More Information

April 29, 2014

To Outline or Not to Outline

To outline or not to outline...

That is now the surprising question.

Although I'm still learning when it comes to writing (and, in fact, aren't we always learning?), I'd always done things the same way up till now: outline outline outline!

Perhaps it's the need to have control over a process (namely, writing) that in itself is quite creative. Perhaps it's my background as a lawyer that means I like to know what to expect. Or perhaps it's the problem solver in me that likes to think " exactly do they get from meet-cute to HEA?"

Anyway, up until now, I've always been about the outline. Even if it wasn't a completely detailed outline, it always took me along the main events from Point A to HEA. With every story I've written, there has been some kind of outline.

Well, no longer.

As an update on the kickboxing boys, I turned that in last week. (yay!) So keep an eye out for Punch-Drunk Love when the M/M Romance Group releases it this summer alongside a bunch of other nifty freebie stories. Like my other M/M Romance Group freebies BTW I Love You and Man-to-Man Coverage, it's around 15-20K words of fluff. On a separate note, the 15-20K words mark appears to be my sweet spot when writing, but maybe that's a subject for another blog post. :)

Anyway, I completed the kickboxing boys' story and immediately turned to a new one that had been waving its arms at me for attention. This story has taken up my writing time the last few days, and it's basically giving the finger and sticking its tongue out to my other WIPs.

I had a general idea that I wrote down in a quick paragraph of story direction.

But here's the thing...after that, I just sat down and began to write it.

No outline, no other notes, nada.

It's been so much fun.

The story is about a werewolf (yes, watching Teen Wolf has definitely provided some paranormal writing inspiration), and it's pretty much fluffy lycan office romance fun. :) Let's just say surprise shifting, bad dates, some porn mags, and a charming new personal assistant are involved.

The process of not having a process has been eye-opening. It's quite freeing, and I can definitely see the appeal of how writers favor this approach. That isn't to say that I don't have a rough outline in my head, but it's almost like not putting it down on paper has some kind of psychological effect of feeling no pressure to take things one way or another.

It might be that extra step of writing it down that has made me feel more locked into an idea. While my outlines in the past have themselves been fluid, my decision (or reluctance?) to change major points possibly was influenced by the fact that they were already down on paper in the first place. So maybe having it in writing already felt like a commitment, whereas doing it from the inspirational paragraph and whatever thoughts are in my head instead permit a lot more straying.

I have no idea, but it's making me question how I approach my other WIPs. Which could be a good thing. Or a bad thing. >__>

We'll see, right? As it is, I'm working on my werewolf boy for now and will take the others one day at a time. I've had a lot of fun trying out this new approach, so who knows? Maybe that'll be my new MO when it comes to getting my stories onto the page.

I've heard so many things about how people plan their stories one way or the other. If you have any opinions on how to organize and put together your tale, please share. I'm curious to hear what you guys think. =)

Now...back to my werewolf!


April 18, 2014

Kickboxing Smuff Progress, Title Madness & Another Sex and Candy Giveaway!

It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I'd add a little update about the kickboxing Love's Landscapes story that has been consuming my free time. Consuming it voraciously. Like a puppy with a juicy bone. *ahem* I finished up the draft last night (yay!), and since I do most of my edits as I write (which is just as time-consuming as it sounds, heh), I polished it up this morning and sent it to my awesome beta buddy for thoughts. >__>

A lot of stuff happens, and, at the same time, it's total smuff (smut + fluff), too. I'm a little nervous about how that combo works here, so we'll see what she thinks. I wanted to post a cool kickboxing photo, but there weren't any decent ones in the public domain. Thus, instead of a kickboxing or boxing photo, here's a picture of Nico-kitteh sitting in a box:

I can also tell you that a unicorn costume makes an appearance in this story. Anything else is secret, and you'll just have to see what happens when the (freebie!) story comes out this summer! ^__^ The full prompt and picture can be found at the end of my post here.

I would totally share the title with you, too, except I'm not sure yet what it is. Eeps! Yes, I sent the title Punch-Drunk Love to the event organizers, but now I'm not sure if I like it enough to use it for the story. *shakes fist weakly* Argh, why is the title so hard?

For my latest story Sex and Candy, the title was automatic.

Have you heard the Marcy's Playground song "Sex and Candy?" That's one of my favorites, and I had it on repeat often in college. Of course, when I set the decidedly smuffy short story in a club called Hard Candy (which you can read more about here), the title Sex and Candy immediately popped into my head. At the time, there was only one other story out there with that title, so I thought it was good to go. I wrote the story back in the autumn and didn't give the title a second thought.

It's funny because a few weeks before the March 30th release, another story with the title Sex and Candy came out from MLR Press. That came as a surprise, but then, after reading the description, I realized the stories were completely different. Now I'm just crossing my fingers that people give my Sex and Candy a shot, too. =)

So while I'm waiting for my beta buddy to get back to me (alliteration there, eh?), I thought I'd post a bit about Sex and Candy and give some stuff away. Yay!

There have been some amazing reviews, and I'm so freaking grateful to everyone who has checked it out. Thank you! You can see what the folks at Prism Book AllianceMy Fiction Nook, and 3 Chicks After Dark had to say about the book if you're curious. =)

Another thing to mention is that the publisher, JMS Books, is having a sale this weekend. All ebooks are 40% off, including Sex and Candy. You can enter the giveaway below for an ebook copy or, if you can't wait to read it, you can pick up the discounted story (for $1.79) here at JMS Books through April 20th! :D




I'm giving away another prize package to celebrate the Sex and Candy HARD opening (heh heh, hard) now that it's available everywhere. *tosses confetti* The soft opening on March 30th was a publisher-only release date, so here's a quick listing of some of the other ebook retailers where you can now find Sex and Candy:

To celebrate all the sexy and sweet things, I'm doing a giveaway package with these lovely goodies:
- ebook copy of Sex and Candy

Plus a snail mail package of these items (open to international winners because you guys read books, too!):
- a pair of electric blue undies (unfortunately, hot guy not included)
- a candy-colored gumdrop bead bracelet
- a silver-colored metal "love" ring


To enter the giveaway, please leave a comment with a means of contacting you (e.g., email, Twitter handle, Goodreads profile link, etc.) and, if you feel like sharing, let me know what your favorite type of candy is! :) 

Hrmmmm...or, since I've asked that before and maybe you'd like to share something else, how about letting us know what song inspires you? "Inspires me to do what?" you ask. Anything! We're equal opportunity inspire-ers here. ;)

Contest closes at 10PM (Pacific time) on Monday, April 28, 2014. The winner will be chosen using a highly scientific internet randomizer (i.e., the 21st century's answer to "names in a hat") and should reply within 48 hours or else another winner will be chosen.

You can also add Sex and Candy to your Goodreads shelf here. Thanks for checking out the post, and happy reading!