Pantser or Plotter and How That Fits into NaNoWriMo

To outline or not to outline, that is the question. But where to start? Do I wing it or scribble down an outline for this blog post? And how can I work in info about my own writing process and NaNoWriMo at the same time? Talk about multitasking! Here goes, I’m going to wing it with no outline. Sort of like going commando.

I’m sure many of you have heard of Pantsers and Plotters and the question, which are you? I personally don’t think any writer is 100% either. For myself, I probably lean towards the plotter side, but when I first started writing I thought I was a pantser. That was because I don’t write down an outline. For example, when I wrote Metamorphic Heart with Alexis Woods, I read the prompt request, and conjured up Kase almost immediately in my head. Later I added in Alexis’ poem, and more scenes appeared which I wanted in the story.

I’ve read that some people use cards to shuffle around scenes and some writers use blackboards. One thing I learned while working with Alexis, was that I needed to write down the sequence of events so that the scenes she wrote would let her know what outline I had in mind. I would write the overall general scene with step by step bullet points as to their order and if I wanted certain dialogue, I would also add that to the outline and Alexis would put her spin on it, then we’d discuss it. Things like what we needed more of or what we could take out. Other than when I was in school and outlining was mandatory, that’s the first time in years that I wrote down a plot. I prefer shuffling and moving the scenes around in my head.

One part of a story that I need first or at least pretty quickly before I start writing is the ending and some semblance of a beginning. It’s like bookends on a shelf. No ending, and there’s no stability to the story. No goal to aim for, just a never ending path. I may not have the exact words for the end, but I will have a pretty good idea how it will finish, where the MCs will be, the actions they will be taking, and often the general gist of the dialogue. Which is ass backwards for pantsers since they go with the flow, and enjoy not knowing where the story ends up. That should’ve given me a clue that I wasn’t a pantser.

What does all this plot talk have to do with NaNoWriMo you many be wondering. I wrote a flash fic that I’d like to expand upon. I don’t have a plot, just some vague ideas, but believe it or not, I already have over 1k of the ending written, including dialogue. At the time I wrote the ending, I didn’t have any idea of the characters’ personalities, but it emerged as I typed. So I suppose you could call that pantsering. I had a general idea about the scene, but then the characters took over and wrote it for me. Of course, this ending may not be the actual ending, it might be followed by a short epilogue, which I’m feeling is the right way to go. Now that I have the ending, the story is likely to play out.

While waiting for NaNo to start, I’m checking out some blogs looking for posts on outlining. I’m going to see if outlining can help me, or whether it stifles me. If anyone of you readers knows of some good blog posts that discuss outlining and their techniques, without me having to purchase someone’s book, then please, provide a link in the comment section below.

In the meantime, how about sharing if you’re participating in NaNo and if you’ve got a specific plan for your story or are you going to wing it? Maybe you’re just going to write blog posts everyday, which is also a great way to keep writing. Maybe you’ll write short stories instead of one novel, which is still great. Let me know what you have planned for NaNo.

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Beaten Track Publishing

As some of you know, my publisher is Beaten Track Publishing. I was lucky to sign up with BTP soon after I wrote my first story, If At First You Don’t Succeed, for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group. Debbie McGowan runs BTP. She’s an editor and a fabulous writer in her own right. Debbie is so good in fact, she won the 2016 Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance for her Historical novel, When Skies Have Fallen.

But this isn’t really about my thoughts on BTP, I wanted to post a link to Book Bike Reviews where Bec has written a great blogpost about BTP and the authors connected with it. So hop on over to visit Bec and her cute little owl mascots to read the Beaten Track Publisher Spotlight blogpost.


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Take Flight Today!

front-coverThe 2016 Queer Sci Fi Flash Fiction anthology, “Flight”, is here, and I have a story in it! It’s a really cool concept:

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of the entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

The book is available in eBook form (4.99), and will soon be available in paperback with b/w illustrations inside (12.99) and in a special collector’s edition with color illustrations (24.99).

Buy Links

Amazon eBook | Kobo | All Romance | Goodreads

Short Excerpt:

Purrsuasion by K.C. Faelan

Gunnar landed quietly atop the dresser, prey clasped in his jaws. He fluttered his black, leathery wings, and peered down at Trace sleeping on his back, blond hair spread like a halo, faint snores rising from parted lips.

Gathering his paws beneath him, Gunnar launched.

“Oof!” Trace jackknifed upright, snapping his eyes open.

Bullseye. Gunnar hung on, needle-sharp nails gripping the skintight T-shirt.

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Filed under 2016, flash fiction, Flight, gay, release day


A few months back, the Queer Sci Fi group I belong to, had an open call for writers to submit a 300 word flash fic into their yearly competition. This year the theme for the competition was called, ‘Flight,’ and as expected, all stories had to contain some version of flight in whatever form the writers imagined. The story I submitted was titled ‘Purrsuasion.’ I didn’t win, but all the submitted entries, including mine, are in the book ‘Flight’, from fluffy to horror to everything you can imagine. The stories are short, but the book packed. The winning stories also each have a picture drawn for them and I’m interested in seeing how they turned out. I hope you give ‘Flight,’ a read. It will be available in ebook and paperback formats.

