Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Muse on a High with Guest Blogger: Brooke Moss

Chat with author Brooke Moss today at the Book Boost!

She's here to unleash her muse and here's what she had to say...

Okay, okay, alright…fine. I’m ready to admit it.

I’m a plotter. Sort of.

When I sit down to start a new book, I scribble down the first few chapters, see how it feels, see where the plot is going, and let my creative juices flow. Then, once I am a good two or three chapters in, I panic. I get all sweaty and panicked, and I wonder, where is this book going? Do I have any idea what is going to happen after this next scene? Am I wasting my time? Am I wasting my characters’ time?

Yes, you heard me correctly. I worry about my character’s busy schedules.

What I do after I’ve calmed down, taken a deep breath, and reminded myself that my characters are my creation, and that I can do with them what I want…is plot. Now, before I get ahead of myself, I should explain. I am not one of those plotters who creates story boards, and creates each side characters’ back story, and finds pictures on the internet of each and every character for inspiration.

I simply write out a bullet point document, with all chapters listed, and a short, 2-3 sentence summary of what I want to have accomplished in that scene. This helps me stay on task, keep the flow and pace of my books up, AND it helps me avoid the nasty “excess monster” I am always battling.

Oh, you don’t have one of those? Think of it as a small child with a Bedazzler. She bedazzles every surface in the house. Her clothes, shoes, hair accessories, blankets, toys…and quite possibly her baby brother, or maybe that was just at our house. And then you’re left with a house filled with over-decorated items. Your eyes hurt from all of the sparkle. It’s too much!

Well, I tend to run into this problem with my WIP’s, if I don’t plot a wee bit. I wind up with a 200K word epic saga that contains scenes that—while funny and interesting—are nowhere near necessary to the plot. And then, when I go to edit the darn book, my editing time is increased by weeks. And we won’t even get into how hard it is to sell a book that is bedazzled to death…

So now you understand why I plot. Just a little.

So what happens when my Muse has a different plan?

We all know it happens. There is a story in our head that we see going in one direction, only to be gently nudged—or violently pushed, depending on how strong your Muse is—in a different direction. This happened to me recently. I had the entire book loosely plotted out, and I was ready to start knocking chapters off of my checklist. Chapter one? Check. Chapters two and three? Check, check!

And then it happened. My Muse started plaguing me with dreams. Dark dreams, dreams that had nothing to do with what I was writing. Dreams that were a complete departure from my norm. I fought my Muse for a long time. I told her to sit down and shut up, and I even fed her some salted dark chocolate (my favorite) to shut her up. It worked…for a while. But then she came back. Bigger and better than ever!

After waking up from a certain dream for the eighth night in a row, I listened to my Muse, and sat down to write this new story. It is a complete departure from my norm, and it is something that I’ve never attempted before. Historically speaking, I am not a genre-jumper, so this is stretching my creative muscles in an uncomfortable way. Will I even be able to pull it off? Will I do my Muse justice? Do I have the skills necessary to write something like this?

I just had to let my Muse off of her leash and find out.

I think it’s necessary for a writer to just go with the flow every once in a while. Who knows if it will turn into a best seller, or just a very time-consuming paper weight! I guess it doesn’t matter. What matters is, I am letting my Muse guide me. And I can’t wait to see where I wind up.

A Note from the Book Boost: Wow! Interesting stuff. You're talking to a genre-junkie here. So, my muse frequently takes control of my world. Can't wait to hear about your new stuff--be sure to come back soon and tell us more.


Single mom, Autumn Cole, who is reluctantly returning to her miniscule hometown of Fairfield, Washington, to resume her role as daughter of the town drunk. While there, she discovers that the college sweetheart she left behind, but never stopped loving, is now her son’s history teacher. A heartwarming story full of laughs and tears.

Want More Brooke?

Visit her website here: http://brookemoss.com/

Pick up a copy of her book today! Click here.


blcsdina said...

Great post! Love how you explain the process you undertake while writing. I also use the bullet method-if it is in fact a method. Like you, I jot down a few key things I want to happen in the novel and then write. I like to handwrite the chapter and then type it. I like how you mentioned your plotting can go in different directions once you write! Me too! Again, great post and this would also work well in Writer's Digest! Dina Rae

Brooke Moss said...

Thanks, Dina! It's hard for me to explain my method, because it feels like there really isn't one...but I think all authors have a certain method to their own version of madness.


Alexa said...

Ooooh! I also write my 1st draft by hand! And I have this issue more often than not that I write the rough draft and THEN find out I've got the wrong hero! UGH! Talk about time-consuming rewrites! But it all works out. Now if I could just listen to my muse from the START of the book.....

Brooke Moss said...

I hear that, Alexa. If I just let my Muse guide me from the beginning, I'd be much better off...