Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Misha Gericke Guest Post

Today we have a guest post by Misha Gericke (which I am SO SORRY I put up so late today). Take it away Misha . . .

When Laura asked me to write about my plotting method for NaNoWriMo, I nearly burst out laughing. See it’s a bit ironic, because I always pants through my first draft.

And the reason why I pants through my first draft? Because The Vanished Knight was impossible to plot. As in… I tried multiple times, even on computer software, and no matter what I do, everything ends up looking like a mess when it really isn’t.

So I stopped plotting my rough drafts. After I did, I realized it actually makes a lot of sense to me. I draft by hand (which is a blog post all on its own), so if I veer off from the pre-planned plot, I’m going to have a heck of a time to get back to the story. Besides, I prefer my roughs to be about exploration and discovery. Not following some plan that might not live up to my imaginings after all.

In a sense, I guess I’m saying that I’m drafting to look for a plan. There’s no plan for a plan. There’s only finding it. So I mess up and get stuck and fix it and get plot bunnies and random new characters and figure how everything actually works together.

The only thing I must know while drafting is the climax. What’s the shock/horror/result of the whole thing? If I know that, I have something to write towards. Without it, I’d end up chasing my tail.

And then…

And then when I know how everything thing works together, I create a plan. Ooh… I’m hearing some brakes screeching in pantser minds. And quite a few “Oh-no-she-didn’t!”s. But yeah, it’s true. I open my writing program (Scrivener) and put down the scenes I know I want to write. This is far from cemented in my mind, though.

See the plan is for the rewrite (yes, I rewrite every single draft I ever create), and I’m still learning a ton from my story as I’m doing it. So often, I’ll rework the whole plan as I go in order to shift the focus in a way that improves the story. Which means that as far as planning goes, there’s really not much of a plan. Same rule as for the rough draft applies, though. I always need to know where the story’s headed. I don’t need details (although a bit more detail helps), but not necessarily step by step.

Yeah… I’m thinking I’ve convinced a few people I’m nuts, but hey, it’s a system, it works for me and I’m sticking to it.

How do you plan? Do you ever plan?

Thanks for letting me visit, Laura!


Since the death of her parents, Callan Blair has been shunted from one foster family to another, her dangerous secret forcing the move each time. Her latest foster family quickly ships her off to an exclusive boarding school in the Cumbrian countryside. While her foster-brother James makes it his mission to get Callan expelled, a nearby ancient castle holds the secret doorway to another land...

When Callan is forced through the doorway, she finds herself in the magical continent of Tardith, where she’s shocked to learn her schoolmates Gawain and Darrion are respected soldiers in service to the king of Nordaine, one of Tardith's realms. More than that, the two are potential heirs to the Black Knight—Nordaine's crown prince.

But when the Black Knight fails to return from a mysterious trip, the realm teeters on the brink of war. Darrion and Gawain set out to find him, while Callan discovers there is more to her family history than she thought. The elves are claiming she is their princess.

Now with Darrion growing ever more antagonistic and her friendship with Gawain blossoming, Callan must decide whether to stay in Nordaine—where her secret grows ever more threatening—or go to the elves and uncover the truth about her family before war sets the realms afire.

M. Gerrick (AKA Misha Gericke) has basically created stories since before she could write. Many of those stories grew up with her and can be seen in her current projects.
She lives close to Cape Town, with a view over False Bay and Table Mountain.

If you’d like to contact her, feel free to mail her at warofsixcrowns(AT)gmail(DOT)com, Circle her on Google Plus or follow her on Twitter. If you'd like to see her writer-side (beware, it's pretty insane), please feel free to check out her blogYou can also add The Vanished Knight on Goodreads.


And I have another vlog up below.

And welcome to my newest follower: shahwharton0472.


  1. I also hand draft, so we definitely should stick together. My writing speed by hand is about half of my typed speed. Do you find that too?

    1. Mine's a bit faster than half my typing speed, but then I'm not the fastest type-er ever, and I'm very fast with a pen.

  2. You rewrite all of your drafts? Whoa... At least you always know the ending. Then it's just a matter of getting there, right?

    1. Haha yeah I do. And right, it's easier to get somewhere when you know where it is.

  3. It's interesting to read about other people's writing process, especially because I've considered plotting my own stories. But I don't know what's going to happen at the end, so I'd only be able to plot up to a certain point.

    1. Plotting can be a good way to go, although I find that my method works better for me. ;-)

  4. I'm a pantser for sure. I write the first draft then make hand notes to plan out what I really want to happen then I revise and rewrite over and over and over... that's my process, but I do not rewrite everything O_O lol

    It's always interesting to learn what process others use, thanks for sharing :D

    1. I usually only rewrite once, though. ;-)