Thursday, January 26, 2012

Special Guest: Stephanie Haefner, author of Karma Kameleon



I'm so excited to welcome a fellow Lyrical Press author, Stephanie Haefner! I've been following her blog for a long time, and it's about time I hosted her here! She has a new release out called Karma Kameleon, and she's written a great guest post for us authors about the writing process.

Take it away, Stephanie!!!
The Process

Every writer has a process. Many start with one process and as they go alter it and figure out what works best for them. I think most writers kinda start out how I did. This kernel of a story idea was in my head and I just started writing it. I had no outline. No plan. I had a basic beginning and ending in my head. I knew I was telling a story about young love that was eventually taken away from them. They then found it again as adults. But all the specifics in between, I really had no plan.

I finished that insanely long book and went on to write another, A Bitch Named Karma, which became my first published book. By then I had joined a writers group. I remember one writer in particular who'd been plotting her novel chapter by chapter. It seemed to go against every fiber of my being. I just did not work that way. I needed space to let my imagination flow. No restrictions and trying to keep to a detailed outline I had drawn up. I completely resisted. Aside from the random notes I periodically wrote. I usually jotted down any ideas as they came to me for later in the story, but that was as much planning as I'd done.

I kept writing and after struggling with the query and synopsis of another book, I started to realize my story had some major flaws. Maybe my seat of my pants style wasn't really working out. But as I had in the past, I just kept writing. I wrote a couple novellas and I think that helped. There was only one main plotline and they were super short. They were a great exercise in keeping on track.

When I was ready to write Karma Kameleon, the sequel to A Bitch Named Karma, I decided to write an extremely basic outline. I wrote a timeline of events. I kept it simple and altered it as I went. I needed to have the freedom to go off on a different path if I so chose. Did the same thing for my next manuscript. And even though I'd had a plan, I really deviated from that one. I am very happy for how it turned out in the end. I liked it so much more than my original idea. I need the flexibility to do that in my writing.

So, now here I sit, contemplating my next project. And I'm kinda scared. My goal has always been to snag an agent. But from what I read on blogs from other writer friends with agents, after that first book....they sell your work based on a proposal. And ya know what that means??? Major outline and synopsis, maybe the first three chapters, and that's it. I'm terrified I won't be able to work that way. But I guess I have adjusted my process little by little over the years...maybe a little more adjusting will be okay? I never wanted to be a plotter, but I may just have to do it! :)

So, my advice for the day...find your own process, but be prepared to tweak it as you go!


My latest release is Karma Kameleon!



Karma is back, but this time she’s not completely to blame.

After surviving a heart- wrenching tragedy, Lexi Marshall is determined to find happiness with her wacky, new-age family. Stumbling through her first few months of motherhood, she's achieved the perfect balance living with her son, the love of her life, and her best friend and his lover. But happily-ever-after all under the same roof doesn't last long.

For one thing, Rich doesn’t exactly agree living with everyone is ideal. With their gay/straight double wedding fast approaching, he wants to find a place of their own instead of continuing to sponge off of Marcus and Kevin. But Lexi isn’t ready to give up her easy lifestyle...or the never-ending wisdom of her lifelong best friend, Marcus.

Torn between assured comfort and true happiness, Lexi has to make a choice, and fast. Will she lose everything, or can she trust karma, and have it all?


Lyrical Press link

Bio:

Stephanie Haefner is a wife, mother of two, and novelist from Buffalo, NY. Her books A Bitch Named Karma, Karma Kameleon, Paradise Cove and Soap Dreams are available from Lyrical Press, Inc. Her shorter works have been published in Nickel City Nights: Erotic Writing in Western New York, Flash Me Magazine, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Voices from the Herd. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and the Buffalo Writers Meetup Group. When not writing, she enjoys dance, scrapbooking, and Disney World.

And my links:

Website
Facebook Author Page
Twitter

Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us, Stephanie!

Questions, comments for Stephanie, please leave below!

291 comments:

1 – 200 of 291   Newer›   Newest»
Cherie Reich said...

Great advice about finding out what works for you and be willing to tweak it. :)

I'm a plotter at heart, but I'm willing to change things if it isn't working out.

And I've heard that if the book doesn't turn out the same as what you proposed to an agent/publisher, it's okay.

Stephanie said...

Thanks Cherie. I have heard that too. But it still has me a bit scared to have to actually do the outline to begin with! LOL!! :) I'm not sure I can do it well!! LOL! Thanks for stopping by!!

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