I’m honored and happy to welcome Addison Albright to my blog today. She’s here on tour for her latest novel To Love and To Cherish and she will talk about writing style and whether she’s a planner or a pantser.
The floor is yours, Addison.
Planner or pantser?
Planner or pantser? Which did I employ to write To Love and To Cherish? Which is better? Is either fundamentally better?
First of all, for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, a writer who is a “planner” details out an outline before they start actually writing the story. A “pantser” writes more by the seat of their pants, so to speak. If I’d been asked to answer the question of which is better before I wrote my first story, I’d probably have said “planner, of course,” because in every other aspect of my life I am a super-organized planner. When it comes to writing, though, not so much.
I don’t know if I’d call myself a true pantser, either. More of a hybrid. I do have the basics of the story in my mind before I start writing. The details are what’s fuzzy. As the story develops I start sketching out more specific ideas for upcoming chapters at the end of my Word document, but I’ve never yet had any kind of outline written out before I started.
To answer the question of which is better, I’d have to say (IMHO) neither is intrinsically better than the other. It depends on the writer and how their mind works. For me, since my stories so far have not been mysteries or fantasies requiring complex world building, a hybrid approach works effectively.
My characters develop as I write. Details happen and fresh ideas emerge as a result. If I’d taken the time to write out a plan, it would invariably turn out to be a waste of time since it would change anyway.
When I started writing ’Til Death Do Us Part I wasn’t sure what trials the castaways would face on the island, but I knew what Henry’s emotional arc to be worked into that background drama was going to be. I also knew what Sam’s emotional steps would be, but the details around highlighting them emerged as I wrote.
To Love and To Cherish is the first time the basic (and admittedly sketchy) story plan I had in mind changed after I was well into the story. The new direction the story takes in chapter eight only occurred to me after I’d written the first seven chapters. Thankfully, that change of plan didn’t require a total rewrite of the chapters leading up to it. They were still needed just as they were. In fact, they were the perfect setup for it.
I doubt I would have come up with the ideas I had for the “Percy” chapters later in the book in a pre-planning stage. I love those chapters. They’re fun. But they occurred to me on the fly.
In a way, I wish I was more of a planner. I’d probably be able to write faster. But, it is what it is, and I am what I am, and that’s a hybrid that leans toward the pantser end of the scale. Although, I think I’d rather think of myself as a gardener, using George R.R. Martin’s analogy of gardeners vs. architects.
Title: To Love and To Cherish
Author: Addison Albright
Series: Vows #3
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: November 12th 2016
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance
Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual manner? Now that’s another story entirely.
Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He’s sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn’t think he’s capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex…that’s all he wants, and the sooner, the better.
When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who’s also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. Matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?
Find To Love and To Cherish on Goodreads
Find the Vows series on Goodreads
“Fuck dating. Let first impressions rule. I could’ve saved myself a world of hurt and heartache if I’d done that over the years. I don’t know why I stuck it out with some of my shitty boyfriends either. Wishful thinking, I guess. But you’re right, I knew practically instantly that my husband was going to be the love of my life. So yeah, don’t bother dating…simply ask him to marry you five minutes into the conversation. I’m sure it won’t scare him off or anything.” She accompanied that final instruction with a cocked eyebrow and one of her trademark smirks, as if the scornful tone she’d used wasn’t enough to keep the sarcasm from going over his head. Subtlety wasn’t Angela’s strong suit.
“Sage advice.” He raised a spoonful of soup in salute, then brought it toward his mouth.
Someone bumped his chair from behind. Nash rocked forward, and soup spilled down his chin.
Angela stifled a snicker, and a male voice he recognized said, “Sorry about that.”
Nash snatched up his napkin to wipe his face, and turned. “No problem, Dr. Burlingham.”
Although it was, of course. He felt like a fool with chicken noodle dripping down his neck. Dr. Burlingham stood there looking at him with an odd intensity. Probably thinking Nash had a screw loose or was some kind of man-whore if he’d overheard much of Nash’s rant. Whatever, it was none of the man’s business, and Nash would hopefully not be working at this hospital—where the doctor’s opinion would affect him—for much longer anyway.
After gazing at him for an uncomfortably long couple of seconds, Dr. Burlingham turned back to Dr. Gilbert Wilson, a friendly and outgoing pediatrician whose close friendship with Dr. Burlingham had long stymied the hospital grapevine. Dr. Wilson gaped at Dr. Burlingham with his own less-squinty version of Angela’s earlier side-eye. Except Dr. Wilson’s version was accompanied by a comical upturn to one side of his mouth, indicating his enjoyment of the scene—rather than concern for his friend’s mental health, as Angela’s countenance had implied.
As soon as the two doctors walked around the corner, Angela burst into a fit of the chuckles that would have been better suited to the set of Dumb and Dumber.
“Hardee-har-har,” was the best he could come up with in reply. Nash grabbed her napkin and crammed it down the front of his uniform to mop up the rest of the soup drippage.
“Did you see the look on his face?” Angela managed to gasp between giggles.
“Which one? The repugnance on Dr. Burlingham’s or the glee on Dr. Wilson’s?”
The guffaws coming from across the table intensified and drew some curious glances as well as several censorious glares. “Seriously, Angela, you’re going to give yourself a hernia. It wasn’t that funny.”
He nudged her bottle toward her and she took the hint, a couple deep breaths, and a slug of water. “Wasn’t repugnance,” she wheezed.
“What are you talking about?”
“The look on Dr. Burlingham’s face. It wasn’t repugnance. Closer to yearning.”
“Don’t even.” Nash froze. “Right now your position on the hospital grapevine is scaring the shit out of me. Don’t. Even.”
She held up a hand. “I wouldn’t. Calm down, sweetie. I’m stating facts, is all.”
“There’s nothing remotely factual about that statement, so don’t start with me. And so help me, don’t even hint at joking about something that stupid on the pediatrics floor where Dr. Wilson might get wind of it.”
She pointed a finger—or rather the finger—at him and bit out, “I’m not a fucking idiot.”
No, she wasn’t. Nash eased back in his seat. And she was a good friend. He sighed. “Sorry. I know you wouldn’t. Just put it down to the stress, okay?”
She gave his hand a squeeze and the tightness that had appeared in her shoulders visibly relaxed as well. “I’m sorry, too, sweetie. I shouldn’t tease you right now. I promise I would never start or feed any rumors about you, stupid or otherwise, but there truly was something in his look. I just want you to have a heads-up on that.”
Nash closed his eyes and took a deep, cleansing breath. It was doubtful, and so not a complication that would be appreciated right now in his life.
An amazing grand prize including 1 signed paperback of To Love and To Cherish, 1 signed paperback of ‘Til Death Do Us Part and $25.00 Amazon Giftcard
About the Author
Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with three peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, french fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.
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November 30th: All in One Place
December 2nd: Alpha Book Club