Friday, December 2, 2011

YA Indie Carnival- Fiction Pie

Why does this picture always make me think of the movie Young Guns?  It's very strange, but I want to put on a cowboy hat and spurs, mount up like the Regulators and go shoot at empty pop cans.  Does anyone else feel that way?  *crickets chirp*  No?  Just me, huh?  *awkward silence* Okie dokie.

Ahem.  So, moving right along... :)

Today our topic is:

FICTION PIE: The recipe for a plot

Well, let me first say that if you're looking for a recipe on practically anything, you've come to the wrong place.  I'm no gourmet chef, I don't do very well following recipes, I never write anything down, and I never make something the same way twice.  Unfortunately, most of that terrible culinary skill carries over to my writing.  Luckily, with writing, all of those things aren't necessary to craft a story.  I know there are many people out there who have very methodical ways that they create.  They plot and outline and write the first line of each chapter so they can stay on track.  Not me.  I soooooo wish I was that kind of writer, but alas *sigh* I'm not. 

My books happen to me.  Literally.  More often than not, a plot idea comes to me in the shower.  As I'm washing and rinsing my hair in fact.  Maybe there's something in my shampoo.  Hmmm...  Anyway, as I'm finishing up my ridiculously long shower, I'll think on that tiny seed and let it germinate.  Maybe the water of the shower helps.  I don't know, but at some point it will grow into enough of an idea that I am forced to hop out dripping wet, risking life and limb to I slide precariously across the wet floor to get my paper and pen (which, yes, I keep in the bathroom-hehe).  After that, sometimes it's over.  Sometimes that was it, that one short burst of something cool, but nothing of substance ever shows up to attach it to.  But then there are times when it is the beginning of...something.  Sometimes the idea just won't let go and I'll keep thinking on it until I have to get my brainstorming book out and flesh out the plot a little bit more.  At that point, I make a bunch of mostly unintelligible notes about where the idea is taking me in my head and I try to refine it a bit more as I write. 

Now, if that turned into a book, that would be pretty frickin' cool and easy, right?  Right.  Well, it doesn't.  At least not for me.  Y'all, I can have the whole thing planned out in my head and, as soon as I start writing, the characters will change it.  They'll do something unexpected or go somewhere and get hurt or say something that changes everything.  It happens with every single book I've ever written.  They refuse, absolutely refuse to stick to the plan!  They are what really make a story for me--my characters.  Once I add them to the mix, the tale really comes to life.  In fact, it comes to life in such a way that THEY are telling ME the story and I'm merely transcribing the whole thing.  Point in case:  the new book that I'm working on right now, the one that my muse would not let me have any peace until I started on, it began in a COMPLETELY different way.  But then my characters showed up.  Once they arrived and introduced themselves, the story blossomed into something totally unrecognizable and 100% organic.  They started telling me about their lives and their future, about their struggles and their dreams.  They started telling me about love and sacrifice, and I just started writing it all down.  Now, I show up each morning to listen intently as they speak, and I'll listen until they are silent, until they've told me their story.  That's when I'll have my next book--when they've finished telling me all that they wanted to say.  After almost a year, I've learned that the best thing I can do when writing is just shut up and listen. 

I'm sure that if you came looking for a step-by-step process for coming up with a plot for a work of fiction, my shower story helped you NOT AT ALL, but what I hope you'll take away from this is that the creative process is different for everyone.  That's part of what makes all our stories so unique.  We are all individuals with something to say.  We just go about it in totally different ways.  And this is my way.  Like it or not, flowery and methodical or NOT, this is my recipe for Fiction Pie.  Sometimes it's delicious.  Sometimes...not so much.  For me, the end result is up to the characters.  But that's okay, because in my opinion, they're what make the meal great anyway.

Okay, y'all, that's it!  Now hop on the merry-go-round and go visit my partners in crime.  I'm sure they'll have something interesting to say.  They're all fabulously talented and likely much better with recipes than I am.  In fact, a Labradoodle is probably better with recipes than I am, but I digress.  LOL 

TGIF y'all and, as always, happy reading!

Dani Snell Refracted Light Reviews
Patti Larsen Author of The Ghost Boy of MacKenzie House, The Hunted Series and the Hayle Coven Novels
Courtney Cole Author of Every Last Kiss, Fated, Princess, and Guardian. Also a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Nicole Williams Author of Eternal Eden, and Fallen Eden. She is also a contributing author in the Glassheart Chronicles
Fisher Amelie Author of The Understorey, as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Laura Elliott Author of Winnemucca as well as 13 on Halloween, book 1 in the Teen Halloween Series
Amy Jones Author of The Soul Quest Trilogy as well as a contributing author in The Glassheart Chronicles
Rachel Coles Author of Diary of a Duct Tape Zombie, Whistles, Beergarden, Plagues, Bees of St. John, and Mushrooms
T.R. Graves Author of Warriors of the Cross
PJ Hoover Author of Solstice, The Emerald Tablet, The Navel of the World, The Necropolis
Alicia McCalla Author of the upcoming science-fiction novel Breaking Free
Abbi Glines Author of Breathe, and the upcoming Existence and Vincent Boys
Cheri Schmidt Author of Fateful, Fractured, and Fair Maiden
Lexus Luke Author of Manitou, The Sky People Saga
Suzy Turner Author of December Moon and Raven
K.C. Blake Author of Vampire Rules
Gwenn Wright Author of Filter
Kimberly Kinrade Author of Bits of You & Pieces of Me and Forbidden Mind
Darby Karchut Author of Griffin Rising and the upcoming Griffin's Fire
Madeline Smoot Author of Missing, Summer Shorts, and The Girls
Cidney Swanson Author of Ripple series
Heather Self Blogger, Reviewer and upcoming Indie Author