This EOF is a guest blog rather than an interview. Please welcome Katy Lee. Katy is an inspirational author, speaker, home-schooling mom, and children’s ministry director. She has dedicated her life to sharing tales of love, from the greatest love story ever told to those sweet romantic stories of falling in love. Her fresh and unique voice brings a fast-paced and modern feel to her romances. Her debut novel Real Virtue is a finalist in many writing contests, including the 2011 Georgia Maggie Award of Excellence and the 2013 EPIC Award. Her next release, Warning Signs, is a Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense and will be available in October 2013. Katy lives in New England with her husband, three children, and two cats.
Thank you for having me at How to Write Fast! I wish I could say I was a natural speed writer, but alas, I cannot. Actually, though, I’m okay with that because for me it’s more important to know I have a strong, healthy story concept that will hold its weight during the writing process and not get shelved halfway through. The story may not get written lightning fast, but it WILL get written.
Are you with me?
Great, because I’m about to bring up the concept of plotting. Now don’t runaway yet! Here me out. I used to be a pantser, thinking all I needed was inspiration, creative juices, and a hero/heroine that would tell me their story along the way. Well, that worked for the first book, but when I was presented with an opportunity to pitch to a big publisher, I knew I couldn’t let it pass me by—even if the story didn’t exist yet. (Shhh…don’t tell anyone).
But it was because the story wasn’t written that I knew I didn’t have all the time in the world to get the word count on the page this time around. This time, I only had eight weeks to complete it. It was time to get serious as a professional writer.
Now this doesn’t mean writing had to become so strict that I didn’t enjoy the creative process anymore. I may plot out the skeleton form of my story with all its plot turns and dark moments, and I may write the opening and closing scenes before I begin, but I’m open to surprises along the way to keep it fun, too.
E.L. Doctorow once said plotting is like “driving a car at night, when you can’t see beyond the headlights but somehow you get through the night.” When I’m plotting, I plot ahead only as far as the “headlights” shine. Typically, about three scenes in advance. All my turning points guide me along the way, but I still have flexibility for when those delightful surprises pop up. Plus, I know I’m not leading my characters off a cliff. But wait, actually, that’s not a bad idea. I could use that. (Just kidding…sort of.)
Anyway, the point is you will stay on track, and because you know what’s coming, your excitement to get your characters to those moments—so they can become larger-than-life and shine for your readers, too—pushes you like no other motivation to type through to The End.
Now plotting has not made me type faster, as in words per minute, but I don’t get “slowed up” as much as I used to. I don’t have long stretches of wasted time because of not having a clue where the story is going. Now when I start a story, I feel very confident that it will be completed in a professional amount of time.
Of course, there is a downside to all of this. It might mean more book contracts each year, and editors calling when they need a special project in a pinch. But, I’ll let you make that call for yourself.
Thank you for having me on your blog! Readers, I love comments and would love to hear from you. Please keep in touch with me at my website: www.KatyLeeBooks.com
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