It is my pleasure to present a guest post by author Melanie Hansen, who shares...
Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a pantser! The way my process looks, I get an idea for a story. If it requires research, I’ll start doing that research, and then one day I sit down, pick what I think is a good starting point and start to write. That’s it. No outlining. Is it an easy and stress-free way to go about it? Definitely not. Does it work for me? Well, eight novels later, I’d say it does.
One challenge of writing this way is that I don’t know what’s going to happen until it does. I’m feeling my way, scene by scene, sometimes sentence by sentence. There’ve been many times I’ve lain awake at night, worried out of my mind because I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT. Sometimes it takes days to rework paragraphs, or even mere sentences, over and over and over, until I finally discover that magic combination of words which then opens the door and shows me the way forward.
As a result, I’m not a fast writer and deadlines are very difficult and stressful for me. Another huge downside of pantsing is that I’ve written myself into a corner more than once. The worst was when I ended up scrapping almost 30,000 words because it was leading nowhere and I realized too late that it was the wrong place to have started in.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, what I love about pantsing—as I go, I discover things I’d never thought of doing when the idea first popped into my head. I get to learn my characters almost the way the reader does, and it’s amazing to watch them develop along with the story. Sometimes a secondary character takes on a life of his or her own, and ends up getting a story. Since I’m not tied to an outline, I’m not afraid to deviate and go where my instincts are telling me to.
In short, my inexpert advice would be, whatever your writing process is, if it results in a finished book, trust it. It is NOT wrong. By all means, refine your process as you go and read all the writing advice you can get your hands on, but at the end of the day, you simply have to trust what works for you. Nobody else. For YOU.
Thanks so much for hosting me today!
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
A survivor of war. Of combat. And of a betrayal by men she considered her brothers-in-arms. But her trailblazing work as a Cultural Support Team member working alongside the Navy SEALs is too important for her to back down now.
Fresh off a painful break-up, Air Force pararescueman Rhys Halloran recognizes Devon’s trauma for what it is—something that’s left her isolated, but far from irreparably damaged.
With Devon’s trust still lying shattered back in Afghanistan, putting her faith in a man who’s nursing a broken heart isn’t easy. But she’s tired of people making her feel weak, and Rhys makes her feel anything but, sparking a heated attraction that was never part of the plan.
With all eyes on Devon to prove herself in a brutal man’s world, having it all will mean putting her heart on the line like never before. But when it comes to Rhys, it’s an uphill battle she’s ready to fight.
Publisher’s Note: Keeping a Warrior deals with topics some readers may find difficult, including past sexual assault.
Rhys watched until Devon had disappeared safely into her room, then turned toward his own with a sigh.
“If I were you, I’d watch yourself with her.”
The voice came at Rhys out of the darkness, and he jumped. “Jesus!”
Mullet stepped out of the shadows where he’d been leaning against the wall. He held up his phone. “Came out to call my wife, saw you drive up with Lowe.” He paused. “What were y’all doing?”
None of your business. “Just talking,” Rhys said tightly. “Unwinding. What’s it to you?”
“Man, it ain’t nothin’ to me. Just think you should be aware of what you’re dealing with.”
“We were just talking,” Rhys emphasized with a slash of his hand. “What exactly am I ‘dealing’ with?”
“Why don’t you ask one of the guys she accused of rape? Oh wait, he’s dead.”
Rhys rocked back on his heels. “What?”
“Yeah, that first team she was attached to in Kandahar?” Mullet’s voice was hard. “Lowe started fucking one of the dudes there, and when she found out he was engaged, she lost it and accused him and two other guys of rape.”
Rhys’s mouth flapped open and closed uselessly.
“She was hanging out with them,” Mullet went on. “Drinking with them, you know? A real party girl. Got into a relationship with this dude, and when he tried to break it off ’cause of his fiancée, she turned on him, tried to ruin his career.”
“Where did you hear this?” Rhys croaked. “Did she tell you this?”
“Nah.” Mullet shook his head. “You think El-Tee isn’t gonna vet anyone we’re bringing on board?”
Rhys’s face went hot with anger. “And then what, our leadership just sat down and gossiped with you about it, knowing it could destroy unit cohesion before it even had a chance to form? No way. Try again, and leave El-Tee out of your bullshit story.”
“Fuck you with the gossip and the bullshit,” Mullet growled. “All you need to know is it’s a fact that accusations were made, there was an investigation, and Lowe was transferred off the team.”
The team Rhys had been a part of for such a short time. One mission. The mission where Devon had made such an impression on him.
“It’s your life, Halloran, but that girl’s trouble, and if I were you, I’d keep it strictly business.”
He strode off, leaving Rhys numb with shock. He sucked in a few deep breaths, horror freezing his blood when he saw Devon standing there, an ice bucket in her hand, her face white as a sheet.
Oh, God. She must’ve heard everything.
“Devon.” Rhys took a step toward her, and she put up a shaking hand to ward him off.
“Just in case you’re wondering if his facts are true,” she said tonelessly, “they are.”
Devon’s knuckles clenched white on the bucket, her lips twisting in a bitter smile. She shoved open her door, and right before she disappeared inside, she turned to look back at Rhys.
“Not all war stories are heroic, you know.”
She shut the door with a quiet click.
Amazon buy link
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Melanie Hansen doesn’t get nearly enough sleep. She loves all things coffee-related, including collecting mugs from every place she’s visited. After spending eighteen years as a military spouse, Melanie definitely considers herself a moving expert. She has lived and worked all over the country, and hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to the love stories she gets up in the wee hours to write. On her off-time, you can find Melanie watching baseball, reading or spending time with her husband and two teenage sons.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
The tour dates can be found here