Published: November 14th, 2013
Genres: YA, Dystopian, Sci-f
“One life will make the difference.” Macey Holsinger has been hearing that promise her whole life. But it hasn’t saved anyone yet, not even her little brother.The disease has claimed countless lives in the last hundred years, and the government is working hard to find a cure through human testing. Testing that has killed nearly as many people as the disease.At sixteen, Macey has better things to think about than saving lives and submitting to any rule other than her parents’. As a budding artist, she has her whole life ahead of her, at least until she faces her own testing.
Questions plague Macey. Questions that make everyone else nervous. How can death be justified with more death? What’s the point of all this?
Answers evade her until she’s left with only one question: How much wil
l she sacrifice in the name of the cure?
How to Write be the Seat of Your Pants: Outline or No?
In general, I’m a seat of my pants writer. Historically, I haven’t done much outlining at all. The whole process reminds me too much of fifth grade with Venn diagrams and makes me gag a little.
But, seat of your pants writing isn’t just sit down and spew forth brilliance – at least it isn’t for me. I spend a lot of time chewing on things, characters, concepts, story lines. So how do I get from chewing to writing?
This is going to sound bizarre, but I do some of my best thinking and daydreaming in the shower. I’ve come up with some brilliant concepts, and in fact, The Blackout was born in the shower. It is my sanctuary, the place where I’m least likely to get interrupted, and the place with the fewest distractions. Facebook, text messages, infants, phone calls, and dogs can’t find me there.
So, whether you outline or write by the seat of your pants, find your sanctuary.
Write as if the whip of your master was behind you
Once I have some good ideas, I start writing. It’s not always productive, and it’s seldom brilliant, but that’s not the point of seat of your pants writing. The point is to just write. Get it all down, the good, bad and the ugly.
Make your caterpillar a butterfly
I think the key to seat of your pants writing is editing. Take your diarrhea of the keyboard and polish it into something that looks like you spent ages planning, outlining, and plotting. Now’s the time to spot plot holes and fill them in. Did you mistakenly change a character’s name half way through? Better fix that. Change the layout of your main character’s home? Better set it right.
If your readers can tell you’ve used the seat of your pants writing method, then it hasn’t worked for you.
So, why not outline?
Why not indeed. In fact, I outlined The Cure – the first time I’ve ever used an outline voluntarily. I thought trying something new might help me to create fewer plot holes and problems within the book. So, I bit the bullet and tried it. However, I’m not married to it. In fact, I eliminated an entire chapter from it and changed directions. And I’ll probably follow a similar method for my next book, with a few tweaks for good measure. I liked how it went, despite my aversion to outlines.
Bottom line: It’s important to find something that works for you. Then, tweak it. Play with it. Mold it. Continue to evolve or you’ll become stagnant, and that’s the last thing your readers want!
Let's see. What do you want to know about me? I love apocalypse movies like 2012 (which is probably why my first book is sort of apocalyptic), I love to read, I love my fur babies, my husband and my family.
I'm a graphic designer by trade, but hoping to some day be able to write full time.
Dan, my husband, and I are brand new parents and loving life!
As far as writing goes, The Blackout was my first published novel, but I've been writing for quite awhile. I won honorable mention in the 72nd Annual Writer's Digest Competition for a short story junior year of college, so that was...awhile ago anyway. Although I published a scholarly paper senior year, fiction writing has always been my passion. Can't wait to see what's next!
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