To celebrate the release of Cat Adams’ latest fabulous urban fantasy, I’ve asked C.T. Adams, one half of the bestselling Cat Adams writing team, to come and talk about the evolution of her writing process. But first, a little bit about the book, THE ELDRICH CONSPIRACY, which USA Today recommended as a hot new read. Library Journal says, “The fifth installment (after The Isis Collar ) of Adams’s (the pen name of cowriters C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp) classy series mixes a glimpse of Siren society and mores with a compelling story of political intrigue, betrayal, and growing romance. Strong characters and the Siren “connection” make this title stand out.” In other words, if you haven’t already jumped on the Blood Singer series…what are you waiting for?
Okay, first off, let me be clear here (or as clear as I ever am). I don’t know about other people’s writing processes. I suspect that the process is different for every writer. And, in my case, it has evolved.
When I started (19 published books ago, more unpublished books ago than I care to count — after all, I started trying to do this when I was ten). I was strictly a “pantser.” I would get a character in my head, and they’d tell me a story, and we’d ramble around until they were finished. Then I’d edit it, and we’d be good.
Except that sometimes it wasn’t.
Sometimes it just rambled.
Time was wasted.
When I was unpublished that was no biggie. I mean, I had all the time in the world to make it PERFECT. But I’m not unpublished any more, and editors have these things called EXPECTATIONS and DEADLINES. I couldn’t afford to keep wandering around in the wilderness of my imagination. I had places to go, things to do.
So, I started plotting.
It was . . . .uncomfortable, restricting, at first.
So I adjusted.
I plot, but loosely. I have a chart I use that hits the main plot points I want to get and approximately where they go. I check them off. If they just don’t work, I cross it out and put what did. It’s a map, nothing more. There are multiple roads from Denver to Detroit. There are multiple roads to get to the end of my book. No stress. I remind myself of that all the time.
It’s speeded up my writing process by MONTHS on every book. I’m hitting my deadlines. The editor is happy. I am happy.
Will the process continue to evolve? If it needs to. And I am okay with that. Because I’m in this for the long haul.