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Tuesday Tips: Ken Follett Writer-icity Tips

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Those who frequent this blog already know about my fan-girl moments related to the most recent Thrillerfest.  I’ve shared tips from Karin Slaughter,  a video of Michael & Daniel Palmer’s Thrillerfest Song, as well as a video of the Thrillerfest interview with master author R.L. Stine, and today I’ve got more goodies in store from that event.  You can check out a boatload of Thrillerfest pictures here.

Where else but Thrillerfest could you get so much bang-for-your-buck with Douglas Preston interviewing Ken Follett–wowzer! Find out how Mr. Follett transitioned from nonfiction to thrilling fiction and created EYE OF THE NEEDLE.  This video is only a small taste, of course, and you can get the full deal recording (and those of the other panels) of CDs, MP3s and DVDs of Thrillerfest here.

So how do you create good pacing in your novels? Are you a “pantser” or a “plotter?” And how’s that working for you? Please share!


I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? I’m nearly ready to record a bunch of new ones, so be sure to get your requests in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

11 responses »

  1. I’m a panster who tries to be a plotter. I’ll outline some basics, get my characters down, and then I start writing. I just can’t figure out the nuances of the plot without doing that. Once I get a handle on the meat of the story, then I’ll do an outline.

    • Hi Stacy, I’ve tried both. My first 3 novels–all long gone after rusting under the bed for years–were written without any idea where they’d go. Then I tried outlining one based on several “how-to” books and it ended up dry and without spontaneous moments. So now I do sort of a “basic” outline but allow myself to go off the grid once in a while just to see where it’ll lead.

  2. Really enjoyed this video. I’ve been struggling with the planning stage; feeling like most people wing it more and since I don’t feel like I can, maybe writing isn’t for me. Hearing that video helped me to realize that it is ok to want to plan and structure first. Thank you!!!

    • So glad it helped! I really need a bit of an outline AT LEAST to get anything done. Must be the nonfiction writer in me.

      Oh…and the fact you’re here and trying to figure it out tells me that writing IS INDEED for you! Keep on keepin’ on! And thanks for visiting the blog. *s*

  3. Hi Amy. Thanks for posting this. I absolutely love Ken Follett! I’m what Jody Hedlund calls a Planster. I make a few notes in the beginning to get the bones of the story down and then I outline as I go along, usually outlining a couple of chapters at a time, so I know where I’m going. I don’t go in-depth with the outlining which allows me to think more freely.

    • Oh, I like this idea….a “Plantster.” I just may steal that and use it, too. Sounds a lot like what seems to work best for me. Thanks so much for visiting the blog, Marcia.

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