Change…love it or leave it?

Back in the fall of 2012, several of my author friends were announcing multi-book contracts. I was thrilled for them, but inside, my inner voice mocked. “You’ll never get one of those. You can’t plot.”

Sure, I’d managed to crank out f
ive romances, but they’d all been written in advance, and individually contracted and published with Pelican Book Group. For me, that meant writing a story, submitting it, and then waiting, praying and hoping for a contract. I dreamed of snagging a contract for a series that I hadn’t written yet…to know that the story I was laboring over would have a home when I finished. But, in order for that to happen, I needed to force myself to learn how to plot, so that I could submit a proposal based on a synopsis or summary for three stories that hadn’t been written yet.
In the early stages of my writing career, I’d tried plotting. Oy! My neighbors could probably hear my ranting and thrashing about my office, banging my head against my desk and threatening to toss my laptop out the window. 

Change…it never gets easier, does it? 

But that fall, this confirmed pantser finally determined to become a plotter. You can read my tips on how I made the transition here and how I organized myself here. Trust me when I say there was plenty of weeping and pulling hair involved, especially when I plunged into simultaneously plotting out five books, two independents and three for a series. 

I’m nearing the end of my timeline, and I’m thrilled to report that this week I completed my fifth plotted book in just a short~ or long, depending on how you look at it~ eighteen months. 

Change is never easy…but it’s possible. I like routine, and change hurls me out of my comfort zone, leaving me unsettled and anxious. But with a little faith and a good bit of persistence, I’m always amazed at the outcome.

“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” ― Anthony Robbins

Do you embrace change or despise it? 
What’s the most difficult change you’ve experienced lately?

On the Air

With Charlotte View Internet Radio
Friday, Oct 5 
starting @ Noon
  
Writers, do you want to know more about the publishing process? 
This interview will cover what publishers and editors expect regarding fiction submissions. Do you know what a query letter is? What to include in the synopsis? 
We’ll talk about preferred manuscript formats, the edit process, and writing styles. Are you a Pantser or Plotter? We’ll offer tips to find the right publisher for you, and if literary agents are relevant. Stop by and discover the tools you need for your journey to publication.
Tune in HERE.

Organizing a Pantser

So, you’ve made the decision to migrate from Pantser to Plotter. Now what?

As a Pantser (not under contract), you have flexibility in your schedule. You may have a daily word count goal, but with no deadline, it doesn’t really matter if you reach your goal. You can make up for it the next day or just extend the length of time it takes to write the book.

But what happens when you become a Plotter and submit a proposal for three books that aren’t yet written? A component of the proposal requires a completion date. How do you come up with a time frame to complete the books?

Hmmm…

A calendar?

Not the ideal solution. Especially when you’re working on multiple books. There’s just no easy way to adjust.

A timeline would work. One with the capability to insert tasks by book and keep a running word count total.

You can google timeline and and find hundreds of timelines. Please be sure to pop back over here and let me know if you find something that works for you. I didn’t.

Instead, I chose to create a fairly basic Excel document with the month, date, book, task, words added, and a running total. I mapped out each book with the targeted word count, taking into consideration vacations and holidays. I used “fill color” to highlight different books, so that I can easily decipher the transition from one book to the next. I add my word count for each day, and adjust if necessary. According to my timeline, I should finish Book #5 by early 2014. And now, I have completion dates for my proposal.

It’s not ideal, either, but it works for now.

It’s your turn.
If you’re a Plotter, which organizational software works well for you?