Here are the official details of the book from the Queer Sci Fi group:

Release Date: September 21, 2016

A 300-word story should be easy, right? Many of our entrants say it’s the hardest thing they’ve ever written.

Queer Sci Fi’s Annual Flash Fiction Contest challenges authors to write a complete LGBTQ speculative fiction micro-story on a specific theme. “Flight” leaves much for the authors to interpret—winged creatures, flight and space vehicles, or fleeing from dire circumstances.

Some astonishing stories were submitted—from horrific, bloodcurdling pieces to sweet, contemplative ones—and all LGBTQ speculative fiction. The stories in this anthology include AI’s and angels, winged lions and wayward aliens. Smart, snappy slice of life pieces written for entertainment or for social commentary. Join us for brief and often surprising trips into 110 speculative fiction authors’ minds.

**Print books will be available. There are two versions. A B&W illustrated version will be available for $12.99. A full-color illustrated version will be available for $24.99.








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Is it Really August Already?


Glowing Coals


I can’t believe it’s August! July just flew by. I know I mentioned I’d make a post about how I came to write Aligning North back in July, but I got distracted. Instead, I plan on setting some time aside this month to write the post.

The campfire is dying at Camp Nano and I was somewhat successful at attaining my writing goal. I wrote about 8k and my goal was 10k, so I think I did pretty good.

Recently I was interviewed by J. Scott Coatsworth, writer and administrator of the Facebook group, Queer Sci Fi. The group is focused on the discussion and promotion of LGBT sci fi, fantasy and paranormal fiction. Scott posted the interview on his blog today. He had great questions for me. If you go to his blog post you’ll also find a giveaway. It’s for one copy of Aligning North, my M/M summer romance set in Yosemite National Park, so head over to Scott’s blog and post a comment.

Until next time, for those in the northern hemisphere, I hope you enjoy your summer!



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Filed under 2016, aligning north, Camp Nano, interview, J.Scott Coatsworth

It’s Off to Camp Nano!



Camp Nano is here and once again I’ve joined a Camp, I’ve also changed the header for the blog to get in the mood! Last year was the first time I participated in Nano. I also participated in camp nano earlier this year and worked on catching up on the reviews I was behind on. My plans for this month are to write reviews, make some blog posts and maybe, just maybe, start work on a short story. I’ve already made good progress on my word count and hope to stay on track, even if it’s only a few words a day.

I have some awesome cabin mates and Noah Homes is our Cabin Leader. He’s the graphic artist that created the cover for my co-authored book Metamorphic Heart and the second edition of BTP’s Boughs of Evergreen Anthology. The cabin is filled with other lovely authors from Beaten Track Publishing and our friends. We have BTP’s editor/publisher and very talented author, Debbie McGowan. She wrote When Skies Have Fallen which recently won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance. Also shacking up with us is the writer and poet, Al Stewart and his cohort, Claire Davis. Their books make a reader laugh, think or tug at the heart strings. There’s also Ofelia Grand, the lady with the lovely name, but she scares me with her horror stories! Ofelia has lured Amy Spector into her lair and those two have written a spooky anthology together. I can see them huddling in the tent discussing schemes and nefarious deeds. We also have VW Singer, a talented author who makes great computer graphic covers for his BDSM books, they have intriguing plots.

In next week’s blog post I’m going to share how I came to write Aligning North, which is the story of Blake and Zac, and hiking the Grand Traverse Trail through Yosemite National Park. I’m always interested in how an author comes up with their ideas for a story and the reason for their choices so I thought you might be interested what my thought processes were in writing this fun summer story.

I’d like to wish my fellow Americans a great Fourth of July! Whether you go watch a parade, fireworks or decide to stay home and barbeque, I hope you stay safe and enjoy a wonderful holiday weekend.

Happy Fourth of July!



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It’s That Time of Year…To Vote!

The Goodreads M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards are under way. The polls are up and it’s time to vote for your favorite in each category. Of course you need to be a member of the M/M group in order to vote and you can join on the home page here.  The link to the polls, which are open until January 15th, can be found in the upper right hand corner of their home page.

I’m excited that one of the books I wrote, Top Floor, and one I co-authored with Alexis Woods, Metamorphic Heart, are nominated in several categories. There are so many well known authors nominated for the categories, I don’t expect to win, but I do love the pretty banners 🙂 If you would like to vote for either of the books, the links for the categories are provided below.

Best Love is an Open Road Story – Top Floor

Best Historical – Top Floor

Best Love is an Open Road Story – Metamorphic Heart

Best Long Story – Metamorphic Heart

If you haven’t read either of these stories, why not give them a try? They’re free to read and are as different from each other as night and day.

Thanks! 🙂







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Filed under awards, DRitC, M/M Romance 2015 Member's Choice Awards, M/M Romance Group, Metamorphic Heart, Top Floor

End of Year Post

file1861278465605It’s time for the last blog post of 2015 since New Year’s is almost upon us. It’s the time to reflect on the year past and plan for 2016.

