Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Perils of Penelope Pantser

I am finally, finally, finally done with Open Net. Excuse me while I slither from my chair to the floor like an exhausted asp. *slips silently to the floor*

Never have I struggled so with a story. I have quite a few books to my credit now, and most fly along at a remarkable speed. Not this one. And I know that all the serious plotters out there are giving me “That Look” and thinking that anyone who writes as organically as I do is a big ole fool. After three revisions, I might tend to agree with them. Pity my muse does not.

Actually, the problem with Open Net wasn’t the storyline, it was one character. August’s love interest, Sal. For some reason he was terribly resistant to giving up his secrets. The book started out as a May-December. Salvatore quickly set me straight about his age. Okay, fine, we'll change that. So we did some revisions and made him twenty-four to my sweet Augie’s twenty-two.

I thought he was happy, but nope. There was something stewing with the plotline that he didn’t like. He dug in tenaciously and slowed the words down until I threw up my hands and once again switched things around. Now, he seems to be content with his role and my boys can have their happy, happy, happy.

That’s the curse of being an organic writer. Sometimes when you’re letting the characters decide how things run, they act up. Many will lead you down a side path that ends up somewhere south of "How Did We End Up Here?" and others will just flatly refuse to let the story flow. Such was the case with Salvatore Castenada. And he’s generally such a sweet, sexy young man. Look at this face. Does this look like the kind of fellow who would stir up such a stink?

Now Victor, yeah. I could totally see Vic tossing himself around until he got his way. To be honest, I find Victor one of my easiest characters to write. What that says about me I don’t wish to dwell on. Yep, being an organic writer is tough sometimes. It does make for more work when things veer off the well-scripted path. On the other hand, when the character is totally in charge  it is a damn wondrous thing! Being the vessel through which a fictional voice speaks is amazing.

Even with the occasional difficult character, I know I won’t be changing to being a deep plotter any time soon. My muse will not write the same story twice, so deep plotting is a death blow to any book I hope to write. It’s amazing how one authors precise and plotted process is another authors slow and painful death.  

To help celebrate the fact that Sal, August, and I have finally written "The End", here’s an exclusive sneak peek at Open Net, Cayuga Cougars #2. This excerpt hasn’t been professionally edited yet, so if you stumble over any glaring errors, blame it on Sal. *wink*

 Oh, by the way, this is my inspiration for August. I know, he and Sal are one beautiful couple. Trust me, these two young men are going to hit you right in the feels. And yes, there is gay sexual stuff and dirty talk coming round the bend. You know the drill...

“You know when you make that face you look just like your mother?”
I threw the man jogging at my left a dark look. Sal’s laugh was a sharp bark.
“You do recall that I’m adopted?” I asked with attitude as we ran up to the border of Lake Marten. Sal slowed and then stopped when the lake came into view. “Pretty, huh?”
“Wow,” he panted, his sweaty hair stuck to the side of his head. “Oh my God, is that a moose with a baby?”
I trotted up to stand beside him, looked at where he was pointing, and then nodded.
“Yeah, it’s a moose.” I bent down to touch my toes and stretch my hamstrings. When I straightened, Sal was taking pictures with his cell, his face glowing from either the two mile run or the sight of the mama moose with her calf. Maybe both. “Not too many of them wandering around Elmira, huh?”
“Not a one,” he laughed then walked to the edge of the lake. I moseyed up to stand beside him. A gentle wind moved over the water, moist and fresh, kind of chilly when it rustled over damp clothing. “It really is beautiful here.”
I studied his profile. “Yeah, it is.” He threw me a sideway glance, smiled, and returned to snapping images of moose, lake, towering pines, and a long pier that ran out into the water. “You about done taking pictures?” I asked while pulling my shirt over my head.
“Um, maybe?” Sal turned to face me. I toed off my sneakers then bounced around on one foot, then another, peeling off my sweaty socks. His dark eyebrows shot up his brow when I wiggled out of my running shorts and briefs. “Is this some sort of pagan Canadian tradition?”
“Sure, we can call it that. Or we can call it skinny dipping.” I ran out into the lake. The water swirled around my thighs and splashed up over my balls. It was brutally cold. My nuts ascended into my body as fast as they could. I heard Sal laughing at my squeals from the shore. Needing to show him that I really owned my shit, I drew in a deep breath, and dove into the freezing water. When I surfaced about six meters from the rocky shore, I cleared the water from my face, then paddled around to face Sal. Who was still on the shore, the coward.
“You coming in or what?” I shouted while treading water. He began stripping and with a shout that scared the moose and her calf, leaped into the water. He came up right in front of me.
“Holy fucking shit, this water is frigid!” Sal gasped as lake water ran down his face and neck. He swam a little closer. I stole a kiss. Then another. And then one more. “You think we could get out of this ice plunge?”
“Will you fuck me on the shore?”
“If my junk hasn’t frozen off and fallen to the bottom of Lake Antarctica, sure.”
“Drama queen,” I tossed back at him after I broke for shore. He followed along with ease. I reached the shore first. Lake Marten slapped around my thighs. I turned to watch Sal rise out of the cold, clear lake like a water god.
He stepped right into my arms. He was cold, his skin pimpled with gooseflesh but his mouth, oh his mouth was hot. As was his touch. Every caress of his hands over my skin set me on fire. He cupped my naked ass while rubbing his tongue over mine. Our cocks, rising slowly now that we were out of the bitter cold lake, bumped together.
I was hot and so horny. We hadn’t had sex for something like a week. I grabbed his hips, pulled with a grunt, and ground my cock against his. Sal groaned into my mouth, his teeth dragging over my tongue. I took him by the arm to the first bit of grass we could find.

If you’re an author, are you a plotter or a pantser? What process works best for you? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below.


Cathy Brockman said...

I am not a plotter, I did start out that way but it overwhelmed and stunted my story as my characters like yours would speak to me and push for changes, my personalities doesn't allow to deviate from structure so it made it difficult. I find now to do a simple this is my thoughts and ideas, a profile on the character and setting jot down my beginning middle and end if I have clues and start writing. SO I say.. in between the two LOL. I really want to read this story!

Trisha Faye said...

Darn those stubborn, obstinate characters!