Sweet Inspiration: On Heroines, Plots . . . and Chocolate!

Chocolate-01Andrea here, I’m just putting the finishing touches a new Lady Arianna mystery, which got me to musing on how a series takes shape in an author’s head . . .

But first allow me set the scene: For those of you who follow the series, you may recall that the last Lady A book, SMOKE AND LIES, took place on Elba amidst international intrigue and deceptions as Napoleon plotted his escape from the tiny island off Italy in order to re-seize the French throne. In A QUESTION OF NUMBERS, Lady Arianna and Lord Saybrook’s latest adventure, (which will be released in early Spring) the action moves to Brussels, a city aswirl in rumors and treachery as all of Europe waits to see if Napoleon will once again march his army into battle against the rest of Europe. (Brussels, you might ask? But honestly, what Regency historical author could possibly resist the chance to feature the Duchess of Richmond’s ball—one of the most famous parties in history—in a scene!)

Smoke and LiesNow, if you had asked me when I first started to envision the first flutters of Lady Arianna if I ever imagined her matching wits with Napoleon, the answer would have been a resounding . . . Well, er, no. (You see, it’s a trick question—but I’ll get to that in a moment.)

So, that’s where Lady A and her friends are now . . . but how did they actually come to life? The process was a little different than the usual way ideas happen for me, so I thought it might be interesting to share, as readers often ask, “How do think up your ideas?” The answer is, sometimes creativity takes some twists and turns.

Chocolate-1 copySo, we’ll backtrack to 2010. I was writing historical romance, but found I was adding more and more mystery to the plots. For me, the opportunities to explore the complexities of a character seemed a little richer when one confronts them with challenges that make them confront their elemental strengths and weaknesses. In other words, I found mystery felt like a more natural voice for me and my stories.

So I sat down with my agent at the time and we began to plot how to break into the genre. Now, in those days (publishing has seen some big changes since then) Berkley and NAL, its sister imprint under the Penguin Putnam umbrella, were doing a very expansive line of cozy mystery series (I didn’t want to write hard-boiled crime.) So we decided that was the best place to pitch.

Pistole2The Berkley/NAL line featured lots of different types of mysteries—both historical and contemporary—with distinctive characteristics. There were cozy knitting and baking series, stories designed to appeal to book lovers, just to name a few. So the first thing was to come up with a unique heroine and concept.

Here’s where the chocolate comes in . . . I had recently stumbled upon a fascinating discovery—contrary to popular belief, there was edible chocolate during the Regency era, not just the rather bitter drink made with Theobroma cacao (which is the scientific name for the cacao tree.) I was playing around with it as a plot device in an idea for a romance novel. So during our brainstorming session, my agent got very excited and suggested I come up with a series idea featuring a heroine who was an expert in chocolate. I mean, how could any editor resist chocolate!

Chocolate-05I loved the idea, so off I went to concoct a recipe for success . . . and this where things get interesting. I’d spending a lot of time thinking conceptually about what sort of books I saw myself writing, and what I really wanted to do was a slightly gritty series about a heroine who wasn’t a pampered aristocrat, but one who had had a rough life and some inner demons to deal with. And yet, I also loved writing in the Regency and the world of the beau monde.

NapoleonSo, how was I going to put all the ingredients together and make them work? The mental gears began to spin . . . chocolate grows in the West Indies . . .the West Indies were often a place the black sheep of the ton were sent to rusticate . . . slowly but surely, Arianna came life in my head. Her father is a disgraced earl, forced to flee England because—well, he’s a criminal who’s been involved in financial scams. He’s murdered by his partner in crime because he won’t be part of a new scheme—which leaves his young daughter orphaned and forced to fend for herself in a dog-eat-dog world. Among the many skills Lady Arianna acquires as she grows to womanhood is an expertise in cooking—especially with chocolate. And now she ready to return to England and seek revenge for her father . . .

Excited about the idea, I sent the proposal off to my agent. She promptly called me and cleared her throat with a cough. “Well, um, this wasn’t at all what I expected,” she began. It turns out what she thought I’d concoct was as series based on a woman who runs a chocolate shop in London, and through the different customers who came in, would get involved in amateur sleuthing. “Ah,” I replied, “That’s a very interesting idea.” My turn to cough. “But not the one I want to write.”

Sweet RevengeWe discussed it, and though I could tell she wasn't totally convinced my idea would fly, she was willing to pitch it. Off it went to an editor at NAL, who responded that she was interested and wanted to see some chapters. I scribbled off the requisite sample, adding a dark hero as Arianna's foil, and alternating his and her POVs. Back came the response. The editor said she liked the chapters very much, but NAL wanted only the heroine’s POV. Could I rejigger the concept?

Hmmmm. I actually really liked the double POV, but there’s never just one way to tell a story . . . so I decided to take on the challenge. And thus, SWEET REVENGE, the first Lady Arianna book popped out of the creative oven. And the rest is, as they say, history. (When NAL decided to cut back their mystery line and dropped the series, I found I enjoyed writing Lady Arianna so much that I’ve continued it as a self-published series, having gotten the rights back to the first three books.)

So now I’ve got a few questions for you—you do enjoy hearing the inside stories about how we Wenches create our books? Anything else about process you’d like to hear from us? And what about POV? Do you like getting the story from different perspectives, or do you prefer one POV? (Or doesn’t it matter?) Please share! I’ll be giving away a copy of SWEET REVENGE in either e-book or audio format to one winner chosen at random from those who leave a comment here.

180 thoughts on “Sweet Inspiration: On Heroines, Plots . . . and Chocolate!”

