Deborah Bouziden: How do you plot? Use an outline? What are your most common plot problems and how do you handle them? Have you ever had a plot disaster or crisis? How did you handle it? Do you advise outlining? Why or why not?



SW: I plot the way I put together characters, cobbling together shiny bits and pieces that interest me, and assembling them into a story arc. I have the common problem of not thinking things through to their logical conclusion until it’s too late to change. I have a plot disaster or crisis in every effing book! I handle it by swearing!

Outlining can be useful at any stage. It doesn’t need to be elaborate. Just list scenes and incidents and let one step grow out of the previous one. People who don’t outline or put together a synopsis should reconsider. It’s an opportunity to brainstorm and add layers and events.

DB: What advice can you give writers about first drafts?

SW: Write from your heart, every day. Don’t worry about revisions until you have a good chunk to work on. Be fearless.