Thursday, February 4, 2016
Writing by the Seat of my Pantsers by Meg Amor - published on BTS Reviews
Please help us welcome our guest author Meg Amor to the blog today.
Writing by the Seat of my Pantsers - It's time the redheaded stepchildren flouted the anti-rules!!
Aloha pantsers, my fellow “redheaded stepchildren” of writing. I’ve decided it’s time to take a stand because the plotters make me feel like I’m being a wayward, naughty child when I won’t “be sensible” or plan things out. They see my writing by the seat of my pants style as shambolic and disorganized.
Plotters remind me of morning people.
If I never hear another person say, “It’s the best part of the day.” Or I’m woken at seven a.m., just as I’m drifting off to sleep with a surprised and slightly offended, “Are you asleep?” It won’t be too soon.
Like the night owl, the pantsers are largely misunderstood and considered slightly “abnormal” and “weird” to the day larks and plotters.
I’m in several writers’ groups and every day there’s some poor soul who writes in and says things like:
I don’t think I’ll ever be a real writer; I can’t seem to get into a routine or write in the mornings. Sometimes I don’t write for days on end. They’re two minutes away from slitting their wrists, and I want to yell, STOP! You’re fine, you’re normal. And um, you do have a backup copy of the manuscript you just deleted from your computer, don’t you?
When I first started out as a writer, I read ALL the books on how to be a good writer. Because somewhere it probably has that on a rules list.
1. Do not attempt to even write one word until you have read every single book on being a writer. You won’t be eligible for your gold stars if you do.
When I read other people’s rules on being a writer, I came away feeling completely demoralized. I thought, I haven’t got a hope in hell of pulling this off. There’s no way I can follow all those rules. I really did want to be a writer, but obviously I was kidding myself. Bugger!
I let it set me back for a while, but eventually I got brave and just wrote anyway. I flouted convention, and discovered that regardless of the way I write, publishers still wanted to publish my work, and the readers seemed to like me.
I want to give the pantsers PERMISSION to be themselves. No apologies, feeling silly, guilty or like rotten awful people because they didn’t do a three-page character analyze of every single character in their book.
The pantsers need a different view from the one they normally encounter.
So please, plotters, don’t send me death threats. The only thing that consoles me is that you’ll have to plan it out in detail—that should give me time to move somewhere else and go into the Witness Protection Program.
In the meantime, I want someone starting out to realize, you can write anything and be good at it, even if you never follow a single writer’s “rule.”
And there are lots of them. Every famous writer has a list of what works—for them.
What worked for Ernest might not work for you.
Jack wrote out in the wilds of California. Ernest in piratesville Key West. John on the Monterey Coast. None of them sound alike. They were all unique in their own way. So are you.
Take advantage of that. It doesn’t make sense that we all follow the same path in the stories or styles we write, or the way we set up our workday.
The fact is: the plotters and pantser writers just do it differently and that’s okay. If I’d listened to the “experts,” I’d still be unpublished.
So, here are my pantser “anti-rules.” Feel free to COMPLETELY ignore them!
I don’t have set times I write.
I write with a half shot of Bacardi in a 700ml glass, a quarter filled with ice and overflowing with diet cola at hand.
I write at three in the morning or five at night.
I write in dribs and drabs.
I write some days and not others. I’ll percolate a wee fantasy I play over and over in my head until it’s perfect. Then I write it down while it’s running “hot.”
I never walk away from a hot scene. I write it down before it disappears.
I don’t care about spelling, my dreadful syntax or my New Zealand education, grammatical errors etc. I’ll edit later.
I don’t care that I’m slightly dyslexic. Sometimes odd words turn up in my manuscripts. I fix them later. I wrote the whole of one book, reading it (no kidding) at least two hundred times, and it was only on the read through out loud that I realized I’d put in clique instead of cliché. I laughed and laughed.
If I have a scene that’s delicious. I don’t wait to get to the juicy part. I start in the middle of it, then “backfill” it later. Adding in the texture or setting of the scene.
I write the end sometimes before I have the beginning.
I write random scenes, and dialogue. Cut and paste is my friend.
I make random notes to myself on yellow legal pads, which are all over the house. God help me if I ever had to ACTUALLY find a piece of info. But that’s okay. The notes say things like: “Kulani, surfer, abused? Orchid tattoo.” “Charlie, pocket watch? Very sexy.”
I research randomly, Hawaiian history, a phrase here, a fact there.
I edit when I feel like it. Editing is fun.
I let my characters and the Muses do what they want. I just take dictation and type like billy-o to get it all down. And I write more than one story at once if it’s there.
I write whole novels from one scene in my head, one sentence I hear, or one picture that grabs me.
And my editor does not want to kill me when I submit a manuscript.
So buy a good pair of ear plugs and blinders my wee redheaded writers and get typing.
WRITING BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTSERS
GOOD MEN PROJECT
31 JULY 2014
Advice & Confessions / How to Become an Erotic Hero - I was one of the writers interviewed for this article.
