Tag Archives: writing process

Guest post–What A Disaster! by Bonnie McCune

· In my first published novel, the heroine faces a major crisis—a malfunctioning hot water heater that floods her apartment and threatens explosion.

· In my second novel (really a novella), the heroine and her family are caught in an extreme winter blizzard with no heat or lights.

· In my third novel, a massive wildfire threatens not only the heroine but also the entire forest.

· Now, in my work-in-progress, the heroine, hero, and coworkers on a corporate retreat must escape a flash flood.

As the writer, I have to ask myself why I’m obsessed with disasters. I didn’t realize I relied heavily on terrible events occurring in my books until the fourth manuscript. That’s when I began wondering if something deeper than simply action for the plot underlay my manuscripts.

Two reasons occur to me. The first was writing itself. A disaster allows me, the writer, to compress action into a short time to keep the story moving. It encourages characters to act their best, or worst, to reveal their personalities. The manner in which they occur–random and uncontrolled crises–provide challenges readers can relate to as well as experiences characters learn from. And like humans, fictional characters learn waaaay more from struggles and failures than they do easy successes.

Still in many novels, characters don’t struggle to meet physical challenges. They may fall in or out of love, seek jobs or get fired, have misunderstandings with families or boyfriends. But they don’t walk a tightrope over death. What does my obsession with disaster reveal about me?

That I’m a fraidy-cat. Anything and everything scares me. Example: in the middle of the night yesterday, I woke when the furnace turned on. A strange new noise accompanied the forced air. I immediately thought the equipment was going to explode.

When I take road trips, I worry not only about the car breaking down but also over the possible appearance of a murderer. (By the way, this scene appears in my third book along with the wildfire.) A rash on my kid’s arm is probably Lyme disease. A recently discovered error on my taxes means the IRS will charge me with fraud.

So I have a whole load of fears. What do I do about them? I write about people who take steps to control their anxiety. I’ve learned that doing something, almost anything, positive enables me to restrain real as well as imaginary fears. Witness the recent terrorist attacks in Paris. Thousands, millions around the globe helped settle their souls by carrying “Je suis Charlie” signs, a positive action in the face of terrible possibilities.

Including disasters in my work also provides an excuse for me to burrow for information on fascinating topics. What other reason could justify spending hours delving into transcripts from people who have battled fires or floods? Or calling up total strangers to ask personal questions?

I don’t carry a list of disasters to wrap into forthcoming books. I’ve never been near a hurricane, a tsunami, or a bank holdup. So I don’t know how long I’ll be including crises like these in my work. But for now, they enable me to grow as a person as well as a writer.

Falling Like A rock

Bonnie McCune’s most recent novel is Falling Like a Rock, Prism Book Group, 2014, in which a mountain town and its rugged mayor captivate a woman in search of a new life and love. Learn more about her and her work at www.BonnieMcCune.com

Bonnie McCune

Bonnie McCune has been writing since age ten, when she submitted a poem to the Saturday Evening Post (it was immediately rejected). This interest facilitated her career in public relations and freelance writing. But her true passion is fiction, and her pieces have won several awards.

Release Promotion–Find The Magic

Award-winning author and editor, Alicia Dean, shares her process of creating a story, along with bonus tips in Find The Magic – How to Plot a Story in 10 Easy Steps.

*** ON SALE – 99¢ through November 15, 2014 ***

How to write a novel? That is the question. There are probably as many answers to that question as there are people who ask it.

Wanting to write and actually doing it are two very different things. I am well acquainted with the sometimes grueling process of churning out a story. Over the years, I have tried many methods for creating and completing manuscripts, and have tweaked and honed it down to a workable (for me) process.

Using specific examples from one of my own novels, Without Mercy, I share my method in this mini how to book. The first eight steps actually deal with plotting while the last two are designed to help expand your outline into a well-developed draft. There is no one, perfect way to create a story, but there will be a method, or methods that work for you. I’m not sure if this is the one, but it works for me. Only you can decide if it also works for you. Fingers crossed that it does!





Find Alicia Here:


Alicia Dean lives in Edmond, Oklahoma. She has three grown children and a huge network of supportive friends and family. She writes mostly contemporary suspense and paranormal, but has also written in other genres, including a few vintage historicals.

In addition to being an author of more than twenty published works, Alicia is both a freelance editor and an editor for The Wild Rose Press, under the name, Ally Robertson, in their suspense line.

Other than reading and writing, her passions are Elvis Presley, MLB, NFL (she usually works in a mention of one or all three into her stories) and watching her favorite televisions shows like Vampire Diaries, Justified, Sons of Anarchy, Haven, The Mindy Project, and Dexter (even though it has sadly ended, she will forever be a fan). Some of her favorite authors are Michael Connelly, Dennis Lehane, Lee Child, Lisa Gardner, Sharon Sala, Jordan Dane, Ridley Pearson, Joseph Finder, and Jonathan Kellerman…to name a few.

Find Alicia here:

Website: http://aliciadean.com/

Blog: http://aliciadean.com/alicias-blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008364070487

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Alicia_Dean_

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/aliciamdean/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/468339.Alicia_Dean