Monday, September 17, 2012

Variety...and all that crap.

Variety is the spice of life, "they" say. (I have no idea who "they" are.) I've been asked before why I seem to have writer's ADD I write in so many different genres and romantic pairings and heat levels. For example, today my latest book releases from Siren-BookStrand. "Accidentally on Porpoise" is book one in my new Placida Pod series. It's "sextreme" mm, with dolphin shifters.

Yes, you read all of that correctly. Dolphn shifters. (Hey, I have a very vivid imagination.)

I've written everything from contemporary m/f romance on the sweeter end of the scale ("Cross Country Chaos" writing as Lesli Richardson) to hardcore futuristic sci-fi mmmm ("Acquainted With the Night") and everything in between. Historicals ("Sarasota Steam" as Tessa Monroe and "Hernando Heat") mystery ("Red Tide") and horror ("Out of the Darkness"). And menages of every configuration and genre. ("The Reluctant Dom," "Love at First Bight," "Stoneface," the Triple Trouble wolf/dragon series)

I follow "the voices" in my head. That's the best answer I can give. It's like when I do too much of one thing, my brain automatically shifts gears and says, "Yo, time for a change before you burn out." And whatever set of characters starts screaming loudest is what I write next.

I'm a pantster, not a plotter. I can't sit down and detail every twist and turn in a series. It's just not how my brain functions. Every time I try to get too detailed, it's like it's counter-productive to my creative process. My brain freaks out at not staying "exactly" on the outline and locks up. (Ironically, I need detailed outlines to write non-fiction. LOL)

I use a software called Supernotecard by Mindola. It's like having a virtual deck of index cards in front of me. It allows me to notate "mile markers" or points I want to hit in the story to get from the start to finish. Then I can fill them in as I need to, shuffle them around, and don't have to waste time paging back and forth in a Word document to find what I want. It's saved me countless hours and has greatly sped up my rough drafts.

I wish I could sit down and write a series from start to finish. I really do. But unfortunately, "the voices," (or the boys in the basement, as Stephen King calls them) have their own timetable. And I've learned the hard way when I try to ignore them and push forward anyway, my writing is really shitty sucks suffers.

So I've learned not to ignore them. I might want to finish a series, but my brain says nope, we're switching gears.

In a way it's good, because it does keep my writing fresher. I can take time off from a series and then come back with a fresh view and see things I never saw before, make connections I might not otherwise have made had I forced the story sooner. It allows me to do my best without simply phoning it in, so to speak. It keeps me honest as a writer.

And I think it allows me to do my best work. After all, I owe it to my readers to give them the best I can. I owe my livelihood to my readers, and I don't want to turn in shoddy work I'm not happy with.

(Tymber Dalton's latest book is now available HERE from Siren-BookStrand. You can also find her on the web at, Facebook, and Twitter.)


Lee (LuvLee on SCS) said...

I think it's so FUN...your writing style!!! Well of course it's not in my head where all those voices/characters are crowded and clamoring! LOL I'm really excited to read this one....I love so many of your stories! And of course I love series to keep on going...but I can also happily be sidetracked with a new series to start! ;)

- Alisa (Lee)

RoseRaven said...

I'm not sure about this one. Dolphin Shifters seems weird but you haven't disappointed me yet. So I'm going to give it a try.