Category: Amazon

Do You Outline or Write by the Seat of Your Pants?

I write by the seat of my pants and I don’t outline. Those words make me cringe. They’re a recipe for mediocrity without a few qualifying sentences. Maybe more than a few.

I’ve written all of my life, academically and professionally. My writing got high marks and was well received by my professional peers. Does that mean I was a good writer?

Absolutely not. In 1995, I began writing nonacademic fiction and nonfiction full time. In that year, I had a cataclysmic and extremely painful personal breakthrough. The idea for an entire series of books was “injected” in my head almost instantly in a healing transcendental breakthrough. I had had big experiences before, but I’d never had one associated with writing.

A lot came with that Big Bang of the mental/spiritual type. With the idea for the series, I received the self-discipline to finish my books and see them in print. The discipline to finish was a big thing. Before that experience, I’d started dozens of books only to peter out about chapter three. Not any more. I’ve got six or seven award-winning books in print and eBook form. The just-released Mogollon: A Tale of Mysticism & Mayhem is the second book in the Bloodsong Series. Another  Bloodsong book or two will be out in 2014.

In 2007, another personal tragedy resulted my writing in the Earth’s End Trilogy, my dystopian sci-fi series.

Mogollon (Bloodsong Series 2) A great Native American shaman meets the richest man in the world. Hot off the presses!

Mogollon eBook

Earth's End Trilogy - Three Books in One Giant eBook. Winner 7 National Awards

Earth’s End Trilogy eBook

How did I do that? I employ a writing technique I call “literature through disaster.” Giant personal catastrophes jar my depths and somehow kick out ideas for books. And more books. After these ideas appear, I’m able to cut through procrastination, writer’s block, laziness, fear, and all the other demons that bedevil writers. The impetus for the writing outflow is very painful emotionally, but I’m able to finish books, including all the very hard work involved in getting them into print.

It’s a personal gift, literature through disaster. I don’t think you really want this gift, but it’s how I work. What I get when I have one of these experiences is a gestalt, which means a big, integrated hunk of meaning, images, feelings, memories, and physical sensations delivered as a whole. The gestalt is more than the sum of its parts.

Bazaam! An entire book pops into my head in a second. I don’t have to outline it; I just write it down.

Carl Jung on the cover of Psychology of religion & Synchronicity by R. Aziz

In a blog article, I discuss Jungian personality types as they apply to writers. This is very important information for scribblers. What I have just described is how an intuitive type creates. A thinking type would do things very differently. The rational and orderly thinking type is most likely to write with elaborate outlines and methods of tracking his/her work. That’s how a thinking type operates. The other two types––sensate and feeling––might or might not outline, depending on how they’ve learned to be creative and successful.

A sensate, for whom physical sensation and the present moment is important, might outline as a way of creating structure. Think football players and sports types when you think sensate. The feeling type, interested in relationships, and orientating him or herself with feelings, might outline a book as a way of providing a logical structure that is hard to muster internally. The romance genre is to province of feeling types.

I don’t outline. I get big, intuitive explosions occasionally that provide me with years’ worth of writing material. I just write it down. Does that mean I spend my days floating in a swimming pool, chugging down Margueritas while thinking positive thoughts?

No. I work really hard, seven days a week. What I didn’t say when I said I don’t outline is that I spent nine years in a writing group run by a local poet. I spent an additional two years in a writing group run by a professor of literature and English. I’ve spent the last seven years working with an excellent content editor. She’s tougher than all of them. I know when may editor gives me a manuscript back, it won’t have an extra word.

I’ve internalized her comments and apply them automatically when I write. “Your point of view is wandering. This doesn’t move the story forward. Why did he/she do that? Shorten this. Give me more on this. The totally leaves me cold. I don’t understand this part.”

I’ve got my own writing group automatically functioning in my head.

In Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell says that individuals require 10,000 hours of practice of a skill to become outstanding in it. He cites all sorts of examples from the Beatles to Bill Gates. My experience in writing (as well as riding horses) indicates he’s absolutely correct. You must spend your hours in the saddle before you can ride the horse.

As a writer, you can’t just not outline. You have to train your mind to order and discipline the words coming out of you. You have to learn to feel the flow and pacing of plot. Outline or not, you have to work like crazy. And you have to have your work edited by as good an editor as you can find. Maybe do a couple of go-rounds of content editing. Then you have to have your work copy edited and proofread.

If you want to sell your stuff, you have to do the work. Otherwise, you’re perpetrating garbage on your fellow human beings and contributing to the sorry reputation of indie publishing.

So. I don’t outline. I write by the seat of my pants. It’s really hard work and I’d do it another way, but I don’t know how.

