BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Friday, August 22, 2014
WHAT IS A WRITER'S RETREAT?
The past few days, I spent with three other authors at our
writer’s retreat plotting books. In addition to a lot of laughter, exchange of marketing
information, more food than we needed (and a couple of margaritas), we plotted a lot of
books and novellas. We've known one another for twenty years and work well together. Two of the books and one novella were for me. Hooray!
In order to work uninterrupted, we were at a local hotel. We
brought plotting boards, sticky notes, notebooks, and various other plotting
aids that always include chocolate. We congregate in one of the rooms. But this
is not a vacation, folks. We work long, long hours and get down to business
immediately. Even during meals, we talk writing and marketing.
My cousin Sandra called my cell phone while we were in the
process and asked me how in the world we work together to plot. She wondered if
we write on each other’s books. Not at all.
Ready to begin plotting
Our group consisted of a romantic suspense/action adventure/erotica
author, a humor/paranormal suspense romance author, and two of us who write
western historical romance. We use a plotting process similar to that taught by
Robin Perini and Laura Baker in their “Story Magic” workshops. All four of us
attended the same of those workshops years ago. Although this process is not for everyone, it is perfect for us.
Over the years, we’ve modified the “Story Magic” process to
fit our books and writing process. We use a plotting board that has been
divided into chapters. We keep a notebook or laptop handy for notes that won’t
fit on a sticky note. Sticky notes indicate what happens in a particular scene
and in whose point of view the scene is written. Pink notes for the heroine,
blue for the hero, other colors for plot points, villain, and so forth.
A plotted book
We turn our sticky notes into an outline. Although three
other authors suggested turning points and events for the book, how each of us
interprets those suggestions is purely individual. Personal voice and style plus a lot of hours spent working creates a book.
I came home yesterday with a new Stone Mountain novel to be called WINTER BRIDE, a
Stone Mountain Christmas novella called STONE MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS, and the first novel of a new series called the
Bride Brigade. (The first of the Bride Brigade is JOSEPHINE.) At our next retreat that we’re already
planning, I’ll work on a new Kincaid novel about Rafe Kincaid, the second of
the new series, and a Kincaid novella about Monk.
Each of the writers at this retreat works diligently to keep
new work releasing for our readers. But new books don’t just happen. They
involve planning and long hours at the computer. Watch for new releases coming in the future!