  1. I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  2. I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  3. I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  4. I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  5. I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  6. Posted previously on Firefox without success now trying different browser!
    I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  7. Posted previously on Firefox without success now trying different browser!
    I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  8. Posted previously on Firefox without success now trying different browser!
    I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  9. Posted previously on Firefox without success now trying different browser!
    I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  10. Posted previously on Firefox without success now trying different browser!
    I love getting the lowdown on the variety of ways that creativity manifests itself. Susanna in the previous post described how she has to visit the locations for her novels in order to set the creative juices flowing.
    Today, with chocolate as the nucleus, we discover how a new sleuth and mystery series evolved. There seem to be many elements of chance and serendipity feeding in to a complex and unpredictable mental process. The description of the process reads rather like a mystery story in itself. Not a coincidence perhaps!
    On the POV question, I rather like first person, especially for audio books. The simplifying focus helps a lot but if a good narrator can maintain clarity when switching POV then it doesn’t really matter to me.
    Delighted to see that audio books are available … they are on my wish list.

    Reply
  11. I LOVE hearing how your ideas develop. They always fascinate me.
    AS for POV, when well handled, double points of view, multiple points of view, omniscience, and single character all work.
    What I DO NOT want is a change in POV without some single. I had this happen a time or two. The puzzle of the POV took away most of my enjoyment of the book.

    Reply
  12. I LOVE hearing how your ideas develop. They always fascinate me.
    AS for POV, when well handled, double points of view, multiple points of view, omniscience, and single character all work.
    What I DO NOT want is a change in POV without some single. I had this happen a time or two. The puzzle of the POV took away most of my enjoyment of the book.

    Reply
  13. I LOVE hearing how your ideas develop. They always fascinate me.
    AS for POV, when well handled, double points of view, multiple points of view, omniscience, and single character all work.
    What I DO NOT want is a change in POV without some single. I had this happen a time or two. The puzzle of the POV took away most of my enjoyment of the book.

    Reply
  14. I LOVE hearing how your ideas develop. They always fascinate me.
    AS for POV, when well handled, double points of view, multiple points of view, omniscience, and single character all work.
    What I DO NOT want is a change in POV without some single. I had this happen a time or two. The puzzle of the POV took away most of my enjoyment of the book.

    Reply
  15. I LOVE hearing how your ideas develop. They always fascinate me.
    AS for POV, when well handled, double points of view, multiple points of view, omniscience, and single character all work.
    What I DO NOT want is a change in POV without some single. I had this happen a time or two. The puzzle of the POV took away most of my enjoyment of the book.

    Reply
  16. Not being a writer, I am fascinated to learn how you get your ideas, how you then develop the story. I am still trying to figure out what you all mean when you say you don’t know where the story is going, that the characters tell you.
    I do like to hear different POVs, especially from the main characters. After all, there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    Reply
  17. Not being a writer, I am fascinated to learn how you get your ideas, how you then develop the story. I am still trying to figure out what you all mean when you say you don’t know where the story is going, that the characters tell you.
    I do like to hear different POVs, especially from the main characters. After all, there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    Reply
  18. Not being a writer, I am fascinated to learn how you get your ideas, how you then develop the story. I am still trying to figure out what you all mean when you say you don’t know where the story is going, that the characters tell you.
    I do like to hear different POVs, especially from the main characters. After all, there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    Reply
  19. Not being a writer, I am fascinated to learn how you get your ideas, how you then develop the story. I am still trying to figure out what you all mean when you say you don’t know where the story is going, that the characters tell you.
    I do like to hear different POVs, especially from the main characters. After all, there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    Reply
  20. Not being a writer, I am fascinated to learn how you get your ideas, how you then develop the story. I am still trying to figure out what you all mean when you say you don’t know where the story is going, that the characters tell you.
    I do like to hear different POVs, especially from the main characters. After all, there are always at least 2 sides to every story.

    Reply
  21. I enjoy hearing about how stories come about and where your ideas come from. As for point of view, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it is well written. This book sounds delicious.

    Reply
  22. I enjoy hearing about how stories come about and where your ideas come from. As for point of view, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it is well written. This book sounds delicious.

    Reply
  23. I enjoy hearing about how stories come about and where your ideas come from. As for point of view, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it is well written. This book sounds delicious.

    Reply
  24. I enjoy hearing about how stories come about and where your ideas come from. As for point of view, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it is well written. This book sounds delicious.

    Reply
  25. I enjoy hearing about how stories come about and where your ideas come from. As for point of view, it doesn’t matter to me as long as it is well written. This book sounds delicious.

    Reply
  26. Alison–different authors use different creativity metaphors. *G* I wish my characters DID tell me–it would be easier! For me, it’s a matter of feeling my way along, blindfolded through forest and occasionally running into a tree or falling off a cliff. My characters are just along for the ride. *G*

    Reply
  27. Alison–different authors use different creativity metaphors. *G* I wish my characters DID tell me–it would be easier! For me, it’s a matter of feeling my way along, blindfolded through forest and occasionally running into a tree or falling off a cliff. My characters are just along for the ride. *G*

    Reply
  28. Alison–different authors use different creativity metaphors. *G* I wish my characters DID tell me–it would be easier! For me, it’s a matter of feeling my way along, blindfolded through forest and occasionally running into a tree or falling off a cliff. My characters are just along for the ride. *G*

    Reply
  29. Alison–different authors use different creativity metaphors. *G* I wish my characters DID tell me–it would be easier! For me, it’s a matter of feeling my way along, blindfolded through forest and occasionally running into a tree or falling off a cliff. My characters are just along for the ride. *G*

    Reply
  30. Alison–different authors use different creativity metaphors. *G* I wish my characters DID tell me–it would be easier! For me, it’s a matter of feeling my way along, blindfolded through forest and occasionally running into a tree or falling off a cliff. My characters are just along for the ride. *G*

    Reply
  31. I don’t mind changing POV, as long as I can tell it’s changing.
    I’m glad you got to write your idea of what the book was supposed to be. I’ve read Sweet Revenge and loved that Arianna was not the “typical” regency heroine. I own (and have read) the first 3 books in paperback and picked them up because of the chocolate angle. Plus, I liked those original covers. 🙂

    Reply
  32. I don’t mind changing POV, as long as I can tell it’s changing.
    I’m glad you got to write your idea of what the book was supposed to be. I’ve read Sweet Revenge and loved that Arianna was not the “typical” regency heroine. I own (and have read) the first 3 books in paperback and picked them up because of the chocolate angle. Plus, I liked those original covers. 🙂

