Happy Birthday Megan!
Happy Birthday to my PIC (partner in crime) Megan!!
Megan is my wonderful critique partner, but more importantly she’s my friend and partner in all things snark and writing suffrage. Megan is kind and generous with her praise as well as being there with that kick in the butt when I need it too in order to get to the next word. She’s one of the smartest writers I know with the, hands down, best catalog of music.
On top of all that she has great taste in men…
and she can rock a vintage 70’s frock like nobody’s business while rocking out to Afrika Bambaataa.
Happy Birthday PIC! Wishing you the best year ever! Please join me in wishing a happy birthday to Megan.
dress from here. Megan may want to pick it up.
Happy Birthday to the PIC!Happy Birthday to the PIC!!! This is my Partner In Crime, Megan and today is her birthday!She reads all my words, listens to all my gripes, understands all my snark and has the best taste in fashion as you can clearly see here. Please join me in wishing her a very Happy Birthday!
P.S.She’s also the author of this very fine romance. Have your read it? You should.
Go visit Megan at her blog here to send her more birthday wishes.
The QuietWhat’s Jack up to? Jack’s a bit better today. Not much snapping so that’s good. I’m taking a hard line, but of course it’s hard to do with those big brown eyes of his. I must stay strong.I’ve been a terrible blog hopper and lately not keeping up with many of my favorite blogs which maybe means that I’ve been a good blog hopper because for a while there blogs were taking up way too much of my time and kind of taking over my life.But yesterday while doing some perusing over at one of my favorite blogs The 5 Spot I read a post that really hit me that one of my favorite writers, Liza Palmer wrote. You may remember Liza from my interview I did with her here. Well Liza was talking about Ebbs and Flows and how this is an “Everything and Nothing kind of summer,” that “There’s this dip happening where it just seems like everything’s hard and nothing’s quite working out and life has taken on this molasses-y kind of pace.” Lines like this is why Liza is one of my favorite writers.She then talked about the journey and the quiet moments and how hard they are and how we as women especially hate those quiet moments (or years in my case). They can be positively brutal. You know those times when you plod along from work to work to work with what seems to be no real progress or reward. When people ask, “what new?” and you really don’t have anything new to report so you just nod and smile and say, “oh just the same ole thing,” With a small knot in your chest.
But you’re at that strange point in your journey. Too far past the start to turn back. As a matter of fact way past the middle and the journey is not a hop on hop off type of thing. Take the next train back to normal. It’s a desert trek. If you turn back you could possibly die. So you have no choice, but shake your canteen, wipe your brow and plod ahead putting one foot in front of the other and move forward.I guess that’s what it’s all about the forward motion, not standing still or going backward, but moving forward and learning to enjoy and accept the quiet. I hear the best ideas come in the quiet moments anyway.You can check out Liza’s entire post here. The way she compare Michael Phelps and Mariska Hargitay is not to be missed.In Birthday news Happy Birthday to the P-I-C Megan. It is truly a magical moment when you find that special someone who really gets you. No, I’m not talking about that special someone. I’m talking about a girlfriend that other special someone you call to complain about that other special someone and all the other things that really irk you nerves because you that they just irk her nerves too. So cheers to you P-I-C!
Plotting By The Seat Of Your Pants
What’s Jack up to? He’s mad because the DH put a new lock on the laundry room door so he can’t get in there and rifle though the clean towels. Sorry Dude. You must find some new trouble to get into today.
This weekend I’m excited to be attending the New England Chapter of Romance Writer’s of America’s Annual Conference. On top of getting to sit down for first time face to face with my fab agent I’ll get to attend workshops with some great authors which is always pretty inspiring.
One of the inspiring authors giving a workshop this year is my own PIC (partner in crime) and author of the regency historical, A Singular Lady, Megan Frampton. Megan will be doing a workshop called Plotting by the Seat of Your Pants which I got to hear her do recently for our local New York Chapter. Listening to this workshop caused me to bug Megan for a quickie interview on plotting. Enjoy.
Hi Megan. Thanks for doing this interview. It’ll be quick and painless. I promise.
