I'm blessed to be Chapter 3 of her guest posting segment. She's doing a series, taking you on a journey of how Open Minds came to be. For the whole story, visit the other guest posts listed below.
Now, here's Susan!
I’m finished! Oh wait. Maybe not.
by Susan Kaye Quinn
My new paranormal/SF novel Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) started as a NaNo novel (National Novel Writing Month). Actually it started as a paragraph, then turned into a voice tutorial, but at the end of NaNo, I had 53,829 words and had typed the words THE END.
I was finished!
I had a great setting (a mind-reading world), a fantastic character (a girl who couldn’t read thoughts, but could mindjack into other people’s heads) and a conflict (keeping her ability hidden while trying to pass for a mindreader). Somewhere half-way through pantsing those 50+ thousand words, I had discovered my theme: intolerance. I was all set, right?
Sure I could pad those 53k words a bit and come up with a decent wordcount for my YA novel (80-90k). After all, it was just a first draft, and a hastily crafted NaNo one at that.
About three weeks later, one day in the shower, I realized I had only written about half the novel.
This was partly due to my tragic inability to write a decent ending the first time around. Every novel I’ve pantsed my way through has required multiple (like 7) drafts before I could get the ending right. Apparently I was so wide of the mark on Open Minds that I’d completely forgotten to write the second half of the novel.
I erased “THE END” and spent another month writing an additional 30k words.
This was actually the turning point that changed me from a pantser to the hyper-plotter that I am today. You would think that being an engineer-type-person, my Logic Brain would want to plot everything out and know exactly where my story was headed before I opened the Word document. But for me, writing was Creative Brain at the wheel, driving madly over the landscape, shouting, "Check this out! How cool is this?? We are WRITING!!"
Which is fabulous fun, but also lands us all in the ditch eventually, bruised and wondering who exactly put Creative Brain in charge.
Properly chastened, my Creative Brain allowed as how, perhaps, maybe, there might be something to this plotting thing, and possibly we could spend some time checking it out.
I know many writers who very successfully write novels via pantsing and many others who swear by their plotting techniques. In the end, what matters is that the story is compelling. I had a fantastic start to Open Minds, but I was nowhere near done. And I think it’s important for any writer to realize that THE END is really just the beginning.
Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.
Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) by Susan Kaye Quinn is available for $2.99 in e-book (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords) and $9.99 in print (Amazon, Createspace).
The Story of Open Minds (linked posts)
Epilogue: Finding Time to Write the Sequel
Susan Kaye Quinn is giving away an Open Books/Open Minds t-shirt, mug, and some fun wristbands to celebrate the Virtual Launch Party of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy)! (Check out the prizes here.)
Three ways to enter (you can have multiple entries):
1) Leave a comment here or at the Virtual Launch Party post
2) Tweet (with tag #keepingOPENMINDS)
Example: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. #keepingOPENMINDS @susankayequinn #SF #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/psX1Hh
Example: Celebrate the launch of OPEN MINDS by @susankayequinn #keepingOPENMINDS #SciFi #paranormal #YA avail NOW http://bit.ly/SKQOpenMinds
3) Facebook (tag @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn)
Example: Celebrate the launch of paranormal/SF novel OPEN MINDS by @AuthorSusanKayeQuinn for a chance to win Open Books/Open Minds prizes!