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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Planny Pants

Please welcome guest blogger Dara Edmondson

An old friend of mine once called me a planny pants many years ago. I wasn’t a hundred percent sure what she meant so I asked. She informed me that she gave me the label because I liked to orchestrate every detail of things ahead of time, even our girls’ nights out. I’d pick out a place to go, check the menu online and arrange designated drivers. I even had an idea what I’d wear a week ahead. I had to plan everything, which she said had something to do with my inner control freak.

I vaguely recall my halfhearted protest to the characterization but I knew she was completely on target. I do like to plan. I write books with a plan as well. I chart everything on a trifold board with Post-it index cards then I write the synopsis—all before I’ve written the first page of the actual manuscript. I like to have all my resources laid out or at least bookmarked on my computer. I have all my research sites saved—those I use for word usage and characterization, some sites specific to the book I am working on, like the DEA site if my hero is an agent or a website about firefighters if that’s what he does.

Nearly all of my romantic suspense books feature at least one character getting injured, sick or even dying. Even my erotic contemporary romances usually have some sort of scenario which requires some medical knowledge. My villains are often off balance emotionally rather than just plain bad.

In order to carry off any of those scenarios, I need to know my facts. That need was what led me to develop MedSpeak for writers with Joanie White, a nurse-practitioner friend. I figure if I was going to the trouble to research not only medical issues, but psychological and mental disorders, alternative medicine and medicine through history, there were other authors out there who could utilize that type of information as well.

So yeah, I’m a planny pants. And I’m proud of it. My friend knew me better than I knew myself. For all the writers out there, do you like to plan before you begin writing?

Medical Speak for Writers, presented by Dara Edmondson and Joanie White, runs from July 25,2011 to August 1, 2011

Dara Edmondson writes erotic romance and romantic suspense under the pen name Wynter Daniels. She lives in Central Florida with her husband of more than twenty years and their two nearly grown children. They are all the slaves of two very demanding cats. After careers in marketing and the salon industry, Wynter’s wicked prose begged to be set free. She writes for several publishers including Carina Press, Ellora’s Cave, Loose Id and Red Sage. Find Wynter on the web at http://www.wynterdaniels.com/


MaureenAMiller said...

I am definitely a "Planny Pants". But I have to admit that I was not always. Years ago, just writing for a lark, I had no regimen. Nowadays, everything has to be 'by the book' (pardon the pun). :)

Wynter Daniels said...

Maureen, don't you find it's so much easier when it's all planned out 'by the book'?

Catherine said...

I can definitely relate to that. If I don't plan out every little detail of the books I'm writing, it's not long before I get lost.

Dianne Venetta said...

I'm totally a planner! I keep files for future books and stuff them full of my "bright ideas" ahead of time -- snippets of conversation for a book, descriptions, themes... By the time I sit down to write, it's pretty much a done deal!

Wynter Daniels said...

Glad I'm not the only planny pants author!