    Reply
  33. I don’t mind changing POV, as long as I can tell it’s changing.
    I’m glad you got to write your idea of what the book was supposed to be. I’ve read Sweet Revenge and loved that Arianna was not the “typical” regency heroine. I own (and have read) the first 3 books in paperback and picked them up because of the chocolate angle. Plus, I liked those original covers. 🙂

    Reply
  34. I don’t mind changing POV, as long as I can tell it’s changing.
    I’m glad you got to write your idea of what the book was supposed to be. I’ve read Sweet Revenge and loved that Arianna was not the “typical” regency heroine. I own (and have read) the first 3 books in paperback and picked them up because of the chocolate angle. Plus, I liked those original covers. 🙂

    Reply
  35. I don’t mind changing POV, as long as I can tell it’s changing.
    I’m glad you got to write your idea of what the book was supposed to be. I’ve read Sweet Revenge and loved that Arianna was not the “typical” regency heroine. I own (and have read) the first 3 books in paperback and picked them up because of the chocolate angle. Plus, I liked those original covers. 🙂

    Reply
  36. First of all so sorry about the posting problem, Quantum. Typepad had been impossibly glitchy to day, and we’re still trying to sort it out.
    I, too, love seeing how every creative process is different. When the basic idea is pretty much shaped, I write by “feel”— that is, I react as dialogue unfolds and and often find myself tweaking plot points as I understand the characters better.
    I really like first person, too. Publishers use to to really discourage it, but things are loosening up—because of self publishing, no doubt—and we’re seeing more of it.

    Reply
  37. First of all so sorry about the posting problem, Quantum. Typepad had been impossibly glitchy to day, and we’re still trying to sort it out.
    I, too, love seeing how every creative process is different. When the basic idea is pretty much shaped, I write by “feel”— that is, I react as dialogue unfolds and and often find myself tweaking plot points as I understand the characters better.
    I really like first person, too. Publishers use to to really discourage it, but things are loosening up—because of self publishing, no doubt—and we’re seeing more of it.

    Reply
  38. First of all so sorry about the posting problem, Quantum. Typepad had been impossibly glitchy to day, and we’re still trying to sort it out.
    I, too, love seeing how every creative process is different. When the basic idea is pretty much shaped, I write by “feel”— that is, I react as dialogue unfolds and and often find myself tweaking plot points as I understand the characters better.
    I really like first person, too. Publishers use to to really discourage it, but things are loosening up—because of self publishing, no doubt—and we’re seeing more of it.

    Reply
  39. First of all so sorry about the posting problem, Quantum. Typepad had been impossibly glitchy to day, and we’re still trying to sort it out.
    I, too, love seeing how every creative process is different. When the basic idea is pretty much shaped, I write by “feel”— that is, I react as dialogue unfolds and and often find myself tweaking plot points as I understand the characters better.
    I really like first person, too. Publishers use to to really discourage it, but things are loosening up—because of self publishing, no doubt—and we’re seeing more of it.

    Reply
  40. First of all so sorry about the posting problem, Quantum. Typepad had been impossibly glitchy to day, and we’re still trying to sort it out.
    I, too, love seeing how every creative process is different. When the basic idea is pretty much shaped, I write by “feel”— that is, I react as dialogue unfolds and and often find myself tweaking plot points as I understand the characters better.
    I really like first person, too. Publishers use to to really discourage it, but things are loosening up—because of self publishing, no doubt—and we’re seeing more of it.

    Reply
  41. Sue, so glad you enjoy the “behind the scenes” look at how we create.
    I totally agree with you about head-hopping—that is, changing POV with a very clear transition. It really bothers me. Like you, I’m happy to go with a varieties of structures, but the author just has to make it clear and consistent.

    Reply
  42. Sue, so glad you enjoy the “behind the scenes” look at how we create.
    I totally agree with you about head-hopping—that is, changing POV with a very clear transition. It really bothers me. Like you, I’m happy to go with a varieties of structures, but the author just has to make it clear and consistent.

    Reply
  43. Sue, so glad you enjoy the “behind the scenes” look at how we create.
    I totally agree with you about head-hopping—that is, changing POV with a very clear transition. It really bothers me. Like you, I’m happy to go with a varieties of structures, but the author just has to make it clear and consistent.

    Reply
  44. Sue, so glad you enjoy the “behind the scenes” look at how we create.
    I totally agree with you about head-hopping—that is, changing POV with a very clear transition. It really bothers me. Like you, I’m happy to go with a varieties of structures, but the author just has to make it clear and consistent.

    Reply
  45. Sue, so glad you enjoy the “behind the scenes” look at how we create.
    I totally agree with you about head-hopping—that is, changing POV with a very clear transition. It really bothers me. Like you, I’m happy to go with a varieties of structures, but the author just has to make it clear and consistent.

    Reply
  46. Alison, I’ll try to explain the “I didin’t know they were going to do that!” style of writing:
    Some writers write use creating very detailed elaborate outlines for what happens in the book as a frame work which is in a sense a skeleton for their characters. For them, this is where the magic happens as they see their characters take shape
    I simply can’t do this. I have a basic concept, and then I start writing. I write slowly, taking my time in crafting the dialogue. And what happens is, I write a line of dialogue in response to a previous one—and suddenly see that character’s vulnerability or strength. it’s an ah-ah moment, and they happen a lot and build the relationships, oftem having me see new ways to get from point A to point B in the plot. I simply can’t do this through an outline. It happens organically.
    I hope that makes some sense to you!

    Reply
  47. Alison, I’ll try to explain the “I didin’t know they were going to do that!” style of writing:
    Some writers write use creating very detailed elaborate outlines for what happens in the book as a frame work which is in a sense a skeleton for their characters. For them, this is where the magic happens as they see their characters take shape
    I simply can’t do this. I have a basic concept, and then I start writing. I write slowly, taking my time in crafting the dialogue. And what happens is, I write a line of dialogue in response to a previous one—and suddenly see that character’s vulnerability or strength. it’s an ah-ah moment, and they happen a lot and build the relationships, oftem having me see new ways to get from point A to point B in the plot. I simply can’t do this through an outline. It happens organically.
    I hope that makes some sense to you!

