Monday, April 24, 2017

Guest Augustina Van Hoven Talks Plotting @augustinavhoven

            I’m a plotter.  I’ve tried to just sit down in front of the computer and write whatever comes to mind, but I usually find myself staring at a blinking curser or writing scenes that I have to cut later because they don’t really move my story forward. I need a road map to lead me to the happy ending of my novel.  Since I write paranormal romance, I have to create the world I’m traveling in as well as all the details on the map before I can take my first step.  This has actually become one of my favorite parts of the writing process, taking the kernel of an idea, planting it and watching it grow with a series of ‘what if’ questions until I have the universe in which my story takes place. 
            World building is a very detailed process.  An author must know a lot more about the story and the world it plays in than the reader will ever see on the page.  An example of a true master of world building was the author J.R.R. Tolkien.  In the final book of THE LORD OF THE RINGS there are six appendix sections containing family trees, histories, short stories, an explanation of calendars in the Shire, a timeline and a section on languages of the various inhabitants of the Middle Earth complete with alphabets and grammatical rules.  All of this detail made his stories feel more like history than fiction.
            My current work in progress is my first venture into a new genre. Futuristic romance.  The first book will be out this fall.  There is a lot of world building necessary for this series.  I’ve had to create home worlds for the various species along with their governmental structure, politics, myths, legends, customs, religions, technology, as well as the physical appearance of the planet and its inhabitants.  With all this structure in place it is no possible to create the outline or road map my human characters will be following as they enter into this new and strange galaxy.  If I have done all of my world building correctly it will be a fun and interesting experience for my readers.

The Bloom of a Rose
Rachel Bartlett doesn’t expect to meet the man of her dreams at a funeral.  But a chance conversation with Paul Miller inserts her in a political game between good and evil.  Her political strategist mother has other plans for her, and they don’t include romance.  Paul is the wrong guy for her, but sometimes it takes someone from the opposition to show you the way out of the maze.

Paul Miller is fighting battles on multiple fronts, and he doesn’t have time for an infatuation with a pretty graphic artist, no matter how blue her eyes or how sharp her wit.  If his trust is misplaced, then a betrayal can cost him the game.

What the couple doesn’t know is that they are not alone.  Supernatural beings battle behind the scenes—and humans are all pawns on a chessboard.  The outcome of the game will determine not only what the future might be. . . but whether there even is one.

            Paul reached for the sweet and sour chicken trying not to let his hand shake.  “Did you come to a decision?”
            She set down her fork and stared at her plate. “No.”
            He let out his breath and his chest relaxed a bit.  “Are you leaning one way or the other?”
            She looked up and he could see the tears sparkling in her eyes.  He set down his food, reached out and gathered her in his arms.  She leaned against his chest and he could feel the moisture of her tears dampen his shirt. 
            “It’s all right.  I’m here, I can help you.”
            She wrapped her arms around his waist and cried.
            After a while she let go and straightened up.  He handed her a dinner napkin and she wiped her eyes and nose then took a deep breath. 
            “It’s cheaper for me to go back to school.  There are some low rent apartments available not too far from a bus route that will go right past the school.  The school has a list of places willing to hire students.  I can also apply for some of the art scholarships provided by some of the school’s patrons.  Because of the time I’ve lost since I came to Boise, it will take me a year and a half to two years to finish my studies.”  She ran the napkin over her face again.
            “If I take the online option, it will take two to two and a half years to finish.  It is more expensive to live here and I will have trouble finding a good job because of my mother.”  She sniffed and used the napkin again.
            “I don’t want to leave you but I don’t see how I can stay.”

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Augustina Van Hoven was born in The Netherlands and currently resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, two dogs and three cats.   She is an avid reader of romance, science fiction and fantasy.  When she’s not writing she likes to work in her garden or in the winter months crochet and knit on her knitting machines. 

Other links to include

Twitter:  @augustinavhoven

Pinterest: Augustina Van Hoven, Author


Diane Burton said...

Welcome, Augustina. I haven't read very many articles from plotters, so yours is quite interesting. I love world building, though I do mine on the fly. Best wishes with your book.

Maureen said...

I always admire an author who can plot the story out- I'm a panster who struggles with even a basic outline. Maybe someday- then perhaps it will save me some edits later. I enjoyed your post!

CJ Burright said...

I started out a pantser, but I'm changing my ways. It's so much easier to write faster when you have a roadmap to guide you. Your story sounds great!