If you’ve been following my blog here on WordPress, or on Goodreads, you know that I wrote two novel length stories for the Goodreads M/M Group’s DRitC Love Is An Open Road event. The first was Top Floor a Historical novel set in Manhattan in the 1920’s. The other Metamorphic Heart is a paranormal contemporary novel, set also in New York City and co-written with author Alexis Woods.

Both Top Floor and Metamorphic Heart have been nominated in the Goodreads Member’s Choice Awards for 2015. Top Floor is nominated in Best Historical and Best Love is an Open Road story, while Metamorphic Heart was nominated in the Best Love is An Open Road story, and Best Long Story.

Aligning North was my one short story this year and was written for the Summer Bigger Than Others summer anthology, published by Beaten Track Publishing.

I also spent some time beta reading, one for Alexis’ entry into the LOR event, Moondrake, a sci-fi paranormal with dragon shifters.  The other I recently finished betaing, was the latest book in the Checking Him Out series, Checking In, by Debbie McGowan. I was lucky to beta the other books in the series, the ones where Sol and Adam are the MC’s.  I can’t wait to read the next one Debbie has planned.

After I completed the mammoth project of two novels, I was able to get back to reading and have spent most of the time since November feasting on holiday stories. Some good, and some not so good.

As to what my writing schedule is for next year, I don’t really have one, except maybe not writing novels and trying to write novellas and short stories instead. I’ll see how that works out since my stories have grown longer, not shorter.

Before I close out this post, I’d like to thank Debbie McGowan, my editor and publisher, Alexis Woods for collaborating on Metamorphic Heart with me, and Noah Homes for making the handsome cover. Misty for her prompt for Top Floor and Dayton for the prompt for Heart. But especially to you, the readers, for diving into my stories and submerging yourself in the world, and characters, I create.

I hope you all had a Happy Holiday and that your New Year is bright. I wish you new adventures and joys, along with good friends, good food and lots of good books to read. Now go forth and embrace the New Year!


Happy New Year




Filed under 2015, aligning north, beaten track publishing, DRitC, Love is an Open Road, Metamorphic Heart, Top Floor, Uncategorized

“The brunet”, “the blond”, and “the younger man” are ruining your books! And here’s why! #epithets #makeitstop

I’ve almost DNF’d books with too many epithets. A few I can look past, but too many and my eyes start to roll. Read this excellent blog post by author Leta Blake and you’ll find out why, ‘the younger man’ or ‘the tattooed blond,’ is not the way to go.

Leta Blake

I DNFed two books this week because I couldn’t deal with the authors’ wild overuse of epithets. One was self-published and the other was published by a press, so this isn’t just a self-pub thing. Authors, beta readers, editors, please, for the love of all that is holy, understand that epithets are unnecessary about 99% of the time. Every single time you use one, ask yourself, “Is this necessary?” I promise that the answer is nearly always no.

I googled looking for an explanation so that I wouldn’t have to actually write up everything myself. I found one on Tumblr that I’ll share here. Yes, it’s about fan fiction, but, dudes, this applies to all writing. Published work is actually expected to be held to a higher standard than fanfic most of the time, am I right?

GO READ THE ENTIRE POST but I am going to just cut and paste in…

View original post 460 more words


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Member’s Choice Awards

The 5th Annual M/M Romance Group Member’s Choice Awards has begun. Once again readers can nominate their favorite books which have been published between November 1st 2014 and October 31st 2015 for inclusion in numerous categories.

I’m very happy to announce that Top Floor, the free 1920’s Historical I wrote for the Love is an Open Road event, was nominated for the Best Love is an Open Road category and Best Historical. I’m thankful to the people who loved the story so much they nominated it. I’m proud of it too and I’ll have badges to show off the nominations once they’re made.

In the meantime if you’d like to participate you can go here and find the information you’ll need to submit a nomination.

If you haven’t read Top Floor yet, it’s FREE to read and can be downloaded here in various formats. If you’d like to look at the Pinterest board I created for it, you can find that at Pinterest.

I’ll leave you with the blurb and cover, which I created, and which I love. I think the cover conveys the feel of the 1920’s and the wealth of Harrison Devaux.


At the age of sixteen, Sean O’Reilly started over in America after the influenza epidemic of 1919 killed his entire family back in Ireland. It has taken three years, but he’s built a new life for himself in Manhattan, rising from Bell Hop to Room Service Boy at the Astraea, a hotel for the wealthy. He loves his job, and life is good, until the fateful day his manager discovers a secret— a secret that could ruin Sean and everything he’s worked for.

Among the richest men in New York City, one Harrison Devaux, a cranky recluse, keeps secrets of his own in the penthouse of the Astraea. No one knows why he never leaves his suite, but rumors circulate about his constant state of drunkenness and his willy-nilly firing of employees.

Sean is assigned to attend Mr. Devaux, and events don’t go well when the two men first meet. But Sean soon finds out that Mr. Devaux isn’t exactly as the rumors portrayed. Maybe a Room Service Boy and a billionaire businessman have more in common than one might expect.

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