    Reply
  48. Alison, I’ll try to explain the “I didin’t know they were going to do that!” style of writing:
    Some writers write use creating very detailed elaborate outlines for what happens in the book as a frame work which is in a sense a skeleton for their characters. For them, this is where the magic happens as they see their characters take shape
    I simply can’t do this. I have a basic concept, and then I start writing. I write slowly, taking my time in crafting the dialogue. And what happens is, I write a line of dialogue in response to a previous one—and suddenly see that character’s vulnerability or strength. it’s an ah-ah moment, and they happen a lot and build the relationships, oftem having me see new ways to get from point A to point B in the plot. I simply can’t do this through an outline. It happens organically.
    I hope that makes some sense to you!

    Reply
  49. Alison, I’ll try to explain the “I didin’t know they were going to do that!” style of writing:
    Some writers write use creating very detailed elaborate outlines for what happens in the book as a frame work which is in a sense a skeleton for their characters. For them, this is where the magic happens as they see their characters take shape
    I simply can’t do this. I have a basic concept, and then I start writing. I write slowly, taking my time in crafting the dialogue. And what happens is, I write a line of dialogue in response to a previous one—and suddenly see that character’s vulnerability or strength. it’s an ah-ah moment, and they happen a lot and build the relationships, oftem having me see new ways to get from point A to point B in the plot. I simply can’t do this through an outline. It happens organically.
    I hope that makes some sense to you!

    Reply
  50. Alison, I’ll try to explain the “I didin’t know they were going to do that!” style of writing:
    Some writers write use creating very detailed elaborate outlines for what happens in the book as a frame work which is in a sense a skeleton for their characters. For them, this is where the magic happens as they see their characters take shape
    I simply can’t do this. I have a basic concept, and then I start writing. I write slowly, taking my time in crafting the dialogue. And what happens is, I write a line of dialogue in response to a previous one—and suddenly see that character’s vulnerability or strength. it’s an ah-ah moment, and they happen a lot and build the relationships, oftem having me see new ways to get from point A to point B in the plot. I simply can’t do this through an outline. It happens organically.
    I hope that makes some sense to you!

    Reply
  51. I do like hearing about the way my favorite authors are inspired and develop their novels! Please, Wenches, give us more of this.
    And I have more than a passing interest in how the stories are presented. I like multiple points of view when they (a) enrich the time/place setting of the story, (b) give the reader several perspectives to think about, or (c) provide some tension, a buildup for bringing the whole story together at the resolution.
    BUT … it has to be done with clarity! Too often I get lost—who’s speaking? Which time line? Sometimes I not only can’t figure out the answer, I’m confused about the darn question the author is so coyly presenting.
    I just finished a book with interconnected time lines that accomplished all of the above remarkably well. It had a present-day story, told third-person, focused on one character, with only her family and lover-by-email to keep straight, and a13th century interpolated story with many characters who each got one or more first-person chapters that moved the story along like witnesses in a fascinating court trial. What made it work so well was that each chapter was titled with the character’s name. I never once got lost!
    So I obviously think a lot about the How of a book, not just the What of it. The What may lead me to 4* my review, but it’s the admirable How that kicks it to 5* for me, or the deficient How (confusing format, “wrong” language, lack of appropriate details, etc.) that sends my star pick spiraling downward. Other readers may not think so consciously about this, but I think we all factor it into our enjoyment (or lack of it) in our reading.
    Not thar I ever have to worry about any of this in a Wench-authored book, of course. You ladies are goood. That’s why I love hanging out here.

    Reply
  52. I do like hearing about the way my favorite authors are inspired and develop their novels! Please, Wenches, give us more of this.
    And I have more than a passing interest in how the stories are presented. I like multiple points of view when they (a) enrich the time/place setting of the story, (b) give the reader several perspectives to think about, or (c) provide some tension, a buildup for bringing the whole story together at the resolution.
    BUT … it has to be done with clarity! Too often I get lost—who’s speaking? Which time line? Sometimes I not only can’t figure out the answer, I’m confused about the darn question the author is so coyly presenting.
    I just finished a book with interconnected time lines that accomplished all of the above remarkably well. It had a present-day story, told third-person, focused on one character, with only her family and lover-by-email to keep straight, and a13th century interpolated story with many characters who each got one or more first-person chapters that moved the story along like witnesses in a fascinating court trial. What made it work so well was that each chapter was titled with the character’s name. I never once got lost!
    So I obviously think a lot about the How of a book, not just the What of it. The What may lead me to 4* my review, but it’s the admirable How that kicks it to 5* for me, or the deficient How (confusing format, “wrong” language, lack of appropriate details, etc.) that sends my star pick spiraling downward. Other readers may not think so consciously about this, but I think we all factor it into our enjoyment (or lack of it) in our reading.
    Not thar I ever have to worry about any of this in a Wench-authored book, of course. You ladies are goood. That’s why I love hanging out here.

    Reply
  53. I do like hearing about the way my favorite authors are inspired and develop their novels! Please, Wenches, give us more of this.
    And I have more than a passing interest in how the stories are presented. I like multiple points of view when they (a) enrich the time/place setting of the story, (b) give the reader several perspectives to think about, or (c) provide some tension, a buildup for bringing the whole story together at the resolution.
    BUT … it has to be done with clarity! Too often I get lost—who’s speaking? Which time line? Sometimes I not only can’t figure out the answer, I’m confused about the darn question the author is so coyly presenting.
    I just finished a book with interconnected time lines that accomplished all of the above remarkably well. It had a present-day story, told third-person, focused on one character, with only her family and lover-by-email to keep straight, and a13th century interpolated story with many characters who each got one or more first-person chapters that moved the story along like witnesses in a fascinating court trial. What made it work so well was that each chapter was titled with the character’s name. I never once got lost!
    So I obviously think a lot about the How of a book, not just the What of it. The What may lead me to 4* my review, but it’s the admirable How that kicks it to 5* for me, or the deficient How (confusing format, “wrong” language, lack of appropriate details, etc.) that sends my star pick spiraling downward. Other readers may not think so consciously about this, but I think we all factor it into our enjoyment (or lack of it) in our reading.
    Not thar I ever have to worry about any of this in a Wench-authored book, of course. You ladies are goood. That’s why I love hanging out here.