1. Tell me a little about your workshop and what made you decide to put this type of workshop together?
In the course of attending various writers’ conferences, I realized—perhaps not a rocket scientist moment on my part—that there were very few workshops for pantsers, probably because of our seat of the pants style. As I tried to figure out how to write a story, and not just pretty words strung together, I came up with some ideas to ask myself in the course of writing that don’t involve “plot,” “outline” or “stay true to the synopsis.”
[And I gotta give props to my faux critique partner, Carolyn Jewel, who worked on the outline with me. Some day we will present this workshop together, but meanwhile, buy Carolyn’s Book, My Wicked Enemy, when it comes out this summer. End of commercial.]
2. When you said, ” a writer has to decide if they really are a Pantser and not a plotter looking to get out of the work,” it made me laugh and made me think. Can you tell me what that really means? How can a writer tell if they really are a true Pantser or a Plotter?
I think true pantsers feel freest to write—and write best—when when they have only a vague story trajectory in mind. Wannabe pantsers work well with structure, but might not want to put in the advance work that pantsers do on the fly. Either way, it’s work that has to get done; it’s just a difference in when you do it.
3. Another great point you make in your workshop deals with the fact that romances always have the happily ever after and you talk about how NOT to get the character together for 400 pages. Can you talk about that concept?
Real-life romances are boring: You meet, you have a first date, it goes well, you have another one, and so on until you’re I-do-ing. Great for life, not so great for a fantastic story. The whole point, the big question the reader should be asking herself through the course of reading is not ‘when will they I do?’ but ‘how is the author possibly going to get these two together?’ THAT’s why you read. In a romance, the HEA is a foregone conclusion; it’s your job as a writer to make it less foregone, at least in the reader’s mind.
4. You also bring up the clothes line approach. Can you tell me a bit about that and how it helps the Pantser?
For me, I can write really pretty words (see above) but the scenes they’re in might not have much storyline significance. In order to make it to the final edit, you should ask yourself if the story can exist without that scene. If it can, rip it out, no matter how pretty your words are. If it can’t, keep it, and that becomes one of your clothesline items: You move from sock to sock (event to event) until you reach the end of the pole (no double entendre intended, btw). Each sock is more crucial as you advance, and you can work from one point to the next without having to know the whole wash in advance.
5. How can a Pantser feel confidant when they type THE END that they really are at the end with all the loose ends tied up neatly and completely.
Oh, for goodness’ sake, ask me a hard question, why don’t you! I have no idea. I know I feel confident that it’s done because I am COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY OVER IT, at least until I pull it out and edit it. I guess when your characters are smooching you are at the end, hopefully with ends tied. As you re-read, keep a notebook and make note of threads of plot you may or may not have tied up. Chances are you did, since your unconscious helps you, but if you didn’t, you can work it into your edit.
Ha! Don’t get mad at me. I was hoping for something divine. Humph! I guess we’ll have to keep relying on each other. Ah-hem. Ok. Back to interview mode.
6. Finally, please tell us what’s next for you.
I’ll be working on a super-sexy high-concept novella called “Fortune’s Lady” (although I might name it My Lady’s Pleasure), and then the next book in my Road series, Road to Desire. I am searching for a new agent, and am committed, for the time being, to historical, although I would love to write another contemporary (I did one that didn’t sell—yet—called Mothering Heights which is being shopped around).
Thanks for doing this PIC! See you in New England! Well, there and on the bus going there:)
Megan majored in English literature at Barnard College with a double minor in political science and religion. She worked in the music industry for 15 years, editing and writing music reviews for a music industry trade magazine. Eventually, she became the Editor-in-Chief and went on to develop music industry conference programs.
Megan married one of her former interns and lives in Brooklyn, NY, with him and her son. Now that she stays at home, Megan has returned to reading — and writing — the fiction that was her first love. She is a member and was President of the Beau Monde (2004-2005), the Regency chapter of the Romance Writers of America, and a member of the NYC chapter of the RWA as well. Find out more about Megan here.