Friday, November 9, 2018

Pantser + Plotter = Plantser >>> Thank you, Ms. Higgins

On November 3, 2018 I attended RWA/NYCs romance conference at the Fordham University campus in The Bronx. The conference was informational as it was fun and we were fortunate to have had on hand several best-selling authors, icons really, and for that I’m eternally blessed. 

Recently, I got to thinking about a comment Kristan Higgins said during one of the workshops: Not a ‘pantser’, not a ‘plotter’, but a ‘plantser’. Several of us laughed out loud, “Yeah, that, that’s me!”

By design I am a pantser and enjoy making up stories as I ‘go’ rather than creating outlines as do my plotter counterparts. As you might imagine, the first draft of my novellas are quite messy as scenes are often deleted/added along the way. Second and third drafts are marginally better.

I think many pantsers will tell you that allowing our imaginary friends to direct the course of a book is the most exciting aspect of the writing process. Pantsers might also tell you that this technique is equally frustrating.

I have tried plotting and using character sheets in the past, but the process didn’t feel natural, so I reverted back to my pantser ways. However, since my goal for 2019 is to have a much more structured writing process I decided to go all in on this plotting thing for NaNoWriMo.

Yes, planning and outlining is a departure from the spontaneity of pantsing, but guess what? It’s okay; as a plantser I can now identify with both worlds. Thank you Kristan!

Happy writing,


Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Author Spotlight >>> JL Regen

JL Regen is a published photojournalist and has taught special education and English as a Second Language to students around the globe.

How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I knew at ten that I wanted to be a novelist. I started out as a journalist and am proud to say that I've taught many students the nuances of creative writing—here in the States and overseas.

Who’s your favorite author?

One of my favorite authors is Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I've read all of his books. Dostoyevsky was a master at combining drama, suspense, and heart-stopping action. I started reading Dostoyevsky when I was nine years old; I was riveted to the page, still am, especially The Brothers Karamozov.

What are you working on currently?

Right now, I'm editing my WWII historical suspense (with a romantic element). This is a labor of love and a tribute to my beloved uncle, who served in WWII as a medic and earned a Purple Heart.

Tell us a little bit about your writing, what is the process like?

As to the process with my writing, I used to do everything from memory but with a teaching job, it's a lot to keep in my head so I now do extensive outlines, I need that roadmap to keep me on track as I write my chapters and scenes. I did tons of research for my historical. My uncle left me so much material that it took me months just to review it. Fascinatingly, this research gave me a different perspective on him as before I only knew him as a brilliant pharmacist and loving uncle. The information my uncle provided has paved the way for my novel.

What is your favorite genre?

I enjoy suspense with a romantic element.

JL Regen is the author of Secret Desires which is now available in e-book, paperback, and audio book format. JL can be reached at