    Reply
  54. I do like hearing about the way my favorite authors are inspired and develop their novels! Please, Wenches, give us more of this.
    And I have more than a passing interest in how the stories are presented. I like multiple points of view when they (a) enrich the time/place setting of the story, (b) give the reader several perspectives to think about, or (c) provide some tension, a buildup for bringing the whole story together at the resolution.
    BUT … it has to be done with clarity! Too often I get lost—who’s speaking? Which time line? Sometimes I not only can’t figure out the answer, I’m confused about the darn question the author is so coyly presenting.
    I just finished a book with interconnected time lines that accomplished all of the above remarkably well. It had a present-day story, told third-person, focused on one character, with only her family and lover-by-email to keep straight, and a13th century interpolated story with many characters who each got one or more first-person chapters that moved the story along like witnesses in a fascinating court trial. What made it work so well was that each chapter was titled with the character’s name. I never once got lost!
    So I obviously think a lot about the How of a book, not just the What of it. The What may lead me to 4* my review, but it’s the admirable How that kicks it to 5* for me, or the deficient How (confusing format, “wrong” language, lack of appropriate details, etc.) that sends my star pick spiraling downward. Other readers may not think so consciously about this, but I think we all factor it into our enjoyment (or lack of it) in our reading.
    Not thar I ever have to worry about any of this in a Wench-authored book, of course. You ladies are goood. That’s why I love hanging out here.

    Reply
  55. I do like hearing about the way my favorite authors are inspired and develop their novels! Please, Wenches, give us more of this.
    And I have more than a passing interest in how the stories are presented. I like multiple points of view when they (a) enrich the time/place setting of the story, (b) give the reader several perspectives to think about, or (c) provide some tension, a buildup for bringing the whole story together at the resolution.
    BUT … it has to be done with clarity! Too often I get lost—who’s speaking? Which time line? Sometimes I not only can’t figure out the answer, I’m confused about the darn question the author is so coyly presenting.
    I just finished a book with interconnected time lines that accomplished all of the above remarkably well. It had a present-day story, told third-person, focused on one character, with only her family and lover-by-email to keep straight, and a13th century interpolated story with many characters who each got one or more first-person chapters that moved the story along like witnesses in a fascinating court trial. What made it work so well was that each chapter was titled with the character’s name. I never once got lost!
    So I obviously think a lot about the How of a book, not just the What of it. The What may lead me to 4* my review, but it’s the admirable How that kicks it to 5* for me, or the deficient How (confusing format, “wrong” language, lack of appropriate details, etc.) that sends my star pick spiraling downward. Other readers may not think so consciously about this, but I think we all factor it into our enjoyment (or lack of it) in our reading.
    Not thar I ever have to worry about any of this in a Wench-authored book, of course. You ladies are goood. That’s why I love hanging out here.

    Reply
  56. Thank you for this reply. I can understand, as you write the dialogue, how it can move the story along.
    I know there have been times in my life when words have come out of my mouth, or someone else’s, and all of a sudden I am aware of a whole new meaning or direction.
    And, I forget to say earlier, I love your mystery books.

    Reply
  57. Thank you for this reply. I can understand, as you write the dialogue, how it can move the story along.
    I know there have been times in my life when words have come out of my mouth, or someone else’s, and all of a sudden I am aware of a whole new meaning or direction.
    And, I forget to say earlier, I love your mystery books.

    Reply
  58. Thank you for this reply. I can understand, as you write the dialogue, how it can move the story along.
    I know there have been times in my life when words have come out of my mouth, or someone else’s, and all of a sudden I am aware of a whole new meaning or direction.
    And, I forget to say earlier, I love your mystery books.

    Reply
  59. Thank you for this reply. I can understand, as you write the dialogue, how it can move the story along.
    I know there have been times in my life when words have come out of my mouth, or someone else’s, and all of a sudden I am aware of a whole new meaning or direction.
    And, I forget to say earlier, I love your mystery books.

    Reply
  60. Thank you for this reply. I can understand, as you write the dialogue, how it can move the story along.
    I know there have been times in my life when words have come out of my mouth, or someone else’s, and all of a sudden I am aware of a whole new meaning or direction.
    And, I forget to say earlier, I love your mystery books.

    Reply
  61. I love hearing about the creative process. Also, the publishing process. If you self-publish, I assume you have a lot more control over the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and the cover art. Correct? But how do get the platform to sell a lot of books – in the public eye so to speak? As for POV, I like more than one but I agree with other posters – it has to be very clear!

    Reply
  62. I love hearing about the creative process. Also, the publishing process. If you self-publish, I assume you have a lot more control over the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and the cover art. Correct? But how do get the platform to sell a lot of books – in the public eye so to speak? As for POV, I like more than one but I agree with other posters – it has to be very clear!

    Reply
  63. I love hearing about the creative process. Also, the publishing process. If you self-publish, I assume you have a lot more control over the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and the cover art. Correct? But how do get the platform to sell a lot of books – in the public eye so to speak? As for POV, I like more than one but I agree with other posters – it has to be very clear!

    Reply
  64. I love hearing about the creative process. Also, the publishing process. If you self-publish, I assume you have a lot more control over the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and the cover art. Correct? But how do get the platform to sell a lot of books – in the public eye so to speak? As for POV, I like more than one but I agree with other posters – it has to be very clear!

    Reply
  65. I love hearing about the creative process. Also, the publishing process. If you self-publish, I assume you have a lot more control over the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and the cover art. Correct? But how do get the platform to sell a lot of books – in the public eye so to speak? As for POV, I like more than one but I agree with other posters – it has to be very clear!

