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As an author, the thing that scares me most is losing the ability to tell the story.
I’ve never really encountered writer’s block so I can only imagine how terrifying it must be.
But I have been known to hit a certain point in the book, flounder around for a bit and have a panic attack because I have no idea what to do next.
Typically, I have a general idea of how the story will play out when I start writing. I’m a pantser but I like to have a framework.
I know my characters, know what they have to overcome, what they want. And I usually know how the book will end. Sometimes I’m surprised and the ending takes a turn I never expected.
But usually, when I get the plot rolling, the story falls into place.
I love when I write a scene and realize that what just happened was a total surprise and works perfectly within the framework of the story.
But there are times when I hit that blind spot where nothing is clear and I’m afraid I’m about to hit the wall. It’s like swimming in mud. You can’t see where you’re going and you certainly aren’t getting there fast.
It’s not that I can’t write. It’s that I just don’t know what to write.
Do I turn right and this happens? Or do I turn left and see where that takes me?
Sometimes a run helps kick my brain into gear. I don’t write with music playing. I tend to start typing out the song lyrics or singing along and totally lose my place in the story.
But I listen to music while I run and I do some of my best plotting then. It’s not unusual for me to start talking to myself as I figure out what happens next as I listen to Avenged Sevenfold, Bullet For My Valentine or Volbeat. Sometimes a little Glee. I’m a total Gleek.
Sometimes I jump ahead to a scene I see clearly, whether it’s the black moment or the ending. That’s been known to shake loose some of the pictures in my head.
I’m a visual writer, which means that I see the scenes play out in my mind, like a little movie.
The best time I have during the writing process is when I see the scene so clearly that my fingers can’t keep up with my brain. I’m furiously typing, trying to capture every bit of detail I can.
On What a Goddess Wants, I can honestly say I never really floundered. I had such a clear vision of Tessa and Cal that the book was a joy to write. I didn’t have much trouble with How to Worship a Goddess (December 2011) either. The second book in the series, even though it had more plot lines, to keep track of, also had a very clear path.
Now, Goddess in the Middle (July 2012)… Let’s just say the mud’s pretty thick in the pool today.
In his arms, her magic powers are on the rise…
Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is desperately fighting off a malicious god, but her powers are weakening. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her strength. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary…
And she’s the only one who can bring him into the light…
Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample heart after they’ve had their fun. But there’s something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa, and he knows he’s her only chance to escape the encroaching darkness…
Stephanie Julian is the author of three erotic romance series with Ellora’s Cave. She is a member of RWA and Valley Forge Romance Writers and is a freelance entertainment and lifestyle feature writer. Stephanie lives in eastern Pennsylvania, where she is working on the next two books in the Forgotten Goddesses Series: How to Worship a Goddess (December 2011) and Goddess in the Middle (July 2012). For more information, please visit www.StephanieJulian.com.