aliens

Sometimes, linear writing does not come easy to me.

It’s Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m reprinting a post on linear writing that originally appeared five years ago. The concept of every story being different is still true. Sometimes, extensive plotting is required. Sometimes, you put your head down and jump in. I’d like to say it gets easier, but I’d be lying.
p.s. The short story mentioned is still on my hard drive. It morphed from a short story to part of a trilogy, all three subplots occurring simultaneously. I still don’t know how I’ll pull that off.

Linear writing doesn’t always mean linear plotting.

Linear writing doesn’t always mean linear plotting. In the debate of pantser vs. plotter, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being I’ll figure this out later and 10 equaling a hundred page outline), I’d put myself at about an 8. Yes, I’ll admit to creating a spreadsheet or two in my time, but I don’t always know what will happen three chapters from now. I generally have an idea, and I know that P, Q, and R have to happen before Z, but sometimes T, U and V are a bit hazy.

Sometimes, linear writing does not come easy to me.I’m having a haziness problem with the short story I’m working on. You’d think, with a short story, I’d have the opposite problem. With fewer words, scenes and subplots, the way to Z should be clear. Alas, not so much.

Being early solved my plot problem

Last Saturday, I attended a writing retreat. As providence would have it, I misjudged when it started, which left me with an hour of free time. Luckily, I had a fresh legal pad with me. I set out defining the GMC (goal, motivation and conflict)  of my main character, Ray. It didn’t take me too long to realize he lacked two of the three. I played the old game of  “Why does he want it?  Why does he really want it? and Why does he secretly, deep down, maybe-he-doesn’t-know-why want it?” I discovered a lot of his history which probably won’t make it into the story, but it sure as hell gave me his motivation. After that, his conflict was clear. What or who has the power to stop him?

Aliens are my go-to antagonists whether I am linear writing or not.I played this game with his antagonists, the aliens. Yes this is an alien story. I discovered they are my go-to antagonists. After I’d clarified their GMC, I realized they and old Ray have the same antagonist. This brought a third major character (or entity) into the story. There’s all kinds of secret keeping, double dealing and tension that wasn’t in the story before.

This is called the crunch. The juicy element that pulls you in and keeps you in. The bite to the story.

A new way of writing

I know the final scene. The challenge is, I will have to write it in an entirely different way than I normally do, which is linear writing, the comfort of A to Z. In order to preserve the twist, this will be a C, K, R, F kind of story. Non linear. Very Inception-like. Benjamin Button. Look here. No, over there.

I’ve turned to a new page on my legal pad and am working through the GMC of the three main characters and what scenes are crucial for each. I’m sure I’ll have to write them out of sequence then patchwork them together later.

It’s not quite pantsing. It’s a little scary, but it’s the way I wrote my very first story. I woke from a dream with a vivid ending. I didn’t know the characters, I surely didn’t know what GMC was, but I knew I had to get them to Z.

How do you write, and how do you get to Z?

 

Save

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

Quotes from The Alien and the CEO, a short story alien romance

5 Quotes from The Alien and the CEO

Quotes from The Alien and the CEO, a short story alien romanceThe Alien and the CEO is the third installment in the short story Slakerian Empire series. Quotes from the first, Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien, can be found here. Quotes from the second, The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, can be found here.

If you’re not familiar with the series, the Slakerian Empire has been decimated by war. In an attempt to rebuild after their victory, they send a ship, The Baldain, to Earth to search for human females. Using a matchmaking software program, Searching4TrueLove.com, they recruit women of child-bearing age who have little or no family and are ready for adventure.

In Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien, Sage Harding, an ex-trophy wife, changes from mocking the subscribers to contemplating a relationship with one of them—spaceman Lt. Dax Richque.

In The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, alien recruiter Lt. Paul Landaeta sees Natalie Cardellini dancing in the rain and tries to convince her to join him.

The Alien and the CEO takes place shortly before and after The Baldain leaves Earth on its return journey. A glitch in the software program forces The Baldain’s commander, Jakes Echabarne, to recruit CEO and Hunting4TrueLove software developer, Vivi Soria, aboard The Baldain.
Read an excerpt here:
http://cherylsterlingbooks.com/cheryl-sterling-books/the-alien-and-the-ceo/


Now available for purchase:

Available on Amazon

Available at ibooks, Nook, Kobo and others here

Future writing plans

In 2017, I’ll write at least four more books in the series. The next one, The Alien and the Chef, will be released in February or March. I’m devoting the month of November and part of December to NaNoWriMo, to write write the second book in The Enchanted Forest series, Red Riding Hood and the Very Bad Wolfe. The first in the series, Snow White and the Eighth Dwarf, is written but needs to be edited. I hope I’ll be able to squeeze time from NaNo (ha, ha, ha) to edit it and get it to my beta readers. I’m planning on a late January release.

Ambitious? Yes, but I love all the characters and can’t wait to get into their idiosyncracies then present them to my readers.

Wish me luck in NaNo. I’m excited to put a new twist on the Little Red Riding Hood classic.

Blessings.

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more

Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story

The Alien and the Girl in the Rain was an Oops! kind of story. It almost didn’t make it into the Slakerian Empire series. After writing Mr. Right, Mr. Wrong, Mr. Alien, I had no intention of writing a series. It was a simple tale of an alien race that had traveled to Earth to find women to help repopulate their world, Slakeria, after a devastating war. The aliens used an online matchmaking service, Hunting4TrueLove.net, to find single women of childbearing age who had little if no family and sought adventure. The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story romance

Done deal. One short story, go on with writing. (At the time I had plans for a full-length Snow White fairy tale romance, now completed and available in January).

But one day, I wondered about Jakes Echabarne, the commander in Mr. Right. I paired him with the developer of the matchmaking software, Vivi Soria. Why not? I could get her on board the alien ship to “fix” a problem in the software.

About halfway through writing The Alien and the CEO, I remembered Lt. Paul Landaeta of the alien ship and a snippet of a story I’d once read about a dying woman. I decided to pair them as well. One problem—if I wanted the stories to be released chronologically, I’d have to write The Alien and the Girl in the Rain first, as it took place on Earth. The Alien and the CEO takes place on the way to the planet the aliens and humans will colonize.

I wrote The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, returned to The Alien and the CEO, created covers on canva.com, and released them together.

If you haven’t ordered The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, I hope these quotes will interest you in purchasing it. An excerpt can be read here.Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story Quote from The Alien and the Girl in the Rain, an alien short story

Available on Amazon

Available at ibooks, Nook, Kobo and others here

Save

Save

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinby feather
Read more