Plotter Gone Wild

Whether you’re a pantser, or a plotter, sometimes you just don’t see what’s coming for your characters. I made a connection a couple of nights ago relating to a character whose role has worried me for some time.  Building on it, I realized it called for expanding one existing scene in my WIP and writing two new scenes. These additions propel the story forward and solve a couple of issues relating to the second book.

That work inspired me to go through the first half of the book, getting my swirling ideas for filling out the story onto paper. So that was the 850 words I wrote Thursday, just getting new scenes outlined. (Check it out: I don’t know what everyone else means by outlining, but all I mean is that I have a paragraph or two written about a scene. I set down everything I know, and usually more stuff hits me as I work through it. Snippets of dialogue, something intriguing about the setting, what the reader needs to get from the scene. When I start outlining a book, I start with the scenes clearest in my mind, and set them down in the best order I can determine. Then I try to decide where to begin telling the story. Where does the conflict begin? What road blocks are my characters facing? What will they learn that changes everything? So I start filling it in…anyway, that was a tangent on process.)

Back to my WIP. Friday I had twenty minutes while prepping dinner and decided to tackle one scene that had been bugging me. I wrote 500 words in that twenty minutes! It still needs clean up, but it’s on the page. So that’s 1,350 on the WIP this week.

Today I got to some editing and complete formatting of the novella I’ll publish in December, Vessel. It’s paranormal romance, and the sequel to my first book, Tribute. Quite different from the urban fantasy I’m currently writing. I was formatting and kept getting distracted by lovemaking…on the page, not in person. LOL. I do love a good steamy romance. Both to read, and to write. So much fun!

I guess this brings me to a goals update…I have serious issues with shooting too high. I don’t consider that a bad thing, because I believe I accomplish more that way than I otherwise would. But I’ve felt a little suffocated by everything I’m trying to do right now, and taking the pressure off will help.

My initial goal was to do a NaNo word count (50,000) over the course of this round of ROW80, but split between two projects . I really wanted to draft the third Children of the Sidhe novella before the end of the year. But it just isn’t going to happen, especially as I expand my vision for the urban fantasy I’m writing now. That means I’ll release Vessel in December, and probably not get another book out until May 2012. That’s not terrible, just not as amazing as I’d hoped. I also want to do a better job on the release side of things, so I’m planning a blog tour for December. (Advice welcome!!) I need to make room for that — and it’s a whole new ball game that makes me feel quite out of my depth. So, I will stick with finishing the urban fantasy I’m currently writing (goal 4,000 words a week until it’s done), and publishing Vessel, along with the marketing component that makes me so uncomfortable. I’ll set a specific goal about that soon. I’m thinking a ten blog tour during December. Or something.

About J.R. Pearse Nelson

J.R. Pearse Nelson is a native Oregonian, residing in the beautiful Portland area. She lives with her husband, two small daughters and the family dog. J.R. is always searching for the magic in our world. She weaves tales rooted in mythology, bringing legend to life in modern-day and fantasy settings.

J.R. is the author of the Children of the Sidhe paranormal romance series, the Foulweather Twins fantasy series, and the Water Rites fantasy series.

You can connect with J.R. online at her website. Visit

7 comments on “Plotter Gone Wild

  1. I am experimenting with outlining too….I haven’t really done it before! I am planning on writing the scenes I know about on post its and then moving them around as I work out the story. That way I hope things can be inserted and also moved!

    I agree, aim high!

  2. Please check out the link to K.M. Weiland’s book on outling your novel. I am enjoying it so much! You seem to have a system pretty much down…as do I, but I’m gleaning little ways to get the most out of my outline.

    I have a novella that I’m starting to type today. Then betas, then edits…then publish. I’m shooting for before Christmas, too. It will be in November if I don’t join in NaNo…I’m undecided as of yet. Sooo…we’ll be publishing around the same time. We’ll have to have a ‘celebration’! Ha.
    Have a great week!

  3. @Andrew: Thanks! So true!

    @Em: I’m really strange; I outline in Excel. It’s really easy to move stuff around in there and since I’m a number cruncher by day, I’m comfortable with it. I don’t think any two writers go about it the same way.

    @Nadja: Good to know you’ll be publishing this fall. I’d love a celebration! We’ll have to put our heads together.

  4. I’m excited about the release of Vessel, since I enjoyed Tribute so much. And you can definitely write a good, steamy love scene! πŸ˜‰ That’s one of your strengths.

    Don’t spread yourself too thin. It looks like you pretty much have a handle on what you want to do, though. Good luck!

  5. I’m making sure I don’t spread myself too thin, that’s the idea behind backing off the word count for Round 4. A few thousand fewer words is not a big deal in the long run, but it is a big deal if I can avoid being a stressed out mama/wife/employee, etc. πŸ™‚

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