The Plot Thickens

I’ve written about plotting versus pantsing before–plotting a story as opposed to writing it by the seat of your pants–but this month has given me a new take on the whole issue.

At the end of January, I joined the Winter Writing Festival sponsored by the Ruby-Slippered Sisterhood blog. It’s almost over (sadness), but if you’re a writer, you really should consider joining next year–it’s been transformative. At the same time, I’ve been taking a wonderful workshop on novellas by Catherine Chant which has given me a ton of ideas on plotting and structuring a book. I’ve also been reading Debra Dixon’s book on Goal, Motivation, and Conflict. (Apparently I’ve been busy, now that I think about it!)

I’ve always been opposed to in-depth plotting of a book before I start writing, because, well, it’s boring! But I have also noticed that failing to do any plotting at all leads to a very bad book (for me, anyway). So I did a sort of hybrid I like to call plantsing, in the hopes that with just a little bit of plotting–a moderately detailed road map, I suppose–I could let my creativity run free and still stay on course.

Well, that didn’t really work either. I still got stuck in the middle of my book, and couldn’t get past it. Now maybe it is my lot in life always to get stuck in the middle, and if so I can accept that, but maybe I really need to get past my aversion to plotting. As an experiment, the novella I am starting in March will be plotted–beat sheet, character descriptions, GMC charts, maybe even a plot arc. Will it stifle my creativity and get stuck again, or will I breeze right through? Stay tuned…

How do you feel about plotting? Any methods that work well for you, or methods you’ve rejected?

About Marin McGinnis

About Marin McGinnis Clevelanders are tough, a bit cynical, and just a little crazy, and Marin McGinnis is no exception. When she’s not chasing after big dogs or watching tweens skate around hockey rinks, she is immersing herself in Victorian era romance. She lives in Northeast Ohio with her husband, son, and two standard poodles named Larry and Sneaky Pete. You can find her here, at marinmcginnis.com, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Pinterest.

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Spicing up Valentine’s Day via Landra Graf

First up, thank you to Lori Sizemore for letting me high jack her posting day to share my new releases here on Heart-Shaped Glasses.

It’s only 7 days until what commercialism has hailed as the most romantic day of the year. As for myself, being aSTG VDay Cover romance author, I know there are 364 other days where romance can blossom as well. Regardless, this month is special for me as I have not one, but two releases for February. Both are short stories, but they continue in the contemporary erotic romance universe I created with my first release, What You Need.  I’ll admit I tend to be drawn to spicy stories and I love that I’ve got offerings perfect for this romantic holiday.

What You Lost, is part of the Sexy To Go anthology series. This story got lucky inclusion in their Valentine’s edition and was incredibly fun to write because I love  the ‘reunited and it feels so good trope’. Here’s the short blurb: After being ditched by her fiancé for another woman, Clementine is done with relationships, but love isn’t done with her. Ready to take a chance at winning the woman he’d thought he lost, Shawn is going to prove to Clem they belong together. Only problem, he’s her brother’s best friend.

Other stories in the anthology cover Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Romance, and Historical Romance. Sexy to Go Valentine’s Day edition is available at Amazon Universal Link ~ B&N ~ ARe ~ iTunes ~ Kobo for only $0.99 for a limited time.

My second story is set to release mid-February, and has such a delectable cover. No links or anything yet, but I LG_What You Crave_SMcan share the blurb:

Sigmund Bermudez has spent the last year out of the BDSM scene, mourning his father,and rebuilding the family business. When he loses a bet to his bodyguard that Madame Eve won’t locate a woman who’s down with his type of kink, he finds himself committed to a date he’s not sure he’ll enjoy.

Lauren Elser has heard about kinky escapades from one of her more challenging patients, and never taken in part in one. When offered a chance to explore this undiscovered side of herself courtesy of 1Night Stand she jumps at it.

Neither of them are prepared for the emotional roller coaster that comes with their date, and soon shibari bondage play turns into so much more. The only problem is Sig’s not ready to open up and Lauren doesn’t want to be sued again. If they work past the issues there’s a world of wonder in store.

Author Bio: Landra Graf has been crafting stories since the tender age of too-young-to-watch-rated-R. When she finally got old enough for adult material, she believed adult meant anything besides the smexy. Then she discovered erotic romance. Since then it’s been a journey down a rabbit hole. Landra writes erotic romance and historical erotic romance, among other less smexy offerings. Find Landra at her website, Facebook, Twitter, and on Pinterest

About Lori Sizemore

Lover of nail polish, pens, her Kindle, and fresh coffee. She likes romance filled with messy, real characters and lots of snarky banter. Reading was (and still is!) her BFF; when she discovered writing she fell in love. Sassy humor for the heart, captivating contemporary romance for the soul.

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The Wedding Barn by Julie Jarnagin

The Wedding Barn, my latest release, was so much fun to write. Here are the things I enjoyed most:
1. Planning Weddings: My wedding was 15 years ago–before the day of Pinterest and so many neat wedding ideas. My heroine in The Wedding Barn is a wedding planner, which means, I had the opportunity to create all kinds of ceremonies and receptions. It was a blast.
2. A Brooding Cowboy: The hero, Nick, was a great character to write. He had a tragic background and fights falling in love. Who doesn’t love a cowboy?
3. The Ranch Setting: I grew up on a ranch, and it’s always fun to go back to that place.
4. Revisiting Past Characters: This is the second book in my Taste of Texas series (although they can be read in any order),  and we get to take a look at where Dylan and Lucy are today.
What kind of wedding would you have if you were planning one today?
The Wedding Barn Cover
Slow down and experience life on a rural Texas ranch. And fall in love all over again…
Paige Morgan’s career is in shambles. What kind of wedding planner gets left at the altar? So when a job planning parties on a ranch in rural Texas comes her way, she jumps at it. So what if the cowboy who runs the place isn’t happy she’s there?
Rancher Nick Reid risked his heart once… and lost. Who needs love? He’s got a great life on the family ranch—so long as Paige Morgan and her city ideas don’t ruin it all. If only his family didn’t need her help to save their livelihood. And if only he wasn’t so darned drawn to the woman. But no sooner does Nick start to believe in love again, than a socialite shows up looking for Paige. Asking her to plan an elaborate wedding. Back in the city.
Both Paige and Nick need a second chance at love. But what will it cost them to take it?

About Julie Jarnagin

Julie Jarnagin is a multi-published author of inspirational romance. She grew up in a small Oklahoma town where her family farmed and ranched. These days she lives in a not-so-big city with her amazing husband and young son who tolerate all her nerdy quirks. Julie earned a B.A. in Journalism / Professional Writing from the University of Oklahoma and is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. www.JulieJarnagin.com

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  • OUR LATEST BUZZ!

    Lori Sizemore's Infamous released on December 14. *** Julie Jarnagin's Cowgirl in the Kitchen is available now. *** Bethanne Strasser LETTERS FROM HOME from Entangled Publishing is available now! *** Nina Croft's latest books, Her Fantasy Husband, a hot contemporary romance from Entangled's Brazen line, and The Order Boxed Set, a compilation of the three full length novels, plus a new novella, exclusive to the boxed set, both released in April 2016 *** Debora Dennis's holiday novella, CUPCAKES & CUPID is available.