On Writing & Reading

Dem Bones – #MFRWauthor
Guilty Pleasure – Who Says?
Become a Member of Cailin Briste’s Street Team

Dem Bones – #MFRWauthor

1st scene connected to the 2nd scene
2nd scene connected to the 3rd scene
3rd scene connected to the 4th scene
Now fill the outline out.

Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones
Now fill the outline out.

The first book I ever wrote was written with nothing more than a rough idea in my mind about where it was headed. A writer who works in such a way is called a pantser. My story was character driven. The more I wrote, the more Shane and Adrianna revealed about themselves and their path to a happily ever.

I was thrilled when the book was completed. Until I submitted it for a developmental edit and discovered there were bones missing and others were in the wrong spot. I’d swapped the ulna and radius, so the carpals were out of joint. I found a tibia under my desk, which explained why the story wasn’t moving in a straight line but hopping all over the place. It took a lot of work and many revisions to fix the problems.

But, you say, you learned your lesson. The next story you wrote, you surely created an outline before plunging in.

Thank you for your faith in me, but sadly. I didn’t. Oh, I did have an outline of sorts, but it was cursory at best. Dem bones were all in their proper places, but they were more like a string puppet that can’t support its own weight than the solid skeleton that struts and frets his hour upon the stage. (Apologies. For some unknown reason the Bard just popped into my head.)

I was determined that with my next writing project I would abandon my pantser ways and become a full-fledged plotter. My next project was a novella. Shorter, less convoluted helped. I had my skeleton properly constructed before I began to write, and the fleshing out was so much easier. I wrote more words a day. I went from 500 words to 1000 easily. O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!

Do my characters still speak to me while I’m writing. Sure. They’re particularly good at pointing out inconsistencies. “I’d never do that. Never!” Rightie-o. But they rarely require a complete skeletal transplant. Along the way, I’ve broadened and deepened the character sketches I create for my main protagonists. I know my characters better and know the things that will yank their chains and create conflict in their lives. The outline reflects those insights.

Becoming a plotter hasn’t dampened the creative flow of my writing. There’s so much of a story that isn’t found in the outline. I may know that a character likes to tell puns, but the actual puns come as inspiration on the fly. Things pop into my head at the right moment. But you’ve witnessed that even in this essay on my writing process. Macbeth to Jabberwocky. That’s the way my mind skips around. And another reason why becoming a plotter was a necessity for me. I get lost down rabbit trails and never make my way back to where I was supposed to be heading. Dem bones keep me on track.

“Stop that. You’re going to break my arm!”

Yes, dem bones can talk to you, too.

Guilty Pleasure – Who Says?

  • I do not feel guilty about the huge stash of chocolate under my desk.
  • I do not feel guilty for getting a massage once a week.
  • I do not feel guilty for eating the last piece of pie, brownie, etc.
  • I do not feel guilty for sleeping in late…every day of the week.
  • I do not feel guilty for buying more books than I can possibly read in five years.

No one is hurt by these things. Not even me. Why then feel guilty? To be good, upright, moral people must we never indulge ourselves? I don’t think so. Did not God lead his chosen people into a land flowing with milk and honey, a land flowing with good things? So even God expects us to enjoy the good things in life. (There are caveats of course. Moderation for example. Nothing is ever simple.)

I save my guilt for things that are truly wrong and where any pleasure in such acts is wrong. Hurting another person. Taking something that doesn’t belong to me. Lying by commission or omission. Ignoring your responsibilities to the harm of yourself or others.

  • I do feel guilty when I don’t brush my teeth.
  • I do feel guilty when I forget a commitment that someone else was relying on me to keep.
  • I feel guilty about many things, enough things that I don’t need to add guilty pleasures.

This has been a pretty sober post. Sometimes that’s where my mind leads.

And I don’t feel guilty about that either. 😉

Become a Member of Cailin Briste’s Street Team

My street team is my core group of fans and readers, the people I go to for advice on covers, to get early reviews posted for my books, and to spread the word about my new releases. I invite you to become a member of this exclusive group.

As a Cailin Briste Street Team member you’ll be the first to hear about any events, giveaways, or fun I’m creating. You’ll have the opportunity for input on cover design on my Indie published books and will be my go to group for asking what you think about my latest crazy idea.

Once a week, I’ll update you on the latest blog posts. Never miss what the Fashion Maven of the Future has to say or the incredible bondage photos I discover or the guest bloggers who stop by or the reviews I post or…you get it, lots of good stuff. Oh, and corsets. I’ve got this need to discuss corsets that I have to get to some time soon.

You can expect 2-3 emails a week. I’d say once a week, but I know myself. I’ll forget something, or the day after an email, I’ll have a terrific idea that I have to share. So, 2-3 a week, and maybe more when a new release is coming out.

Along the way, I’ll be asking you to help out by sharing, tweeting, posting, and so on. Of course, it’s totally voluntary how you choose to help. If you choose to join my team, every little thing you do to help me write and promote my books will bless the socks off me.

To join, subscribe to the Cailin Briste Street Team. Yes. It’s that simple. Thanks.

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