Thursday, March 27, 2014

S.M. McEachern on Writing by the Seat of Your Pants @smmceachern #SciFi #BookClub #WriteTip

I knew absolutely nothing about being an author until after I published.  Yes, I realize that’s a bit like tying my shoes before I put them on, but that’s the point. If I have hard time putting on my shoes, odds are I’ll go looking for a different pair, which will probably put a different spin on what I’m wearing.
For me, writing by the seat of my pants gives me flexibility.  Don’t get me wrong. I’m not sitting down at my computer banging out whatever pops into my head (okay, that’s not entirely true…). I do have a plot in mind. But it’s the journey from the beginning of the story to the end that holds twists and turns even for me. How is that possible, you ask? It’s the characters that lead me.
When I start to write my characters they almost jump up off the page and introduce themselves. Even the minor characters, like a guard who just needs to be in the hallway, has to have a story. I’m thinking of my character in Sunset Rising, Bron Llewellyn.  Honestly, she was just a guard in the first chapter. Why? Because the Pit is guarded and I had to have guards. I made her one of the “good” guards because even in a dystopic world, not every single guard is going to be mean, right? Then I asked myself, why is she a good guard?  Why is she sympathetic to the Pit?  By answering those questions, I hatched a subplot that wove seamlessly into the main plot and spilled into the second book of the series, Worlds Collide.
I’m a member of local writer’s group and I’ve talked to authors who create an outline first and then write to the outline. I’m amazed at this kind of organization. I wish I could apply it to my Tupperware drawer because I’d save myself at least 15 minutes every morning trying to find containers with lids that fit for my kids’ lunches. Then again, if I could readily match lids with containers, I’d probably make chocolate pudding more often for lunch.  Chocolate pudding isn’t really that good for them.  An apple is better.  And an apple doesn’t require a container.
You see the logic?
The point is, if the story is already laid out for me, I’ll write to the storyline. I’ll stop asking myself questions—and if I do that, I’ll stop coming up with answers I didn’t expect.  For me, writing by the seat of my pants gives me the freedom to be creative.
February 2024: Desperate to find refuge from the nuclear storm, a group of civilians discover a secret government bio-dome. Greeted by a hail of bullets and told to turn back, the frantic refugees stand their ground and are eventually permitted entry.  But the price of admission is high.
283 years later...  Sunny O'Donnell is a seventeen-year-old slave who has never seen the sun.  She was born in the Pit, a subterranean extension of the bio-dome. Though life had never been easy, the last couple of months had become a nightmare. Her mom was killed in the annual Cull, and her dad thought it was a good time to give up on life.  Reyes Crowe, her long-time boyfriend, was pressuring her to get married, even though it would mean abandoning her father.
She didn't think things could get any worse until she was forced upstairs to the Dome to be a servant-girl at a bachelor party.  That's when she met Leisel Holt, the president's daughter, and her fiancé, Jack Kenner.
Now Sunny is wanted for treason.  If they catch her, she'll be executed.
She thought Leisel's betrayal was the end.  But it was just the beginning.
"Sunset Rising" is Book One of a series.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - YA Science Fiction, Dystopian
Rating – PG-16
More details about the author
Connect with S.M. McEachern through Facebook & Twitter

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