    Reply
  66. This was an excellent post, I always wonder how you amazing authors come up with book ideas. Thanks so much for divulging your writing process. I enjoy hearing the hero/ male point of view.

    Reply
  67. This was an excellent post, I always wonder how you amazing authors come up with book ideas. Thanks so much for divulging your writing process. I enjoy hearing the hero/ male point of view.

    Reply
  68. This was an excellent post, I always wonder how you amazing authors come up with book ideas. Thanks so much for divulging your writing process. I enjoy hearing the hero/ male point of view.

    Reply
  69. This was an excellent post, I always wonder how you amazing authors come up with book ideas. Thanks so much for divulging your writing process. I enjoy hearing the hero/ male point of view.

    Reply
  70. This was an excellent post, I always wonder how you amazing authors come up with book ideas. Thanks so much for divulging your writing process. I enjoy hearing the hero/ male point of view.

    Reply
  71. Talking about all that chocolate brought back lovely memories. I had to give up dairy and I miss a big feast of it. I eat a little bit now and then but shouldn’t really.
    I love hearing how an author’s characters come to life. Your new book sounds great but I’m waiting (impatiently), for the new Wrexford and Sloane 🙂
    I also enjoy different POV’s when handled correctly. Nothing worse than reading a passage and then having to go back and check who was talking.
    Great post Andrea.

    Reply
  72. Talking about all that chocolate brought back lovely memories. I had to give up dairy and I miss a big feast of it. I eat a little bit now and then but shouldn’t really.
    I love hearing how an author’s characters come to life. Your new book sounds great but I’m waiting (impatiently), for the new Wrexford and Sloane 🙂
    I also enjoy different POV’s when handled correctly. Nothing worse than reading a passage and then having to go back and check who was talking.
    Great post Andrea.

    Reply
  73. Talking about all that chocolate brought back lovely memories. I had to give up dairy and I miss a big feast of it. I eat a little bit now and then but shouldn’t really.
    I love hearing how an author’s characters come to life. Your new book sounds great but I’m waiting (impatiently), for the new Wrexford and Sloane 🙂
    I also enjoy different POV’s when handled correctly. Nothing worse than reading a passage and then having to go back and check who was talking.
    Great post Andrea.

    Reply
  74. Talking about all that chocolate brought back lovely memories. I had to give up dairy and I miss a big feast of it. I eat a little bit now and then but shouldn’t really.
    I love hearing how an author’s characters come to life. Your new book sounds great but I’m waiting (impatiently), for the new Wrexford and Sloane 🙂
    I also enjoy different POV’s when handled correctly. Nothing worse than reading a passage and then having to go back and check who was talking.
    Great post Andrea.

    Reply
  75. Talking about all that chocolate brought back lovely memories. I had to give up dairy and I miss a big feast of it. I eat a little bit now and then but shouldn’t really.
    I love hearing how an author’s characters come to life. Your new book sounds great but I’m waiting (impatiently), for the new Wrexford and Sloane 🙂
    I also enjoy different POV’s when handled correctly. Nothing worse than reading a passage and then having to go back and check who was talking.
    Great post Andrea.

    Reply
  76. I enjoy seeing how the series evolved. It always amazes me to see how the tiniest trickle of an idea or object can morph into something magical when the person involved is creative.
    First person isn’t my preference for a story. I never feel like I REALLY get to know the other people. Yes, I know them from one person’s POV, but I never really see inside them because I don’t know their personal thoughts. That said, several of my very favorite historical romance series are written in first person

    Reply
  77. I enjoy seeing how the series evolved. It always amazes me to see how the tiniest trickle of an idea or object can morph into something magical when the person involved is creative.
    First person isn’t my preference for a story. I never feel like I REALLY get to know the other people. Yes, I know them from one person’s POV, but I never really see inside them because I don’t know their personal thoughts. That said, several of my very favorite historical romance series are written in first person

    Reply
  78. I enjoy seeing how the series evolved. It always amazes me to see how the tiniest trickle of an idea or object can morph into something magical when the person involved is creative.
    First person isn’t my preference for a story. I never feel like I REALLY get to know the other people. Yes, I know them from one person’s POV, but I never really see inside them because I don’t know their personal thoughts. That said, several of my very favorite historical romance series are written in first person

    Reply
  79. I enjoy seeing how the series evolved. It always amazes me to see how the tiniest trickle of an idea or object can morph into something magical when the person involved is creative.
    First person isn’t my preference for a story. I never feel like I REALLY get to know the other people. Yes, I know them from one person’s POV, but I never really see inside them because I don’t know their personal thoughts. That said, several of my very favorite historical romance series are written in first person

    Reply
  80. I enjoy seeing how the series evolved. It always amazes me to see how the tiniest trickle of an idea or object can morph into something magical when the person involved is creative.
    First person isn’t my preference for a story. I never feel like I REALLY get to know the other people. Yes, I know them from one person’s POV, but I never really see inside them because I don’t know their personal thoughts. That said, several of my very favorite historical romance series are written in first person

    Reply
  81. Yes, I very much like hearing about the author’s inspiration for her characters and stories. I do like books with multiple POVs, but I’ve been known to enjoy all kinds of POVs, even first person.
    The one thing that I have trouble enjoying are epistolary novels. I don’t mind some letters going back and forth between the characters, but not a whole book please!

    Reply
  82. Yes, I very much like hearing about the author’s inspiration for her characters and stories. I do like books with multiple POVs, but I’ve been known to enjoy all kinds of POVs, even first person.
    The one thing that I have trouble enjoying are epistolary novels. I don’t mind some letters going back and forth between the characters, but not a whole book please!

    Reply
  83. Yes, I very much like hearing about the author’s inspiration for her characters and stories. I do like books with multiple POVs, but I’ve been known to enjoy all kinds of POVs, even first person.
    The one thing that I have trouble enjoying are epistolary novels. I don’t mind some letters going back and forth between the characters, but not a whole book please!

