Reader’s Corner: Guest Author Sherry Gloag

Hello, Everyone!  Today I have my first ever guest blogger on Jenna’s Journal,  author Sherry Gloag.  I met Sherry through the Sultry Summer Night Blog Hop and Six Sentence Sunday and she agreed to do a post for me today to help give me time to finish revisions for As Long As You’re Mine.

Sherry has two works currently available:

 

 

 

 

Her first work, The Brat, at The Wild Rose Press. And Duty Calls at Black Opal Books

 

Getting to know your book is a bit like finding the jigsaw pieces and putting them together. But, unlike a jigsaw, the pieces don’t come ready-made or ready packed. To add to the confusion, you don’t even know what those “pieces” look like.

My latest jigsaw puzzle is a romance called From Now Until Forever that has just been accepted by Astraea Press.

Authors are often described as “plotters” or “pantsers.” They first plot their stories in detail before they start writing, while others work from an “idea.” I fall into the latter category.

So how can a pantser possibly “get to know their book?”

Even they must have a few basics on the table before they start. What kind of book do they want to write? If it’s a romance they then have to decide which sub-genre they are aiming for. And by association what kind of reader they want to attract.

But that’s not enough.

When a reader picks up a book they expect to be drawn into the story. They want to experience that personal connection with the main characters.

To ensure the reader will keep turning the pages the author must create well-rounded, believable characters that are fully developed. People the reader can relate to, whether they like your characters, or hate them, if they can say “she/he reminds me of…” then you have reader connection with your characters.

To do this the author must ask themselves three basic questions.

1) What does my character want?

2) What is obstructing their goal?

3) How will the characters solve their problems?

That on its own will not hold your reader, so you have to add action and suspense.

You have to find a plot that has more twists and turns than the most dangerous mountain switchbacks. But, and there is a but… the conflicts you put in your characters’ way must be believable.

This does not necessarily mean gunfights, murder and mayhem or shouting matches between your hero and heroine. Especially not the shouting matches. Nothing will turn a reader off more than a book-full of constant bickering.

Your action and conflict can be internally related. By that I mean something in their past influences the moment you open the first page of the book. The action and conflict must draw the reader in so they forget the real world around them. All conflict requires balance to hold the reader.

Even a pantser has to keep these criteria in mind when they write. They have to know their book.

The characters in my debut novel The Brat, published by The Wild Rose Press and the characters in my current novel Duty Calls, published by Black Opal Books seemed to know this instinctively. For the most part they “told” their own story and used me as their “go-between.” On the occasions when they, and I, forgot the rules we found ourselves backtracking that involved some major re-writing.

An author can’t help but get too close to the action when writing a book.

To them their characters are real people, with real problems. They are the jigsaw pieces that complete the puzzle. The only difference is the author must know their puzzle/book inside out before putting each piece of the puzzle together in the correct order.

Then, and only then, when they have that knowledge, can they start writing!

****

Sherry is also offering a Giveaway: A signed bookmark of The Brat for one commenter drawn at random.  So leave her a comment and be entered to win!  You can also check out Sherry’s Website and visit her on The Heart of Romance Blogspot

And if you haven’t already hopped onto the Sultry Summer Night Blog Hop, check  out my post from Monday and jump right in.  All 28 authors are offering some fantastic prizes.  I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card and copies of my published works.  Come on!  You’ve got to enter to win!

 

 

 

 

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23 Responses to Reader’s Corner: Guest Author Sherry Gloag

  1. I’m a pantser too. I have a starting point and know where I want to end up, but everything in between is very, very, hazy. It firms up as I go along.

  2. Lisa Kumar says:

    Great post, Sherry! I’m a pantser most of the time. When I try to plot scenes at will beforehand, my mind freezes. Not a good thing! I tend to get pieces of the puzzle that come to me one scene at a time, in no certain order. The hard part is piecing them together and writing what has to come in-between.

  3. P. L. Blair says:

    Hi, Sherry. I’m also a pantser – with maybe a whiff of plotter … I do outlines of my books – after the fact, a quick note of what’s just happened in a chapter, so I can go back for later reference …
    And like so many of you, my characters become very real to me. I sometimes feel less like a writer than a scribe, channeling my characters in order to tell their story.
    You have a terrific post. Thanks for sharing.

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      I did the plotting after the fact with The Brat. With my new story, From Now Until Forever, for Astraea Prees, I found myself waking in the night writing reams of notes, that helped enormously but few of which ever made it into the story. how wierd is that?
      Channelling your character? I can so relate to that, too.
      Thanks for coming by.

  4. Megan Johns says:

    Great post, Sherry. And I wish you all the best with From Now Until Forever.

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      :-) Megan, and if you hadn’t sent me the details for AR anthology, it may never have travelled the road to Astraea Press, so please pat yourself on the back, because I can’t reach from here!
      Thanks for coming by.

  5. Lindsay says:

    No matter how hard I’ve tried I can’t plot. Kudos to those who can. I’ll stick to letting the story tell me what’s next

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      Oh my, Lindsay, you’ve just blown my assumptions, and therfore my upcoming review, right out the water! LOL. I mean, how CAN you write mystery if you don’t know how things will pan out? Have I ever told you before how much I enjoy your writing? LOL

      • Lindsay says:

        In my Emily Dahill, CID stories she has no idea how the case is going to end and as such when I write the book I’m taking not only her along but the reader along for an interesting ride. She even surprises me at time. If I were to plot, yeck, the story out then she and you, the reader will know how things turn out. And where is the fun in that.

  6. Brenda says:

    Hello, Sherry.
    Excellent post. I fall into what I now call the plotsner category: a mix of the two, LOL.
    You are so right–to a writer, our characters are real.

  7. Great post. I, too, am a panster. People seem to think we just sit down and write, but as you so well pointed out – not true. I love the titles of your books.

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      Oh my, Roseanne, I am in awe of your writing. Thank you for coming by and commenting on the titles. The characters had a hand in that too. I did say I was just the ‘go-between’! LOL

  8. What a great guest blog entry. I loved this. Nice to meet you Sherry and congrats on your releases.

  9. Neena Wagnon says:

    I loved The Brat and look forward to meeting the characters in Duty Calls. Keep on writing Sherry!

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      Hey friend :-) How great to see you here, and thank you, thank you for your kind words. I hope life is treating you well.
      LOL I have some wip to tussle with yet, so yes, theree’s more writing in the pipeline!
      Hugs, hon.

  10. caseamajor says:

    Sherry – I have seen you around. You are always so supportive on SSS. Congratulations on your recent successes. Your books sound wonderful! Nice post too.

    • Sherry Gloag says:

      Thank you for your kind words and good wishes. It’s lovely to see you here, too. :-) SSS have to admit, I’ve learned a ton from them, and had great fun meeting and making some great new friends in the process.

  11. Sherry Gloag says:

    Thank you Patricia for your kind words, I’m doubly honoured, to be here, and to be Jenna’s first guest.

  12. A very thoughtful post, Sherry. Glad to see you here.

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