Listening to the voices in my head

IS A HABITAre you a plotter? Are you a pantser? Do you listen to the voices in your head?

Unless you’re a writer those questions probably mean little to you…except that last one, if you’re not a writer and you listen to the voices please don’t tell me!

I tend to be a cross between the two, I have a lovely plot board covered with colored sticky notes with POVs and plot points for chapters, but I do leave myself plenty of room for the magic to happen organically.

I need to let the story unfold as I write, I need to be entertained along the way…because if I’m not enjoying the story as I’m writing, why would anyone enjoy reading it?

Hence the voices in my head.  I can hear my characters directing me, arguing with me if I go off track, or just babbling little bits and pieces about themselves that often help me push through a block.

I know lots of writers who interview their characters extensively before they even start writing, they know the hero and heroine inside out…for me this just gives me the hives. If I know all their secrets and what makes them tick before I’ve written a word, why do I care to write their story…I already KNOW them. Boring for me!

I’ve been known to sit and stare into space, listening to the hero rant. I’ve woken up from a sound sleep because the heroine has revealed a side of herself that I needed to write down. But my favorite thing to do is to ask them why they did something! There is nothing more satisfying than humming along and you look at your words only to scratch your head wondering where that particular tidbit came from…the best way to find out? Ask!

What an awesome way to unblock a plot point or take a scene to a new level.

As writers there are a ton of tools available to us, but I don’t think there is anything more organic than hearing the voices, letting them guide you to write their story and letting the words flow through your fingers to the keys.

So, tell me…do you listen to the voices in your head?

About Debora Dennis

A believer in second chances and that time should never be an obstacle to finding love, Debora writes time travels with modern snark and spice! When she's not writing, she's spending time with her family, reading, or trying to figure out a way to get chocolate into every dish she serves.

Getting Organized

Julie here! I’m in the midst of a Book in A Month Workshop led by Candace Havens. It’s a whirlwind to write and edit a book in a single month. Throw in a 6-month-old, a 6-year-old, and a job in marketing, and it would be easy for things to get out of control. Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite tools for staying organized.

Writing: Along with a lot of writers, I love Scrivener. It’s a word processing program made specifically for authors. It allows me to rearrange scenes and chapters, make saves at different stages of the process, and keep all my notes and research in one place. I’d be lost without it.

Work: When I moved from a paper planner to an Outlook calendar (which is on my computer and my iPhone), I struggled with how to organize my notes. After a lot of searching, I finally found a notebook that I love. It’s called “Better than a Yellow Pad” made by Franklin Planner. It’s spiral bound, so it can lay flat for easy note taking during meetings. The pages don’t fall out like they tend to do with a traditional notebook, and it has a place for the date and a column for to-dos on the side of the page. It comes in two different sizes. I prefer the smaller one because it fits perfectly in my computer bag or my purse.

To Do List: Task Task is an app I use to keep and organize my to-do list. I can sort my list into categories like work, writing, home, errands, etc. It even syncs with my Outlook task list at work.

What tools do you use to stay organized? 

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

  • 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.