Anya Richards, Bellissima & Giveaways!



Author Anya Richards shares about Writing Craft. She comes with Giveaways!



Letting the Plot Thicken


I can’t speak for other authors, but I often get ideas for stories in just a few words. Sometimes a title, other times a single character, or a “what if?” thought. The problem comes when it’s time to expand that singular spark of inspiration into a full-blown novella or novel. What do those particular words-that-could-be-a-title evoke? Who is that character, and what does he or she do, or get themselves involved in, to make them interesting? Can that “what if?” carry an entire story, or does it lead to other questions that could? For my new novella, Bellissima, it started with wondering what the reactions would be, in a nouveau riche Victorian household, to a foreigner being around. Like, perhaps, an Italian dance master…?

Having a thought like that is often when I step back and devote some time to thinking about where it all can lead, and if it’s a project I want to pursue. When I first started writing no plot got put aside. I’d spend time, often quite a bit of it, banging out words only to have the story fizzle. I’m an organic writer by nature—a pantser if you prefer—and in those early days I wondered if I was destined to waste precious writing hours on just figuring out if I had a viable story or not.

I was a bit perplexed by this stage of my learning curve, because the first two novels I’d written had seemed to flow out of me in huge spurts. Then I remembered how those spurts came about. While waiting for the bus, during my commute and lunch hour, I was thinking about the next scene of those books. Occasionally I’d have an idea and give myself leave to research it to my heart’s content, no matter how long it took, so I could weave what I found into the story. There were no deadlines for those books, just a hopeful dream of finishing them and maybe getting them published and, in a perverse way, that helped me get them done quicker and more efficiently.

Mind you, those two books are still languishing on my hard drive, unpublished but not unloved. They are a reminder of a simpler time I’d love to go back to but know is gone. Now there are deadlines (even if some are self-imposed), decisions on whether a book fits in with where I want my career to go and, yes, some serious thought about whether the book should be written now, later, or not at all. It’s the shortened, condensed equivalent of the thinking/researching/plotting time I spent on those first books. During the days, weeks—yes, I’ll admit it—even months I spend thinking about that kernel of an idea, it either geminates into a fully flowering story or withers on the vine. The story arc—the plot, if you will—either thickens into an interesting stew, or washes down the drain.

The nice thing is I’m working on other projects while cogitating on the new one. Sometimes, if I have a particularly brilliant thought (snicker) I’ll jot it down and store it in a file folder on my computer, along with website addresses for research sites, and other bits and pieces of information that may or may not be useful. It’s not plotting, per se, since I don’t do any outlines or synopses. The most I’ll do is a blurb, and I know it often won’t stand the test of time since, once I start actually writing, it may change.

But it’s a nice middle ground between full out plotting, which I know doesn’t work for me, and wasting time starting books that won’t get finished. Even if the plot doesn’t pan out into a book, the research is never wasted, but can be recycled on another project. In fact, some of the Victoriana used in Bellissima was gleaned while I was considering another story…

Multi-published author Anya Richards lives with her husband, youngest kid, a mutt, and two cats that plot world domination one food bowl at a time. The humans support her writing while the animals see her preoccupation as a goad.



Insatiably curious and irreverent, Anya loves history, music, the sea and a good rum punch. To learn more drop by Anya’s website make friends with her on Facebook  or follow her on Twitter.



Bellissima

His seductive rhythm calls to the passionate soul hiding within…
 
 Jane Rollins is anything but plain, but to keep her position as housekeeper to a wealthy family, she is content to hide her beauty behind a dull façade. This deception has become second-nature to her—until dance master Sergio Fontini waltzes into her life.

While the other inhabitants of the house see him as a foreigner and beneath their notice, Jane sees strength, barely leashed power, and an aura of iron control—an irresistible, arousing combination.

Sergio sees through Jane’s disguise to the woman beneath, and the desires in her veiled gaze call to him like the utterly irresistible strains of a beautiful symphony. The circumstances couldn’t be worse, for seducing her will endanger both their livelihoods.

Yet there are lessons he cannot resist teaching her, steps of a dance that crescendos to her final surrender…

Product Warnings

A deliciously seductive Italian unmasks a supposedly respectable Victorian woman and leads her into a lust-filled pas de deux.
Read Reviews

Buy Links


Bellissima on Amazon Kindle
              
Bellissima Amazon UK
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23 comments:

  1. It's nice to meet Anya! I appreciate her insight. I too, can get an idea from a sliver of something. You just never know where and when ideas will pop up! :)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Karen. And yes, stay open to those ideas, because even the silliest thought can lead to a seriously good book!

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  2. Ideas really can come from anywhere, I've found! Best of luck to Anya. And I love "organic" writer--much better than panster!

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    1. LOL! Thank you Meradeth. That word "pantser" always gives me the weirdest images...

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  3. I get story ideas in a million different ways, and I love reading how other writers get their ideas. Thanks for sharing! And best of luck to you, Anya!

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  4. It's funny how ideas start, but then have to be coaxed along.

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    1. So true Lynda. I've had far too many ideas that seemed great when they first came to mind but then fizzled because they didn't have enough meat to carry through into a full book. Some just aren't 'coax-able'!

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  5. Yay for thick plots! And yay for sensible and doable Giveaway tasks. Greatly appreciated.

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  6. I love those ideas that simmer and percolate for ages before they burst into reality!

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  7. Congrats, Anya! I let ideas simmer while I work on other projects. The good thing is there is always another idea. :)

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    1. So very true, Cherie! I do the same thing and sometimes surprise myself when I realize I actually haven't started writing a story I've been thinking about a lot LOL!

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  8. Ideas pop up from all kinds of places. I'll often jot ideas down while I work on other projects.

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    1. I'm unfortunately the kind of person who makes a shopping list and then forgets it when I actually go to the store... thank goodness for the computer, or I'd be hunting for slips of paper with the ideas on them!

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  9. I recycle manuscript ideas. Those drawer manuscripts still have life in them. It was great reading about Anya.

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    1. Thank you for stopping by and YES! Styles may change and time may pass but a good idea will always have "legs"!

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  10. I couldn't write without an outline. That's the stage where I decide if an idea is worth pursuing.

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    1. I often wish outlining worked for me. It just seems like such an efficient way to do things! But unfortunately it really doesn't work for me. The few times I've tried I've either gotten bored before I start writing or deviated so far from the outline it really was a waste of time!

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  11. It is always fascinating to find out about the writing process of other authors. I must write an outline first- but we are all different. Best of luck to Anya. Thanks for the giveaway!
    ~Jess

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  12. As a speculative fictioneer, I live off the "What if?" question. I've outlined and I've pantsed it; both approaches have their benefits and drawbacks. I think I've settled someplace in between where I have major plot points, but I pants my way from one to the next.

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  13. I often believe I have full-blown stories in my head, but when I start to actually write, the idea seems to be too easy, illogical, and definintely not complete.

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Join the discussion. What do you think?