    Reply
  84. Yes, I very much like hearing about the author’s inspiration for her characters and stories. I do like books with multiple POVs, but I’ve been known to enjoy all kinds of POVs, even first person.
    The one thing that I have trouble enjoying are epistolary novels. I don’t mind some letters going back and forth between the characters, but not a whole book please!

    Reply
  85. Yes, I very much like hearing about the author’s inspiration for her characters and stories. I do like books with multiple POVs, but I’ve been known to enjoy all kinds of POVs, even first person.
    The one thing that I have trouble enjoying are epistolary novels. I don’t mind some letters going back and forth between the characters, but not a whole book please!

    Reply
  86. Thanks for this great post. I love hearing about how books evolve and it’s very interesting to hear what sparked a whole series. As a confirmed chocoholic, the idea of chocolate being part of your stories really appeals to me, Andrea, and I like learning new historical facts while I’m reading too. I always thought solid chocolate was Victorian invention though I suppose you would have had to be rich to taste it before Mr Fry got busy. With regard to POV, it doesn’t matter to me. So long as the author doesn’t head-hop I’m happy to go along with single or multiple POVs. As with everything else, if it is done well I don’t notice the mechanics of the writing when I get caught up in a good book.

    Reply
  87. Thanks for this great post. I love hearing about how books evolve and it’s very interesting to hear what sparked a whole series. As a confirmed chocoholic, the idea of chocolate being part of your stories really appeals to me, Andrea, and I like learning new historical facts while I’m reading too. I always thought solid chocolate was Victorian invention though I suppose you would have had to be rich to taste it before Mr Fry got busy. With regard to POV, it doesn’t matter to me. So long as the author doesn’t head-hop I’m happy to go along with single or multiple POVs. As with everything else, if it is done well I don’t notice the mechanics of the writing when I get caught up in a good book.

    Reply
  88. Thanks for this great post. I love hearing about how books evolve and it’s very interesting to hear what sparked a whole series. As a confirmed chocoholic, the idea of chocolate being part of your stories really appeals to me, Andrea, and I like learning new historical facts while I’m reading too. I always thought solid chocolate was Victorian invention though I suppose you would have had to be rich to taste it before Mr Fry got busy. With regard to POV, it doesn’t matter to me. So long as the author doesn’t head-hop I’m happy to go along with single or multiple POVs. As with everything else, if it is done well I don’t notice the mechanics of the writing when I get caught up in a good book.

    Reply
  89. Thanks for this great post. I love hearing about how books evolve and it’s very interesting to hear what sparked a whole series. As a confirmed chocoholic, the idea of chocolate being part of your stories really appeals to me, Andrea, and I like learning new historical facts while I’m reading too. I always thought solid chocolate was Victorian invention though I suppose you would have had to be rich to taste it before Mr Fry got busy. With regard to POV, it doesn’t matter to me. So long as the author doesn’t head-hop I’m happy to go along with single or multiple POVs. As with everything else, if it is done well I don’t notice the mechanics of the writing when I get caught up in a good book.

    Reply
  90. Thanks for this great post. I love hearing about how books evolve and it’s very interesting to hear what sparked a whole series. As a confirmed chocoholic, the idea of chocolate being part of your stories really appeals to me, Andrea, and I like learning new historical facts while I’m reading too. I always thought solid chocolate was Victorian invention though I suppose you would have had to be rich to taste it before Mr Fry got busy. With regard to POV, it doesn’t matter to me. So long as the author doesn’t head-hop I’m happy to go along with single or multiple POVs. As with everything else, if it is done well I don’t notice the mechanics of the writing when I get caught up in a good book.

    Reply
  91. Your series sounds fascinating! I’ll have to look it up! Mysteries are my first love, and Regency period setting, customs, and then to watch a relationship develop between the two protagonists. Sounds like a perfect storm of lovely reading to me!

    Reply
  92. Your series sounds fascinating! I’ll have to look it up! Mysteries are my first love, and Regency period setting, customs, and then to watch a relationship develop between the two protagonists. Sounds like a perfect storm of lovely reading to me!

    Reply
  93. Your series sounds fascinating! I’ll have to look it up! Mysteries are my first love, and Regency period setting, customs, and then to watch a relationship develop between the two protagonists. Sounds like a perfect storm of lovely reading to me!

    Reply
  94. Your series sounds fascinating! I’ll have to look it up! Mysteries are my first love, and Regency period setting, customs, and then to watch a relationship develop between the two protagonists. Sounds like a perfect storm of lovely reading to me!

    Reply
  95. Your series sounds fascinating! I’ll have to look it up! Mysteries are my first love, and Regency period setting, customs, and then to watch a relationship develop between the two protagonists. Sounds like a perfect storm of lovely reading to me!

    Reply
  96. Thank you so much, Andrea, for this post. This is one of my favorite things The Wenches do on this blog. Like everyone else commented, I too love to hear how an author gets her ideas, executes the plot, manuevers (or not) the characters, and creates a series. The question about POV really got me thinking about the differences of POVs. I do like third person in a story so I can see what thougts go through the main character’s minds. I will just parrot everything everyone else has said if I go on. And boy oh boy, I could go on and on. I really just eat this stuff up with a spoon!!! 😀 Thanks again.

    Reply
  97. Thank you so much, Andrea, for this post. This is one of my favorite things The Wenches do on this blog. Like everyone else commented, I too love to hear how an author gets her ideas, executes the plot, manuevers (or not) the characters, and creates a series. The question about POV really got me thinking about the differences of POVs. I do like third person in a story so I can see what thougts go through the main character’s minds. I will just parrot everything everyone else has said if I go on. And boy oh boy, I could go on and on. I really just eat this stuff up with a spoon!!! 😀 Thanks again.

    Reply
  98. Thank you so much, Andrea, for this post. This is one of my favorite things The Wenches do on this blog. Like everyone else commented, I too love to hear how an author gets her ideas, executes the plot, manuevers (or not) the characters, and creates a series. The question about POV really got me thinking about the differences of POVs. I do like third person in a story so I can see what thougts go through the main character’s minds. I will just parrot everything everyone else has said if I go on. And boy oh boy, I could go on and on. I really just eat this stuff up with a spoon!!! 😀 Thanks again.

