Indie-Credible Authors Tour: Guest Post with Penelope Reece + Giveaway

Posted 16 September, 2013 by Lori @ Romancing the Dark Side in Blog Tour / 8 Comments

by Penelope Reece

Welcome to my stop on the Indie-Credible Authors Tour! This awesome month long tour is hosted by Little Read Riding Hood and Creative Deeds Reads. Indie author Penelope Reece is stopping by the blog today to share her favorite style when it comes to writing and how she deals with the process. Oh, and did I mention there are two fab giveaways to enter? 🙂

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“How I Learned to Stop Stressing About Plot Holes”
by Penelope Reece

To outline or not to outline. That seems to be the question on every new writer’s (or even the most seasoned author’s) mind. “Should I plot my story from start to finish or wing it?”


Which way is better?

Who knows? Do you? I don’t, not really. What I do know is that I love creating stories. When that first vision, that first idea, comes spiraling into your senses forming something like a mini big bang in your brain, it’s spectacular. To you, to me, it means instant success. But how to write it? You don’t think about that, not at first. What you do is plop down in front of your word processor and start typing away. You need to get this idea down before it dwindles away into obscurity. Two months from now, you’ll be thinking, “Now what was that idea again?” Just like that, it’s gone. So you write it down. And once your fingers start striking those keys, you’re off and running going way beyond that first scene because when you get close to finishing the story magically continues to play inside you and the words spread from your mind to the computer screen like butter. And you just keep going. Day after day the scenes keep coming until you finally reach the end. Your masterpiece is complete.


But is it a masterpiece?

If you are lucky enough to have been graced with the gift, if the God of Writing looked down at you and said, “This one shall be a great writer”, then this could be true. You really could have a masterpiece. You’re a great author and everyone should bow down to your mastery. Chances are though, that He doesn’t much care when it comes to your writing, and while you do get inspired to write a story – the idea exploding behind your eyes like the big bang –  it doesn’t continuously come pouring out of you like that night you got struck down with the 24 hour flu. Yes, we do vomit out our words, but in the beginning, in that first draft (unless you’re a master) your plot is just one large pile of putrid bile.

…Well at least that’s how it is for me.

I’m so excited about my story, so in the moment, so geared up to reach the finish line, that I ignore that horrible odor while convincing myself all I smell is roses. In the case of my first two novels, this way worked fine. But in the middle of writing them something happened and the roses stopped being roses and everything started smelling like dirty diapers. I had reached my first plot hole. Until that moment I had thought the Writing God really had smiled down on me.

As I stared at my screen wondering if I was suffering from writer’s block or maybe I’d someone broken my brain from too many hours of spitting out sentences I realized God was out to get me, and that a black hole had sucked me up inside it where words and ideas no longer made sense. It was a place of disconnect. A place no author should be stuck in. It almost always means certain death for the story and, to you as a writer, it probably feels like being tossed inside an iron maiden. It’s torture!


The plot hole: Where stories go to die

Now when I say plot holes, I’m talking about those problems we start seeing within the text. They’re like those gaudy flashing neon signs. They’re tacky and can’t be missed. Up until this point, you’ve been writing organically (or on the seat of your pants – be honest, isn’t this term more fitting?). When you arrive at that first plot hole, trust me, you aren’t feeling like your spontaneity has done you any favors. In fact it feels like it’s kneed you in the gut. Then as you’re bent down holding your ruptured stomach an elbow comes crashing down on your spine. Like a mole in your yard, once you stomp down one pushed up tunnel, you see another and another. Now, you think, would be the perfect time to throw up.

When the plot hole is something this major where you physically can’t continue on with the story, probably because the way from point A to point B is so twisted and obstructed, you start to despair. “Ah *&^F*&%S%%&G^$!” you think. How can you even go about fixing something so irreconcilably unstable? Perhaps you think the only way to save it is to start all over or spend hours sitting in the bathtub believing the water is made of good ideas and if you sit there long enough something will soak in. Maybe you spend your time having heated arguments with your husband because you’ve decided to make him be the one to fix everything. For me, that usually works, but I can’t say my husband would agree. He’s spent many a long session aggravated by the large knot that is my plot. If there is one thing I can say it’s that my husband is great at untying knots.