Do what you have to do.

Image of Sandy Nathan Sandy Nathan, Sandy’s Website, Sandy’s Amazon Author Page

 

 

 

Dystopian Science-Fiction On Sale Today Only! It’s the End of the World – or Is It?

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy

Sandy Nathan’s science-fiction/fantasy novel with an end of the world touch is on sale for 99c TODAY ONLY. What would happen if government paralysis and economic stagnation lasted another 100 years? 200?

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy paints a chillingly possible picture of what our future might be. Set on the eve of nuclear Armageddon, The Angel  introduces Jeremy Edgarton, a 16-year-old tech genius who’s decoded communications indicating the melt-down is tomorrow morning. Meet Eliana, the exquisite visitor from another planet who is on a mission to save her own world. She picked a really bad day to drop by earth.

Jeremy and Eliana form the core of a captivating cast of characters who will enchant, charm, and terrify you. Join them in an unforgettable tale, The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy. You’ll be glad you did.

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy won four national awards, including the prestigious IPPY Award in Visionary Fiction. It has a 4.7 out of 5 star average review rating on Amazon with 27 reviews. Check ‘em out: Readers will give you the straight skinny. (The three book Earth’s End Series has won seven national awards.)

All that for 99c? Today, Feb. 4th, only. Worth a try. Here’s a video to give you the book’s look and feel:

THE ANGEL & THE BROWN-EYED BOY from Sandy Nathan on Vimeo.

I Uploaded my New Books and They Were Bestsellers the Next Day!

Wow. I uploaded the three books of the Earth’s End Trilogy on Thursday. When I checked their pages on Friday, they were all in the top 100 books in their categories! I didn’t do anything! What’s happening? If you’d like to venture a guess, links to the books’ Amazon pages are below. I’ve got the ebooks only up at this time, except for The Angel, which also available in print. Feel free to buy and keep the mojo goin’.

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy

 

The Angel & the Brown-Eyed Boy  Earth has degenerated to a police state. The United States barely functions. Nuclear Armageddon is on the horizon. Join Eliana, an exquisite dancer  from anther world, and Jeremy, the sixteen-year-old tech geek with the skills to save the planet–if he can save himself.

The Angel kicks off the series, transporting you to a future world that’s disintegrating by the moment.  My husband likes the first chapter of this book more than anything I’ve written. (He likes the rest of my writing, too.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lady Grace and the War for a New World

 

 

Lady Grace & the War for a New World  OK The world blows up. Everyone knew it would. Untold years after the holocaust, a few survivors gather at Piermont Manor, Jeremy Edgarton’s ancestral home. They long for peace and a new life. What they find is the estate blasted to prehistoric conditions. Worse, the villagers in the underground bomb shelter have mutated into monsters with supernatural powers and superhuman strength. Lady Grace is a homecoming that’s more like a war.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Headman & the Assassin

 

 

The Headman & the Assassin If you bring an assassin into your house, what do you expect? Maybe Sam Baahuhd should have thought harder about the girl he carries into the underground shelter just before the bombs go off. He knew what she did for a living: killed people. She was a breaker for the FBI. If she couldn’t break ‘em, she killed ‘em. Not the sort of person to keep in an enclosed space.

Certainly not the sort of person to fall in love with. A romance of a deadly kind erupts and grows in the bomb shelter on Piermont Manor. This is love story that lasts a lifetime, not just until they master the first bump in their relationship. A real romance.

 


 

 

There they are: Kindle versions of the three books. The print versions are . . .  well, they’re at the printers. And we’re working on a grand boxed set eBook that will contain all three volumes. That will come before the end of the year.

WANT A SENSE OF THE BOOKS’ LOOK AND FEEL? NOTHING BEATS A VIDEO:


 

Earth’s End Trilogy – Perhaps More Action, Excitement, Romance, Thrills, and Adventure Than You Can Stand

The Earth’s End Trilogy delivers on its promise––
this is a series you’ll remember far after you turn the last page.

Sandy Nathan, Award-winning Author, and Tecolote

About Sandy Nathan

Author Sandy Nathan writes to amaze and delight, uplift and inspire, as well as thrill and occasionally terrify. She is known for creating unforgettable characters and putting them in do or die situations. She writes in genres ranging from science fiction, fantasy, and visionary fiction to juvenile nonfiction, spirituality and memoir.

Mrs. Nathan’s books have won twenty-four national awards, including multiple awards from oldest, largest, and most prestigious contests for independent publishers. Her books have earned rave reviews from critics and reviewers alike. Sandy lives with her husband on their California ranch. They bred Peruvian Paso horses for almost twenty years. She has three grown children and two grandchildren.

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