Plotting vs Pantsing: How Does Your Garden Grow?

So the other day I came across this quote, attributed to George R.R. Martin: “I’ve always said there are – to oversimplify it – two kinds of writers. There are architects and gardeners. The architects do blueprints before they drive the first nail, they design the entire house, where the pipes are running, and how many rooms there are going to be, how high the roof will be. But the gardeners just dig a hole and plant the seed and see what comes up. I think all writers are partly architects and partly gardeners, but they tend to one side or another, and I am definitely more of a gardener.”

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I love this. Not only is it a different take on the whole plotter vs pantser debate (plotting a story vs flying by the seat of your pants), but it provides wonderful imagery to explore.  It is spring here, and plants are popping up all over the place. All the bulbs I planted last fall (except for the ones the chipmunks ate) are springing to life. I planted an assortment, so there was no telling whether a white or a yellow daffodil would come up, or a red or purple tulip.

 

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I definitely tend to the gardener side. My writing is a bit like my bed of bulbs. I know the story will have lots of daffodils, but many times their height, color, and style have yet to be determined until the story starts to flow. Other places will have herbs–their traits and purpose clear. Then there is the occasional ornamental shrub, which blooms for just a few days, overwhelming you with its glorious beauty and fragrance, before it turns green and a bit boring for the rest of the year.  Still other plants in my garden stay green all year–no flowers, no scent, no purpose except to occupy space and provide some color and contrast even on the drabbest of winter days.

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But even herbs and shrubs can surprise you, and there is always the bulb the chipmunk stole and buried in the middle of the lawn–writers and gardeners always need to be ready for a surprise.

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What type of writer are you?

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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Springing Forward

The theme this month on Heart-Shaped Glasses is Spring, and somehow it seems very fitting that I should be posting my first blog entry now. Here in Northeast Ohio, Spring held off for an obscenely long time this year. Winter kept us in its icy grip for so long that most of us started to despair. But even in Cleveland, Winter doesn’t last forever, and Spring arrived at last.

As I wasIMG_0140 casting about for a suitable topic for this post, it occurred to me (after an inspiring poke from a friend) that I feel somewhat like Spring after a long, hard Winter. A bit ragged, squidgy ‘round the edges, covered with muddy paw prints. (Okay, I’m not really sure how the paw prints fit into the analogy, but it’s been raining for two days and I have two big dogs, so paw prints are on my mind. And the floor.)

But underneath the mess, there is growth, renewal, and hope. Walking through my neighborhood I see trees beginning to fill with leaves, rose bushes sending up tender new shoots beneath last year’s hard brown stems, babies in strollers, puppies on leashes. Everything old is new again, and full of possibiSpring robinslity.

My writing is feeling new again too, or at least it has finished hibernating. I am finally completing edits for my last book (even if I have to chain myself to my chair). I started a new book. I joined a fabulous critique group, and now a new blog. I am spending more time on me, and my writing. This is my year; I can feel it. (If I say it here, that will make it happen, right?)

I look forward to sharing the journey with you, muddy paws and all.

Easter dogs

 

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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Guest Post — Molly McLain

A Little Extra Spring in my Step

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for having me on HSG! I don’t know about you, but I am ridiculously excited that March is finally here. Living in Wisconsin, spring is always a welcomed arrival and, let me tell ya, the mountain of snow in my front yard this year really, really has me hoping and praying on warmer weather…ASAP. Sure, things get a little mucky for a while, but there’s nothing I love more than the mental fresh start that comes with spring. The clean slate. The insta-motivation to write a gajillion new books. It happens to me every year, like clockwork, and this spring, I’m looking forward to that extra push more than ever. Here’s what’s put a little extra spring in my step this year…

Last week, I launched my debut book, Can’t Shake You. *happy dance* It’s the first novel in a series named after the small, sexy town of River Bend, Nebraska. The characters and town have been in my head for a long time and I’m so excited to finally share them. The plan is to put out at least five books in the series (three novels, two novellas)…all of which I’d like to release by next March. Yeah. Like…a year from now. *gulp* Needless to say, I’m going to need all the crazy, spring-induced mojo I can get if I’m to accomplish that goal!

But before I get myself all worked up with that monstrous to-do list, here’s a little more about Can’t Shake You.

Molly4i-1 (427x640)Lovers to friends to lovers…could it get any more complicated?

One thing Carissa Brandt knows: spontaneity always get her in trouble. Still, she’s gone and jumped head first into an impulsive summer renovation project with her fingers crossed. When her contractor turns out to be a cheat, it seems her only lifeline is the proffered hand of Josh Hudson—the sexy Marine who left her aching for more than their single night together three years ago.

Josh has two hard and fast rules: never mix business with pleasure and don’t look twice at women his friends have dated, much less loved. It makes life in a small town simple—or it would, if he wasn’t harboring a secret with the potential to destroy his good name and the reputation of a woman he can’t get out of his head.

When Carissa finds herself in a bind, Josh’s integrity—both personal and professional—won’t let her fail. Will working together finally extinguish the attraction lingering between them? Or will the smoldering embers of their passionate rendezvous ignite all over again and set aflame the friendships they cherish the most?

Warning: This book contains a hella-sexy, inked up hero, a spunky heroine who isn’t afraid to speak her mind, smokin’ hot sex, and enough swearing to make your momma blush. For readers 18+.

~*~*~

You can find Can’t Shake You at: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes

And you can check out the reviews at Goodreads too!

~*~*~*~*~

Now for the fun part! Tell me about your favorite romance themes and tropes and the book (or books) that got you hooked. Using randompicker.com, I’ll name a winner on Tuesday evening to receive a digital copy of Can’t Shake You!

Thanks so much for stopping by and, as always, happy reading!

~Molly

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAAbout Molly…

Molly McLain lives in northern Wisconsin with her husband, her three children, and a rambunctious German Shorthaired Pointer, named Tucker. She’s been penning fictitious love stories since middle school and, at her 8th grade graduation, her class predicted she’d be a published author by their 20-year reunion. Well, she’s achieved that goal with plenty of time to spare. Now the question is…how many books will she be able to show off when that big day comes?

You can visit with Molly at her website, http://www.mollymclain.com, her Facebook author page at http://www.facebook.com/mollymclainauthor, or via email at mollymclain@live.com.

About Beth Rhodes

Beth jumps into life with both feet...or head first. Impulsive and spontaneous to a T, she joined Passionate Critters and never looked back. She loves writing and reading, which made this wonderful group of woman a perfect match for her.

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