Breaking a bad habit

I loved writing organically (I can’t call it anything other than being a panster, because, let’s face it, what I was doing wasn’t healthily produced by any means). Being a panster kept everything exciting. I never knew what would happen next and when the idea would come, I was so happy to write it. However, I couldn’t take the plot holes, the many hours of excitingly writing a story only to have to go back and rewrite it again and again until it wasn’t the same story but something completely different. There is no worse feeling than having to go back through and rip apart those wonderful, cosmic, “big bang” scenes. But you have to cut them, because they ruin the overall flow of the book. No matter how much you love them, they are now the problem and have got to go.

After two books, and now deep into a third, I’ve finally decided to cut the spontaneity crap and develop my story before I write. This doesn’t mean I have to stop writing organically, it just means that all those “big bang” moments are now prompted by the outline, and can only make the plot better. Now instead of writing three drafts where my story alters extravagantly with each rewrite, I do all my rewrites with the outline, saving me a lot of stress and heartache when it comes time to edit. Will this new way work for me? Only time will tell.

Perhaps I’ll let you be the judge of that when my next novel is published…
Until then, I’d like to hear which approach you prefer: Plotting or jumping in head first?


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About the Book

Title: Phantasma
Author: Penelope Reece
Series: Phantasma #1
Genre: Paranormal YA
Purchase: Amazon

Good school, nice friends, and a loving family. Alphie Brewster’s life seems perfect except for one growing problem. She’s plagued with vivid nightmares, and is haunted by a forgotten past. And it’s only getting worse.

The day she finds a mysterious necklace, Alphie wakes to see a ghostly figure leaning over her bed. Now she’s got an even greater problem. A six foot four inch tall eccentric spook, named Noer, who has to possess her in order to stay in this world. He fills her with fire while slowly draining her energy as if she were a Duracell Battery.

Now her problems only seem to be escalating. The more she learns about Noer, the more she starts to remember her childhood. One that should have stayed buried and could very well tear her apart.


About Penelope Reece

Penelope Reece, Penn for short (b. 1984), is an author living in Central Indiana with her husband of two years and her tiny pomeranian Kodi.

She graduated from Indiana University in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in English. She then went on to spend nearly three years in South Korea where she taught English in a private academy. It was here that she met and married her husband in June of 2010.

They recently moved back to the States in March of 2012.

Penelope's been writing ever since her nerdy highschool days where her joys were limited to marching band and day dreaming.

Her other joys include reading, crocheting, snuggling her little Kodi-man, and watching comedic TV shows such as Parks and the IT Crowd. She also enjoys watching Korean dramas, listening to her husband sing. As well as being hyper and annoying her husband as much as she can.



Giveaways provided by authors.

There are two great giveaways to enter below!

Penelope is giving away an ecopy of Phantasma to one lucky winner! {MOBI format}

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Wide Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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8 Responses to “Indie-Credible Authors Tour: Guest Post with Penelope Reece + Giveaway”

  1. Justine

    I think jumping into it is better because I think spontaneity works in a books favor to keep everything interesting. Where as I feel that if every little thing was planned out the reader would feel that.

    Thanks again!

  2. Barbara Gordon

    I’d probably prefer a mixture of both… jumping in head first and when I get somewhere, start plotting. 🙂

  3. erinf1

    lol… I don’t really have a preference. I leave it to the author to determine the best approach. I’m just in it for the story! Congrats to Penelope on the new release and thanks for sharing!

  4. This is probably why I’ve never made it to actually writing an entire book – I’ve always wanted to be an author (since I was a little girl) and I’ve started a few things over the years, but I’ve always written them by the seat of my pants as you say and then when I’ve hit that plot hole that’s been it. The story sits in my cloud where stories seem to go to die. It’s been a while since I tried, but I think it would be so hard to stop that flow to write an outline; I can certainly see where it would be beneficial though!! Great post!

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