BY BRIAN SHEA
How to understand a woman’s desires? Well, reading the smut she enjoys is a good start. American popular culture is saturated with sex, and aliens examining us from space might think that Americans are pretty open about telling their lovers what they want in bed. Our transmissions of Miley Cyrus’s twerking posterior and endless reminders to call our doctors if our erections last longer than four hours seem to send that message pretty clearly.
Of course, an enormous discrepancy remains between our honest communication about our mutual desires and the hours we spend watching videos about them. With Fifty Shades of Grey, the written word has helped bring the world of sexual fantasy and experimentation squarely into the mainstream.While Fifty Shades may have encouraged a more open dialogue between men and women about our bedroom appetites, few would claim we have surrendered our Puritan conservatism when talking, or not talking, about sex.Despite this, misunderstandings or lack of communication about sex often arise between men and women.
Author Desiree Daun reports that female readers reach out to her on a regular basis asking for advice on how to raise the subject of their fantasies with their own husbands or lovers.Men seeking to close this communication gap with the women in their lives could greatly benefit from the world of erotic fiction, which currently enjoys booming sales, particularly in the digital realm. Most authors in the genre are women and importantly, so are most of its readers. The differences between the porn stashes we men swear we gave up years ago and what our lovers read on their Kindles offer invaluable lessons to make us better men.
And as multiple authors of erotica will tell us, all we need to do is ask. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION. Some men might feel threatened or insecure knowing the women they love indulge in the sexual fantasies explored on the pages of erotic fiction. And the fact that the mechanics of sex are not the focus of most erotica read by women may encourage their husbands or lovers to believe they are emotionally as well as sexually inadequate.It is true that despite graphic sexual depictions, the stories favored by women focus on the relationships between the protagonists that led to sex in addition to the sex itself.
And the women like this.”Female readers “want to know the people who are doing the deed,” author Cerise Lush adds. “It makes them feel more connected to the story and makes it easier to self-insert, and you don’t really get that from watching porn.”
“The men I write about are genuinely full human beings,” author Meg Amor says. “They feel emotions and they express them. And the women like this.
”Many men might compare themselves unfavorably to the six-pack abs so often seen on the covers of or described in the pages of popular erotic fiction. But just like the flawless bodies of female adult film stars, authors of erotica would caution us not to read too much into fictional perfection.For one thing, many male protagonists in erotica favored by female readers are utterly attainable.
Author Phoebe Alexander notes that most of her male characters are realistic men in realistic situations.
Erotica author Spencer Dryden adds, “my stories are often laced with humor. My typical male character is not some hunky rich stud with soulful eyes and a distant manner. They tend to be ordinary guys, often a bit clueless, who fall into the orbit of a sexually aggressive woman.
”When monitoring online discussions about her stories, Meg Amor says, “I’ve run across comments from guys who say things like, ‘I bet the really big penis was what grabbed you in that piece.’ And most of the women come back and say, ‘no, it was the fact that he was funny. Or he was kind. Or that he took his time.’”
Reflecting this nuance is the fact that some of the most popular erotica is classified as “erotic romance” within the larger genre, placing emphasis on not just the sex but the relationships that led up to it. “There’s a misconception that erotic romance is porn,” another author said, who goes by the pen name “Daily Hollow.”“Women have a better grasp on the fact that it’s not a replacement,”
Meg Amor says. “It’s an escape and they’re looking for romance. Sex is the end product.”
Author Cerise Lush recalls returning home from the dentist around the time she was writing an erotic story about a dentist, titled Filled By The Doctor.“My boyfriend looked at me kind of funny at the time, and I had to explain to him that I wasn’t actually fantasizing about the dentist. Sometimes you get wild ideas in your head, so really, the misunderstanding can be expressed by males in both the readers’and the writers’lives.”But in the end, “I think it’s the dirty, raw, taboo-ness of it all that gives [women] the rush, rather than the act itself,” Lush says. FANTASY AS METAPHOR
Nevertheless, some of the sexual fantasies popular with female readers might still give their lovers pause. Male-on-male sex is particularly popular with female readers, for example. Domination, S&M, and similar practices feature prominently in the more popular stories.But often, the more extreme fantasies depicted in erotic fiction represent a more indulgent degree of what female readers might actually want in their lives. Female readers who enjoy stories of domination, Cerise Lush says, may just want their real-life lovers to be a little bit more assertive.“Perhaps they want you to be rougher in the sack or to show your dominance in other light ways while gradually reaching the boundaries of your comfort level,”she says.
COMMUNICATION: THE ULTIMATE FANTASY
If there is a common thread in the countless scenarios depicted in erotic fiction favored by women, it is that the protagonists all openly communicate to their lovers precisely what they want with no embarrassment or shame.Erotic fiction might express the honest embrace of desires to a receptive partner in the form of wild sexual acts for the sake of drama or escape. But underneath the physicality of sex scenes lies what many women find appealing about the domination, bondage, orgies, and other exciting fantasies described in the erotic fiction they prefer.
