Saturday, January 17, 2015
GUEST POST! Author Alison Bruce: Take Off First, Plot Course Later
If I flew an aircraft like I write a book, Transport Canada would be revoking my pilot’s license. When I sit down and start a new story, it’s strictly seat-of-the-pants. Some idea, or scene, or opening line will strike me and I take off from there. Later, I start plotting my course. (I think they have a rule about making flight plans first.)
For me, it’s important to get that first creative surge going so I can get a sense of whether or not the story is worth the hours of research, writing and rewriting necessary to produce a novel. Some ideas just don’t fly. I have notebooks full of openings, with maybe a brief outline, and nothing else. Sometimes I go back to them, looking for an idea that might have found its time.
A Bodyguard to Remember was a little unusual in that I wrote almost the entire first draft by the seat of my pants. I don’t usually get further than the first couple of chapters before I go into planning mode. Partly this was because I had a most of the basic law enforcement research at my fingertips after working on Deadly Legacy. I also had a good background in military protocols because of personal and family experience and academic research.
Okay, let’s be honest. I had to update my military research and make some significant changes in the story details. Most of my previous research was circa WWII except my own experience which was circa 1980. Can we say a bit out of date?
A lot of the military parts ended up being jettisoned. They weighed down the story and had to go. If I had planned things earlier in the story, they might not have been there at all. One set of characters, that I was very fond of, didn’t make it into the book at all. I didn’t just dump them, though. They’ll take flight in another story.
Book 1 Men in Uniform
By Alison Bruce
Lachesis Publishing Inc
“Classic romantic suspense spiced with warmth and humour”
Prudence Hartley has the same problems of every other single mom: getting her kids to school on time; juggling a gazillion errands while trying to get a full day's work done; oh, don't forget about dinner. But everything is about to change for Pru when she finds a dead man in her house. Or a dead spy to be exact.
Suddenly Pru's problems become a tad more complicated and a lot more dangerous. When a federal agent named David Merrick shows up and whisks her and her kids into protective custody, Pru has so many questions running through her brain she doesn't know where to begin.
How is she going to keep her kids safe? What was the dead spy looking for in her house? Why are they after her now? Oh and there's one more question . . . just a pesky, minor thing. Why does Merrick have to be so damn sexy and protective?
Lachesis Publishing Inc
Alison Bruce has had many careers and writing has always been one of them. Copywriter, editor and graphic designer since 1992, Alison has also been a comic book store manager, small press publisher, webmaster and arithmetically challenged bookkeeper. She is the author of mystery, suspense and historical western romance novels.