, I wrote a rough outline that changed half a million times.

This year, based on the joke that one’s dirty dishes in the fridge (not mine) are so bad they’re evolving language skills, I’m writing one about a guy who contracts a bacterial infection from his fridge because it’s so disgustingly dirty that he never cleans it. The bacteria are sentient, and start talking to him in his mind, and healing their new host so they can share his body and having him spread them to other hosts. This plot again started as a joke, but is evolving as I write it. So far, the future in this plot is a bit more of a question mark than Pazuzu’s Girl was. I don’t have an outline, just some fuzzy ideas.

I guess everyone’s different, as to how they go about things. People who are more organized probably need more structure than that, planners. Other people are pantsers, like me. I am a planner in the rest of my life, mostly. So since I kind of write to get away from that, I think I really love Nanowrimo because its constraints seem to emphasize, “Shut up and write.” just sitting down and seeing where something goes and then fixing it later, and not worrying about the details yet, which is where I think most obsessive people like me get stuck.

See what other writers say about their own styles of plot-crafting:

http://www.refractedlightreviews.com Danny Snell’s Refracted Light Reviews

http://pattilarsen.blogspot.com Patti Larsen, Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, the Hunted series, and the Hayle Coven novels.

http://courtneycolewrites.wordpress.com Courtney Cole, Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://wrenemerson.wordpress.com Wren Emerson, Author of I Wish and a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.

http://laurasmagicday.wordpress.com Laura Elliott, Author of Winnemucca.

http://nicoleawilliams.blogspot.com Nichole A. Williams, Author of Eternal Eden, and the upcoming Fallen Eden. She is also participating in the Glassheart Chronicles.
http://fisheramelie.com/blog/ Fisher Amelie, Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://amyjonesyaff.blogspot.com Amy Maurer Jones, Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles.
http://thewarriorseries.blogspot.com T. R. Graves, Author of Warriors of the Cross.
http://ctefft.blogspot.com Cyndi Tefft, Author of Between
http://pjhoover.blogspot.com P.J. Hoover, Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis.
http://www.aliciamccalla.com Alicia McCalla, Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free.

http://heathercashman.com/better_off_read Heather Cashman, Author of Perception.

http://www.abbiglines.com Abbi Glines, Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys.

http://cidneyswanson.blogspot.com/ Cidney Swanson, Author of Rippler.

http://cherischmidt.blogspot.com, Cheri Schmidt, Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden, Fire Dancer

http://www.lexusluke.com/, Lexus Luke, Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga, Fire Breather

http://www.suzyturner.com/, Suzy Turner, Author of December Moon and Raven, Dragonslayer

http://kasi-kcblake.blogspot.com/, K. C. Blake, Author of Vampire Rules, Elephant Trainer

http://hereventuality.blogspot.com/, Gwenn Wright, Author of Filter, Ring-Leader

http://kimberlykinrade.com/, Kimberly Kinrade, Author of Bits of You, Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind, Prestidigitator

http://jlbryanbooks.blogspot.com/, J.L. Bryan, Author of Paranormals series- Jenny Pox. Tommy Nightmare & Alexander Death

http://darbykarchut.com/ Darby Karchut, Author of Griffin Rising, and soon Griffin Fire

http://puttingpentopage.com/ Heather Self

http://brynabutler.wordpress.com/ Bryna Butler, author of the Midnight Guardian series

What’s new this week in Indie-land?

First, I’d like to thank Tina Graves for her generous giveaway of her book: Warriors of the Cross! It is an awesome book, and she really made my holiday nice by doing such a huge giveaway!

And congratulations to Suzy Turner! Her novel Raven just hit #2 on Amazon’s kid’s fantasy list!

Coming December 16! You let us know why you’ve been naughty or nice and enter to win books at each carni’s booth all week, from 12/16 to 12/23. On Dec. 23, find out what books you’ve won!
‘Tis the Season of the Squeee!
In preparation for December’s release of Guardians of the Cross, author T. R. Graves is sending out a coupon which will allow the most-recent edition Warriors of the Cross Click here to downloaded for FREE. Enter coupon LY87N good through 12/20/11. Guardians of the Cross will be released 12/24!
Callum & Harper by Fisher Amelie Releases December 24th! Join her blog tour NOW!

Friend of the Carnival Tiffany King’s Blog tour for book 3 in The Saving Angels series on NOW!
Check out the new trailer for The Midnight Guardian series by Bryna Butler!
Melissa Pearl, YA author of Golden Blood has just started a new blog called YAlicious. It’s a blog to celebrate YA fiction and aimed at teens and readers of YA. Swing on by and check it out!

Books I and II in The Raven Saga (Raven & December Moon) by Suzy Turner, are now available in paperback! Get your copy from Amazon now.

The Valkyrie Novels, a series of 3 novels- Dead Radiance, Dead Embers and Dead Chaos, by T.G. Ayer will be published in 2012 by the amazing team at Evolved Publishing. See T.G. Ayer’s announcement here!


3 Responses to “YA Indie Carnival: Fiction Plots”

  1. “an anthropological glossary written by a schizophrenic person”… LOL.

    It’s really interesting for me, someone who doesn’t written fiction regularly, to see all of your different processes. I think it’s so amazing to see how creativity flows and moves people differently. Your way may not seem so efficient to others, but it’s wonderful that you’ve found a process that works for you 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    P.S. – I love that your NaNo ideas start as jokes. That it’s meant to be pure fun, and I love how they’ve morphed into something a tad more serious.

  2. Plotting your life and pantsing your writing… wicked! Either way, it’s about the writing–and you have that part right. 🙂

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