As Desiree Daun says, “it’s not about what they do or how they look but expressing to each other what they like and being comfortable in their sexuality.”The most popular themes in Desiree Daun’s books feature female characters unafraid to express what they want. “Not in a domineering way,” she says, “but just telling her lover what she wants to do, what she wants to do for him, and what she wants him to do for her.”But the need for more open expression of our desires does not fall only on the shoulders of men, who still live under the stereotype of being uncommunicative about their needs and wants.“
"Women tend to assume men can read their minds, but they need directions,” Desiree Daun says. “Women are vocal about what they don’t like but conservative about what they do like. The majority of our population is still conservative, and doesn’t want to talk about sex.”
RISKS & REWARDS OF ACTING IT OUT
Erotica has made a difference in many relationships and is used as a tool to open communication between couples, Phoebe Alexander notes. Many couples read it together as a shared sexual experience.Talk begets action, and the growing comfort many couples feel about expressing their fantasies may lead to the next step—acting them out. If that includes more extreme fantasies with emotional and other risks, unrestrained communication is critical.
Alexander found that most of her readers wanted to act out their fantasies to at least some degree, though many draw a line between fantasy and reality. But if a couple does decide to step into new realms of sexual exploration, they should know the risks as well as the benefits. If those fantasies involve other partners, for example, problems can arise. These can include jealousy as well as problems with relatives and colleagues if a new lifestyle, once discovered, carries social or cultural stigmas.But above all, how the exploration of fantasy may affect the partners directly living it requires frank and open communication.“Know the ground rules and expectations if one is going to act this stuff out,”Alexander says.-
See more at: http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/brand-become-erotic-hero/#sthash.Oft6f9sZ.dpuf
So, for today - please put your hands together for Muse It Hot Author, Meg Amor, an erotic romance author who writes deeper, darker secrets about relationships (until they come to the light that is;) in her upcoming Wild Darkness Calls theme story, Dark War due to release this spring…with a good possibility of more stories coming soon after; )
Please tell our readers a little about yourself – 5 things most people don’t know about you; )
1. I have a deep love of Russian people and things. For some mad reason, I want to see the onion domes of St Petersburg in the winter?! I have romantic ideas of wearing my big Polish winter coat with fake fur cuffs and lapels (and I’ll need the fake fur hat—obviously!)
2. I can put my thumb on a photograph and accurately get someone’s inner essence, their emotions and motivations.
3. As a pilot, my favorite planes to fly are open cock-pit bi-planes. I’m happiest in slow flight, the gentle waft into the air on rotation from a grass air strip. Heaven!
4. I have a deep interest in emotional medicine—finding the emotional cause behind someone’s illnesses. I fixed my own lifelong thyroid disease last year, finding the patterning for it.
5. In my last lifetime in World War Two, I flew in the ATA – Air Transport Auxiliary as a woman ferry pilot in England. I got my rating up to the big four engine planes like the Avro Lancaster’s.
Tell us about the genres you write and what or who inspired you to write it.
To my surprise, I write Romance Erotica, about loving committed relationships whether there are two or three people involved, but I absolutely love it.
When I hit 50, some part of me rebelled and I realized I wasn’t ready to hang up my sensuality shoes yet. I wanted to read a good steamy love story with a happy ending. The characters trotting around my head compelled me (read: Cosmic cattle prod) to get them down on ‘paper.’
I started out with a ‘nice wee love story,’ then it got complicated… Henry, my older black musician falls in love with Izzy, his younger, married white New Zealander boss. He’s also got a best friend Charlie…
Nicknamed ‘Bloody Charlie’ by me! I kept telling him to ‘go away.’ Well…words slightly more forceful than that! Finally, I gave him one wee scene to run with. That will keep him quiet, I thought. But it didn’t…now he’s a MC in the ‘troika’ short story and trilogy coming up!
Most of my stories feature the past lives of the characters, in World War One and Two, France, Russia and England. I like the intricate connection that we can’t see on the surface when we look at an unusual love story.
Tell us a few ways ideas have come to you.
I’m a day-dreamer and love fantasizing. I always seem to have people trotting around my head, just dying to tell their love story to me, showing me glimpses of their lives. I’ve always been interested in great love stories. In my years as a therapist, I’ve collected people’s unusual relationship stories. They intrigue me. I incorporate my own past lives into stories.
What’s your favorite thing about writing? Least favorite?
Favorite thing – Letting the characters run wild and seeing what they’re going to do next. I usually just let them do their own thing and try to keep up. I’m really just running a dictation service, trotting around after them, scribbling/typing madly. And trying not to argue with them too much! And I LOVE the editing process. A chunk of story gets turned into a gorgeous gem, as you cut and polish every facet of it. It’s as much fun for me as writing the story. Least favorite – Writing the synopsis! Ugh. A sadistic thing required of writers to promote their stories, in a submission. Gnash, grumble!
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