Sunday, November 4, 2018

How I Took a Chance with Not a Chance

By Maureen Bonatch

Hello, my name is Maureen and I’m a panster. Most writers will recognize the term that causes readers to frown and assume it’s just another indicator that writers can be a little unusual. 

Most stories I write by the seat of my pants, instead of the most sensible, logical way. You know by starting with a plot and a plan for the story in advance. 

Believe me, it surprises me as well, because I’m an organized logical person. I’ve tried to force myself to plan and plot the story first, but alas, so far, it’s like putting a square peg in a round hole.

 Although I’ve found out there are some good things that come from writing in this manner. I mean besides the whole roller-coaster ride that I get to enjoy along with the reader as I discover the characters and write the pages to find out what comes next. 

That’s Not the Story 

Not a Chance is book #2 in The Enchantlings series. Book #1, Destiny Calling, was named after one of the triplets in the story. My original intent was to write a trilogy with each book highlighting the story of one of the triplets. Well, that didn’t happen. Not because I changed my mind, but because my character did. Hope kind of insisted that she continue to be the one to tell the tale into book #2. That was fine. I still intended for the story to mainly focus on her brother, Chance. 

But when you write by the seat of your pants, you’re taking the chance that the story isn’t going to go in the direction you originally planned—and it didn’t. We took a whole detour into the woods and then some to create a whole different story line.

The Reader’s Benefit When Authors Take that Chance

By not being set on the story, it enabled me to really listen to some of the feedback from readers of Destiny Calling. The characters they liked, what they thought might happen, what they wanted to see happen next. Since the story wasn’t completely structured, I was able to implement some of the suggestions I thought would fit into the story well. Plus, when you write paranormal and fantasy, you can bend the rules a little sometimes. At least in my book, you can. 

So, I took multiple chances with Not a Chance in my efforts to make the story better and engage more with readers. Because as a reader myself, I fall in love with certain characters and they become like dear friends to me. 

I can’t wait to see what happens next in their life, and I usually have an idea of what I want to happen. It's so wonderful to see how the story comes to fruition.

Have You Ever Taken a Chance on a Story?

Find out what happened in Not a Chance- buy your copy here - 

Author Bio: Maureen Bonatch grew up in small town Pennsylvania and her love of the four
seasons—hockey, biking, sweat pants and hibernation—keeps her there. While immersed in writing or reading paranormal romance and fantasy, she survives on caffeine, wine, music, and laughter. A feisty Shih Tzu keeps her in line. Find Maureen on her websiteFacebookTwitter

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Nightingale said...

I'm a panster, too. I guess it's good not knowing exactly where you're going because you can take the road less traveled. :-)

Diane Burton said...

I'm a pantser, too. And very linear. I'm also organized and (somewhat) logical. But if I plot at the beginning of the story, I've told it. I don't need to write it. Same with synopses. I always have an end in mind, and I shoot for that, but sometimes the characters don't want to go the way I thought. Still, it's fun no matter how we write. Best wishes, Maureen, on this new release.

Lea Kirk said...

Total pantser here too! I am not logical or organized, I just love seeing where the story will take me. :)

Maureen said...

I love seeing so many other pansters! Yeah! To me it's the most fun way to write a story.

Elizabeth Alsobrooks said...

I think a lot of organized writers often deviate from the plan when the characters start doing what they want instead of what they're told. Strong characters are like that. I'm currently coauthoring a YA novel and I laugh when my partner gets back a scene I've added and she says something like, "Love this. I had a feeling she/he was up to something like that." Or I say, "Great scene. I see he's getting out of hand again, always doing the unexpected," because we are both pantsers in a way, even though we brainstorm the main plot line, and then as characters take over, we sometimes have to brainstorm again to see how their behavior is going to affect the rest of the cast or events. It's so much fun when we are both pantsers and at first we thought it might be difficult.