Susan Meier, one of the authors of The Billionaire’s Matchmaker is treating Serenity Review’s readers to a guest post for aspiring authors. This post is part of a Virtual Book Tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will award a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Remember, the more you comment, the better your chances of winning!
Guest Post – Author: Susan Meier
Advice for Writers
One of the joys of my professional life is giving online workshops. I get to talk about something I love … writing…and help some wonderful people looking to improve their craft. It’s win/win. 🙂
But if I could only teach one thing to new writers, it would be how to write organically.
Right now some of you are probably saying, “Huh? What the heck is organic writing?”
Simply put, you are writing organically when the actions of your characters flow naturally — organically — because the story is being driven by the character/s. Not dragged along by the plot.
Ah. Dragged along by the plot. Haven’t we all heard that one? Or maybe read a book where it seemed the characters never had two back-to-back thoughts. You can almost see the author working feverishly to get his or her characters to meet the four or five high points of the story. And that’s not good.
That’s also one of the reasons why, when I plot, I don’t like to set out my four or five turning points as if they are something special. They are. (I know they are.) But I don’t let myself make too big of a deal out of them.
Because I don’t want my characters racing ahead, working to get to those high points or lagging behind for fear of hitting a high point too soon. I want the story to flow naturally.
That’s why I use (and may have made up) Journey Steps.
Journey Steps are ALL the steps your character takes to get from who he is at the beginning of the book (the terrible trouble, inciting incident, day/moment everything changed) to who he is at the satisfying conclusion.
Notice, if you see your entire book as a journey of growth, those four or five high points will still fit, but your perception of the book as a journey helps you to see things more … dare I say it? … organically … flowing from the character as he or she grows and changes.
Another thing you will notice is that character actions lead to reactions which lead to decisions which lead to actions which lead to reactions which lead to decisions…
That nice little train can be a magic formula for plotting, but it can also be a way to assure that your writing is organic…or that your characters’ actions flow logically.
If you’re working on a scene and it feels like you’re doing a heck of a lot to manipulate your character into doing what you want…you’re probably not writing organically. And you may want to go back to your synopsis, storyboard or outline and ask yourself…what do I need to set up early on so that the actions/reactions and decisions of my characters flow naturally and makes sense for your character.
That’s one of the great perks of being a plotter rather than a pantser. You can check your story in your synopsis, outline or storyboard to make sure that every action flows naturally.
So I guess my best advice to writers is two-fold. Write organically. But plan your writing in a good synopsis, outline or storyboard!
If you want examples of a storyboard or synopsis go to susanmeier.com and hit the susan’s blog link or go to http://susanmeier.blogspot.com/ My Monday morning blog is dedicated to writers.
In 2013 Susan Meier lived one of her career-long dreams. Her book, THE TYCOON’S SECRET DAUGHER was a finalist for RWA’s highest honor, the Rita! The same year NANNY FOR THE MILLIONAIRE’S TWINS was a Book Buyer’s Best Award finalist and National Reader’s Choice finalist.
Susan is the author of over 50 books for Harlequin and Silhouette, Entangled Indulgence and one of Guideposts’ Grace Chapel Inn series books, THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS.
One of eleven kids, Susan never lacks for entertainment or amusement from her over thirty nieces and nephews. Her family’s Wednesday Morning Breakfasts are the highlight of her summer. And with lots of her nieces and nephews now in their twenties, wedding season is in full swing!
Susan lives in west central Pennsylvania with her husband, son and two crazy cats.
Connect with Susan at susanmeier.com
More About The Billionaire’s Matchmaker Anthology
Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?
Driving Mr. Wrong Home by Shirley Jump: When a handsome man from Gabby’s past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.
The Sheriff’s Secret by Susan Meier: Marney’s 9-1-1 emergency help arrives in the form of a rugged, blue-eyed cop. Now she has the perfect bodyguard to keep her safe during those dark, steamy nights…
Love Unleashed by Jackie Braun: The last thing Mia wants is a relationship…yet the headstrong florist can’t keep her hands off her sexy-as-sin ex-boyfriend. Will she open her heart before he leaves town for good?
Love in the Shadows by Barbara Wallace: Jenny is a woman on a mission – she’ll even resort to dognapping to make her point! But can she teach a reclusive, emotionally-wounded tycoon that love heals all thing?