Character Driven Plot

I was part of an author panel hosted by Romancing the Capitol. This was their first time having a panel specifically dedicated to Clean Romance Authors and I was so happy to be a part of it. It was live-streamed on YouTube and you can go watch it here.

One of the questions asked was about how we as authors keep our stories new and fresh. That was an easy questions for me to answer because my plots are driven by my characters, and I do my best to make my characters human. There are billions of people on this earth and we all live unique lives because each day is filled with thousands of decisions to be made, both big and small. Each of those decisions will change our course, whether drastically or incrementally.

Authors are often asked if they are a plotter or a pantser. Meaning, do you plot your story first and stick with it? Or do you start and then write by the seat of your pants, aka, pantsing?

Though I sometimes work with a loose outline, I am fully on board with pantsing my writing. I love going into a scene and letting my characters tell me where to go. They often makes choices that are much more interesting than what I could have come up with if I had plotted the entire story beforehand.

That’s the beauty of being human. We are such complex creatures, capable of making wonderful, or terrible, or drastic, or brave, or foolhardy decisions at any given moment. As much as we might try to map out our lives beforehand, there will always be twists and turns, pains and triumphs, whether because of our own decisions or because of circumstances beyond our control.

So, how do I keep my plots fresh? I let my characters be human, and we humans tend to be messy.

This book is still just $.99 though the end of May.

For our book highlights this week, I’ll start with a new release by Rachel John. Persuading the Captain is a story inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion. I haven’t had a chance to read it, but I’ve read a couple of her other contemporaries and I’ve really enjoyed them.

How can you run from someone who already has your heart?

This next one isn’t a new release or a deal, it’s just one that I LOVED. Romancing the Rake was just so. stinking. cute. The whole thing was adorable and made me smile. I love that the main character is smart, and a scientist, and an illegitimate child, and it’s all just so interesting to me. This series is the first of Nichole Van’s that hasn’t had some sort of paranormal element. It’s just straight up regency, but it has so much personality.

One thing Sophie knows for sure—unlike that foolhardy miss in a novel, she will not succumb to a rake. No matter how thoroughly the rakish Lord Rafe Gilbert may tempt her.

The Girl in Seat 24B is on SALE. I haven’t read this one, but it’s $0.99 and I’ve enjoyed several of Jennifer’s books.

Left alone to sort out the pieces of her crumbling life, Carly finds strength in her children and her growing relationship with her in-laws. Most importantly, she finds her greatest strength as she builds a friendship with herself.

Until next time, friends.

Types of Heroes

What’s your hero preference? Do you like to read about silent, mysterious, and brooding men? Do you like a hero with confidence and swagger? Or friendliness and charm? Do you like the nerd? The goofball?

Personally, I tend to go for charm, but I’m also a sucker for a little bit of brooding. A good brood can make for some great tension, so long as it doesn’t cross the line into disrespectful and rude.

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Something a Little Different

How are you, friends? Are you still surviving the craziness of homeschooling (or remote learning, or distance learning or WHATEVER they’re calling it in your town)? Have you found the goodness among the chaos?

I certainly hope all is well in your neck of the woods and that you are being kind to yourself.

As for me, I need to get my bootie into gear and start recording the audio/video version of Missing Lily. That’s on my to-do list for this week.

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Update From My Bunker

Okay, so there is no bunker. It’s my house. It just sometimes feels like a bunker during these strange times. I’m sure all of you can relate.

I hope everyone out there is doing well dealing with these odd circumstances we find ourselves in. I’ve never been on such friendly terms with sand sanitizing wipes. I happen to have a container of them in my console and I’m pretty sure my steering wheel is like, “What the crap, Annette? Suddenly you think I’m so disgusting that I must be wiped down every time you go somewhere?”

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Happy Release day!

It has arrived! All That Stands Between Us is live and out in the world, and I’ll be honest, I’m a little bit at loose ends about it. I’m so excited. And I’m ridiculously nervous. And there’s even a healthy dose of fear thrown in there.

If I’m lucky, all of those emotions will meld into a collective “yay!” sort of feeling in the next few days. Until then, I’ll just hold myself together with tape and glue and hope it sticks.

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