    Reply
  99. Thank you so much, Andrea, for this post. This is one of my favorite things The Wenches do on this blog. Like everyone else commented, I too love to hear how an author gets her ideas, executes the plot, manuevers (or not) the characters, and creates a series. The question about POV really got me thinking about the differences of POVs. I do like third person in a story so I can see what thougts go through the main character’s minds. I will just parrot everything everyone else has said if I go on. And boy oh boy, I could go on and on. I really just eat this stuff up with a spoon!!! 😀 Thanks again.

    Reply
  100. Thank you so much, Andrea, for this post. This is one of my favorite things The Wenches do on this blog. Like everyone else commented, I too love to hear how an author gets her ideas, executes the plot, manuevers (or not) the characters, and creates a series. The question about POV really got me thinking about the differences of POVs. I do like third person in a story so I can see what thougts go through the main character’s minds. I will just parrot everything everyone else has said if I go on. And boy oh boy, I could go on and on. I really just eat this stuff up with a spoon!!! 😀 Thanks again.

    Reply
  101. First of all, thanks so much about the lovely comment about the Wench writing. It’s very much appreciated.
    You describe multiple POVs—and their potential problems so well. I always notice when an author tries something complex, like the story describe, and nails it.Am totally willing to be taken on a stylistic ride as long as it’s smooth.What annoys me is unclear transitions of POV, or—even worse—head hopping, which drive me crazy!

    Reply
  102. First of all, thanks so much about the lovely comment about the Wench writing. It’s very much appreciated.
    You describe multiple POVs—and their potential problems so well. I always notice when an author tries something complex, like the story describe, and nails it.Am totally willing to be taken on a stylistic ride as long as it’s smooth.What annoys me is unclear transitions of POV, or—even worse—head hopping, which drive me crazy!

    Reply
  103. First of all, thanks so much about the lovely comment about the Wench writing. It’s very much appreciated.
    You describe multiple POVs—and their potential problems so well. I always notice when an author tries something complex, like the story describe, and nails it.Am totally willing to be taken on a stylistic ride as long as it’s smooth.What annoys me is unclear transitions of POV, or—even worse—head hopping, which drive me crazy!

    Reply
  104. First of all, thanks so much about the lovely comment about the Wench writing. It’s very much appreciated.
    You describe multiple POVs—and their potential problems so well. I always notice when an author tries something complex, like the story describe, and nails it.Am totally willing to be taken on a stylistic ride as long as it’s smooth.What annoys me is unclear transitions of POV, or—even worse—head hopping, which drive me crazy!

    Reply
  105. First of all, thanks so much about the lovely comment about the Wench writing. It’s very much appreciated.
    You describe multiple POVs—and their potential problems so well. I always notice when an author tries something complex, like the story describe, and nails it.Am totally willing to be taken on a stylistic ride as long as it’s smooth.What annoys me is unclear transitions of POV, or—even worse—head hopping, which drive me crazy!

    Reply
  106. Jeanna, yes, in self publishing, you are the boos! You get to make all the creative decisions, including covers. But you also have to do all the promotion and marketing. We Wenches have all been traditionally published, so we have some reader name recognition, which helps tremendously with “discoverability” I think someone trying to break into writing just as an indie has challenges. It’s not easy, but it certainly can be done.

    Reply
  107. Jeanna, yes, in self publishing, you are the boos! You get to make all the creative decisions, including covers. But you also have to do all the promotion and marketing. We Wenches have all been traditionally published, so we have some reader name recognition, which helps tremendously with “discoverability” I think someone trying to break into writing just as an indie has challenges. It’s not easy, but it certainly can be done.

    Reply
  108. Jeanna, yes, in self publishing, you are the boos! You get to make all the creative decisions, including covers. But you also have to do all the promotion and marketing. We Wenches have all been traditionally published, so we have some reader name recognition, which helps tremendously with “discoverability” I think someone trying to break into writing just as an indie has challenges. It’s not easy, but it certainly can be done.

    Reply
  109. Jeanna, yes, in self publishing, you are the boos! You get to make all the creative decisions, including covers. But you also have to do all the promotion and marketing. We Wenches have all been traditionally published, so we have some reader name recognition, which helps tremendously with “discoverability” I think someone trying to break into writing just as an indie has challenges. It’s not easy, but it certainly can be done.

    Reply
  110. Jeanna, yes, in self publishing, you are the boos! You get to make all the creative decisions, including covers. But you also have to do all the promotion and marketing. We Wenches have all been traditionally published, so we have some reader name recognition, which helps tremendously with “discoverability” I think someone trying to break into writing just as an indie has challenges. It’s not easy, but it certainly can be done.

    Reply
  111. Glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara.
    You make a really excellent point about knowing the other characters in a first person story. I do enjoy that voice, but like you, I do sometimes miss knowing what the narrator’s main foil is thinking. But it’s good to read in different styles as well as genres to keep things feeling fresh.

    Reply
  112. Glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara.
    You make a really excellent point about knowing the other characters in a first person story. I do enjoy that voice, but like you, I do sometimes miss knowing what the narrator’s main foil is thinking. But it’s good to read in different styles as well as genres to keep things feeling fresh.

    Reply
  113. Glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara.
    You make a really excellent point about knowing the other characters in a first person story. I do enjoy that voice, but like you, I do sometimes miss knowing what the narrator’s main foil is thinking. But it’s good to read in different styles as well as genres to keep things feeling fresh.

    Reply
  114. Glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara.
    You make a really excellent point about knowing the other characters in a first person story. I do enjoy that voice, but like you, I do sometimes miss knowing what the narrator’s main foil is thinking. But it’s good to read in different styles as well as genres to keep things feeling fresh.

    Reply
  115. Glad you enjoyed the post, Barbara.
    You make a really excellent point about knowing the other characters in a first person story. I do enjoy that voice, but like you, I do sometimes miss knowing what the narrator’s main foil is thinking. But it’s good to read in different styles as well as genres to keep things feeling fresh.

    Reply

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