Today I’m excited to welcome author Courtney Cole to my blog. This is part of her blog tour for her book Confessions of an Alli Cat.
My Writing Process
I’ve been asked a zillion times about my writing process. So, I thought I’d take this opportunity to share it. Prepare to be under-whelmed. Hehe.
I am a Pantser when it comes to writing. That means…I fly by the seat of my pants. I don’t sit down ahead of time and plot out every minute detail of the book, but I do flesh things out from the start. And I begin with the characters, because that is what forms in my head first. I’m a character writer through and through.
To begin, I sit down and write out the details of the characters. What are they like? What do they like? What do they look like? I make a character card for each one so that I don’t forget the details as I go along. I keep the card box on my desk at all times. (Others use software for this, but I prefer being able to grab something with my hands).
After I flesh out the characters, I do research. I research the location, story background, culture, etc. And then I make a story board. I have several storyboards in my office, all for open series’ that I’m writing. One is on an easel, one is on a wall, one is on a really cool old antique mirror. But anyway, I include details about the two main characters and any other relevant information.
I usually have a clear idea of how I want the story to start and end, but the middle is always unclear to me. I usually only outline my book a chapter ahead of time. I have to wait and see where my story is taking me…what path is will take as it travels toward the end that I want.
With Confessions of an Alli Cat I knew that it was set in Vegas, which I knew nothing about. So, I researched it, contacted a couple of friends who live there, asked them questions, etc.
My next release, If You Stay (due out February 12) is set on the shore of Lake Michigan which I am already quite familiar with. So, for this book, I didn’t have to research location much at all. And that was nice.
Once I have the background and location researched, my characters fleshed out and the beginning clearly formed in my head, I start writing.
Yep. It’s that simple. And then as I go along, I outline each chapter before I start it, usually one or two at a time. I always have a goal in mind- because I know how I want it to end. I rarely change my mind about an ending along the way, although the middle usually changes several times before I am finished.
And then… after I have spent a million sleepless nights with the coffee pot as my friend and have pulled a large amount of my hair out, my book is finished. Eventually. Unless I decide that I hate it along the way and scrap it. Which has happened. (Thankfully, not often).
Confessions of an Alli Cat
“You know what they say…a happy vagina is a happy woman. Well, they might not say that, but they should.” -Alli
Thirty-five year-old Allison “Alli” Lancaster has it all–a fabulous job, a beautiful 15 year-old daughter, a hilarious BFF and a gorgeous house with a pool and Jacuzzi in an exclusive Las Vegas neighborhood. What she doesn’t have is a husband, because she kicked her lousy, cheating ex to the curb nine months ago. Since then, Alli has paid her dues with seemingly endless self-improvement and seemingly endless mourning. Now she’s ready to move on and try new things.
Alli’s idea of “trying new things” is nothing like that devil-of-a-best-friend of hers. Somehow, Sara, the devil of a best friend, talks Alli into trying out a sex toy, sleeping with a younger man and letting a stranger in a lab jacket put hot wax on a place that should never, ever, ever see wax. And that’s only the beginning.
Alli never saw her life going quite like this. She also never thought she’d meet someone else who had the very real potential to change her life forever.
But she did.
Enter the new guy. He’s gorgeous, refined and mature. He’s also marriage material. But that poses a problem for Alli, who renounced the institution of marriage when she renounced her ex. What’s a girl to do?
They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But what the heck happens when you can’t leave Vegas? Well, you spin the wheel, of course. You play the game and let the chips fall where they may.
Alli just hopes she can find them all.
Courtney Cole is a novelist who lives near Lake Michigan. Her favorite place in the world is on the shore with her toes in the water. Although, since she is deathly afraid of sea gulls, it makes days at the beach interesting.
Courtney is the author of several YA series (The Paradise Diaries, The Bloodstone Saga and The Moonstone Saga) as well as a couple of adult series (The Cougar Chronicles and The Minaldi Legacy). Her next project is a Women’s Contemporary Romance titled If You Stay, which will release on February 12, 2013.
To learn more about Courtney, visit her website, www.courtneycolewrites.com
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