Multiple Personality Disorder, Or My Recipe For Success by Gina Fluharty

It’s NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as November if you live in the real world instead of your head. NaNoWriMo is something I’ve never tried and probably never will. It’s too much like having a gun pointed at my head and I prefer the Bouncing Betty wired under my chair. But for a lot of people, NaNoWriMo is how they get words on the page and maintain accountability.

Not me. Once I know where I’m going, I can get there just fine. Some of you may notice that I’m using out dated terminology in my title. That’s ’cause I like to kick it old school. Trust me, the bitches in my head prefer it that way and I cater to them as much as possible. The logical one likes to shriek at me that if we don’t have a map, we’ll just chase ourselves in circles. The chill babe drawls out that it’s all about the journey. I usually duct tape them together and shake them until we agree on one very salient point: It’s all about the story and we have to write one. Then we all take a drink and grab some writing implements.

Now what? I like to build a world around my characters first. I need me some rules for them to follow or break into sharp painful bits while they crash through beautifully terrifying scenery on their way to success. Once that starts to wail like a banshee in need of a soul to devour, I figure out how to ruin my heroine’s life. That’s the first plot point. I use the same tool as C. Morgan, Michael Hague’s Six Point Plot Structure. If you don’t know it, give it a look. It’s been an enormous help in figuring out how to write a coherent novel. After that, it’s all about how to make my character’s lives absolute hell so they can appreciate the gift that love truly is by the end. For me, it’s all about the Happily Ever After. But you have to earn it.

How about you? Do you like happy, sassy? Dark and angsty? What makes you continue to put words on the page?

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About Gina Fluharty

Author of paranormal romance. Like chocolate, I like the darker side of love. It's okay, you can hold my hand as I walk you into the heart of darkness in order to show you the light inside. It's time to embrace the beast within.

Posted on November 7, 2013, in General and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. Gina,

    If your post has shown me one thing, it’s that I wanna read your first book! Can’t wait to see what those char do as they escape from the duct tape and shattered bits of control.

    I’m doing a NaNo activity this year for the first time, Entangled Smackdown, in their Covet paranormal line. I’m surprised at how much I’m enjoying the team atmosphere and support. I’ve heard, but am now really experiencing that belonging to romance genre groups is another good way to maintain support in this often lonely profession.

    I’m an ex-pantser, who discovered I could write much, much faster with a good plot outline and character studies.Now, getting my protagonists through the story is like navigating a maze with a compass instead of blind luck. I use the Savvy Author Tools ‘Romance Beat Sheet’ and Carol Hughes’ ‘Deep Story’, a similar plotting toolkit. Love them both.

    Then, of course, it’s up to my editors to rein me in and help make sense of it all! Could NOT do it without them.

    So fascinating that we all use slightly different methods, and great stories spring from all.

    best,
    Cathryn Cade
    http://www.cathryncade.com

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  2. Yes! This: “all about how to make my character’s lives absolute hell so they can appreciate the gift that love truly is by the end.”

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  3. Great Post Gina – I couldn’t stop laughing about the duct tape 🙂
    I write because I see scenes in my head that I want to see on the paper. Hopefully I get enough to make a complete story 😛

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  4. I’ve discovered in the last year and a half that a “ticking clock” really motivates me — the deadline for a submission call; the turn-around window to get revisions back to my editor; a looming publication date. That’s what NaNoWriMo does for me — sets the clock ticking and gives me something to measure my progress against.

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    • Here’s the thing–most of us operate with that ticking clock on a weekly/monthly basis all year long, not just one month out of the year. Ticking is great, especially when there’s a huge explosion of doom looming.

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  5. > For me, it’s all about the Happily Ever After. But you have to earn it.

    That’s a great process for the characters. I wish it didn’t have to be that hard for me! I need to go over Hauge again since you two find him so useful. There’s always room for one more voice in my head 🙂

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    • I don’t necessarily follow the math exactly with Hauge but I do strive for those big rocks. If I know where I’m headed, there’s enough creative lee-way for me to revel in/torture my characters with.

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  6. Gina, you always have a way of presenting things that makes me laugh. I can’t imagine how you control all those people in your head. I don’t know that I need Nano to produce, I’m pretty good on my own. However, I do like the reporting part. Reporting to others keeps me honest with myself and somehow makes the excuses seem piddly. All year I’ve been reporting weekly word counts to another group who set annual goals. This is just one more reporting mechanism and I like being part of something larger.

    As for what I like, I’m probably more angsty than any of the others you mentioned and a little on the dark side. Thougoh I strive toward happy. Sassy I don’t do too well. My mind doesn’t think in that way, but I do appreciate it when others carry it off well without being mean. I’m dying to read something by you, Gina. I want to see if the picture I have of you in my mind matches what comes out on the page.

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    • I used to be a cowgirl so I’m good at wrangling. As for reading something by me, tune in next month! We Jane’s are crafting short stories with a central theme as a Christmas gift to our lovely readers.

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  7. I love activity goals, every sales manager does, and November is certainly encouraging participating authors to have them. What seems to be overlooked is that NaNoWriMo is not just about the activity, it’s reinforcing the value of inclusion, knowing others are sitting at the desk doing the same thing you are every day. Forced activity has value, there’s no way to succeed without it, but inclusion can be of equal value. All the RCRW members who aren’t choosing to write a novel in a month’s time should still feel like they’re part of the process because they care about those doing it and whatever they’re doing instead, if it’s a writing-related task as well, make them NaNoWriMo’s too, in spirit and in activity.

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    • I don’t know that I agreed with ‘forced activity has value.’ I know too many authors that participate in NaNoWriMo and then spend months editing their work. It’s great for metrics and inclusion, there’s no doubt about that!

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