I know Leah has talked about the writing process before and the difference between plotting and pantsing, so the concept shouldn’t be too foreign. I doubt that it’s as easy for a reader to understand what a TOTALLY different mindset the two extremes are. And there’s nothing like experiencing the results of a casual ‘pantser’ comment and having it haunt you.
So here’s a bit of trivia for you. The entire plot of Wolf Flight, book two in the Granite Lake Wolves, is the result of two sentences in the first book.
Wolf Signs was the second romance book I wrote. It had a word limit of 20K, and I started with one idea—what if a werewolf found his mate, but she’s not only totally unaware wolves exist, she’s deaf. I wanted to see how he was going to manage to explain that one. I know, cruel, but fun. And as a pantser…I was away!
But as the story progressed I discovered (yeah pantsing!) that Robyn’s older brother already knew about werewolves but hadn’t told her for the past two years. And the question arose. Why didn’t he tell her? Had to be a good reason; he could talk to her easy enough with sign language. They were close friends as well as family. It had to be something you won’t discuss with a brother very easily. And sex jumped to mind (yeah, pantsing!)
Here’s part one that showed up in the book. Keil is explaining to Robyn that wolf genes need to be ‘turned-on’ or triggered:
“Half-blood wolves can get triggered by having sex with a full-blood. The hormones released during unprotected sex work fast, and since wolves can’t get STDs, it’s both effective and safe. There’s a little added complication for males because of something called ‘FirstMate’, but females don’t have to worry about it.” He stopped and Robyn swallowed hard.
And then once Robyn does know about wolves, she speaks to her brother and finds out he’s known all along. Keil offers an excuse for Tad’s lack of explaining:
He can’t shift until he gets triggered, and you know that’s complicated for a male half-breed.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
But when I started writing Tad’s story I suddenly had to stop. And explain exactly what those cryptic lines meant. I mean, they sounded good without making much sense. (boo pantsing!)
I wrote Wolf in Flight, draft one. Started with the whole scene where TJ accidentally turns into a wolf in front of Tad and explains nicely how he discovers not only that wolves exist, but that he has wolf blood. Only trouble? It wasn’t until chapter three that I even got around to saying hi to Missy, the heroine of the story. Hard to have a romance when the two main characters aren’t in the same room for the first 1/3 of the book!
So out came draft #2. I started where I should, with the heroine and hero getting to connect much sooner. But that silly ‘FirstMate’ thingy, that sounded so cool in concept? Kicked my butt. I started looking into chemical formulas and gene therapy for heaven’s sake.
Pantsers do NOT like having to research in the middle of a sentence. ‘Nough said.
In the end it was draft #3, now called Wolf Flight since I was too tired to type the whole line anymore, which got it right. Tad has a good reason to have held off on triggering his wolf, and it’s not just because he’s shy. Missy has every reason to have waited to find her hero, and I learned a lesson about the danger of pantsing.
Not that I’m giving pantsing up…Book three? Wolf Games? Total pants from the word go. :) I’ll have to see what mischief I’ve painted myself into a corner with when I start writing book four!
An untriggered werewolf. A runaway Omega. It’s not easy fighting destiny.
Granite Lake Wolves, Book 2
Tad Maxwell’s workaholism serves to keep his bush-pilot company in the air, and his inner werewolf in check. In the two years since he discovered his heritage, he’s resisted the longing to test the power of his wolf side. It would mean compromising his human principles.
Then Missy Leason re-enters his life. Ten years ago, their teenage attraction never went beyond hand-holding. Now their chemistry is off the charts, pushing him closer to the step he’s not sure it’s safe to take, especially with a human.
But Missy is more like Tad than he realizes. She’s wolf too, and a wolf pack is a dangerous place to have secrets. Missy’s Alpha has sniffed out her carefully hidden Omega powers. Her first response: run from the corrupt Alpha’s plan to make her his mate. Step two: get to Tad, and hope like hell his untapped powers are strong enough to negate her own.
Every touch with Missy is hot, hot, hot, but even finding out she’s pure wolf doesn’t solve Tad’s dilemma. Is she using him, or are they truly destined mates? Only one thing is certain. He will defend her to his last breath—on his terms. Even if it means losing his life.
Warning: Contains nasty Alphas, secret Omegas and werewolves acting raunchy on the dance floor. Sarcasm, wilderness cabins and hot nookie back by popular demand.
I want to invite you to join in my Wolf Howl contest. If you post a comment here at Leah’s, I’ll automatically enter you in the draw for a basket of goodies I’m giving away on October 31st. For more details and more chances to win, come check out the rest of the contest rules at my blog.