Friday, May 13, 2011

Guest Post by Nicole Zoltack

Better late than never! Today I've the pleasure of welcoming Nicole Zoltack to my blog! Since it's Friday night here now, I've had one glass of wine too many and there's a pizza burning in the oven, I'll turn this over to Nicole:

When I sit down to write, I either have a plot idea or a main character that just won't shut up. I then sit down at the computer and just type. I am definitely a pantser!

I write like I read for the most part, and as such, if I think to far ahead of where I am in the story - specifically if I think about and figure out the ending - I never finish the story. I get bored with it.

And when you're writing the last book in a trilogy, you can be sure I was thinking about the ending long before I actually reached it! Needless to say, Champion of Valor, the last book in my fantasy romance Kingdom of Arnhem series, was by far the hardest to write.

The first book - Woman of Honor - practically wrote itself. I knew the main character first - a young girl who asks her king if she can train to become a knight.

Knight of Glory I knew I wanted to expand the fantasy world so it was more plot oriented.

But Champion of Valor had to tie up many of the loose odds and ends and there was a war to resolve, and oh yeah, Lucifer was trying to bring about the Apocalypse before its time. To say that I got stuck several times while writing it would be an understatement!

But writing Champion of Valor as I did forced me to more closely examine my writing process. By realizing that I write as a reader has helped me become a better writer. I always strove to write stories I would love to read, but now I know that I need to fall in love with the hero, root for the heroine, feel their pain and anguish, struggle with them through their hardships as I write the story, and hopefully the reader will feel the exact same way when reading them.

What about you? What kind of a writer are you? Is your writing style anything like mine?

Be sure to leave a comment to be entered to win some signed post cards and magnets. Each comment during the Champion of Valor Blog Tour gives you an entry for the grand prize: a copy of the entire Kingdom of Arnhem trilogy - Woman of Honor, Knight of Glory, and Champion of Valor.

Have a great weekend, all!


  1. Nicole is fantastic! It's been fun to watch her travel around the blogosphere and get some much needed love!!!

    So glad that you were able to post today! We both had guest bloggers that wouldn't have benefited!

  2. I am the kind of writer who cries when it comes out pretty. :)

  3. Glad you're back & enjoy your well-cooked pizza! :)

    I can relate to Nicole's style of writing. But I couldn't come up w/ a cool title like Champion of Valor!

  4. Panster, totally. It workds for me. ;-) Glad it works for you, too!


  5. Fantastic post and a wonderful read,
    No blogging to day, Friday the 13th, but you brightenend it up.
    Thank you.


  6. I'm more the classic over-planner. I can't stand to have the crude scribblings at the end of my pen being anything less than the film I watch when I close my eyes.

  7. Intersting, I tend to be a panster but I hope to do a little outlining on my next project so I can see the bigger picture from the start.

  8. Wow, that could be why the ending is always the hardest. I'm done the story in my mind and get bored with it. It's like watching the end of movie and then going back to the beginning.

  9. I usually think of myself as one to outline before I begin, but lately I've gotten into the habit of simply delving into my work and my writing actually came out pretty well.

    Maybe this is a sign that I should become a full-time pantser...and instead of thinking so much before doing, I should instead "do as I think."


  10. If I have to write a third book based on the Cassan universe, I'll turn into a pile of quivering goo..
    Good on you for writing three books. I'm in awe.

  11. I love it when the MC doesn't want to shut up. It makes writing them so much easier ;)

    Glad blogger is back. It's been eating comments and being a proper nuisance.

  12. I've always known pretty much where my story is going before I start writing. My current WiP is the first time I've started a novel without knowing anything. All I had were two people that I felt had a good story to tell - we'll see!

  13. Pantser! I always have a rough idea but never an outline. Best of luck with your books.

  14. Oh I wish my stories would write themselves. I come up with an idea, and then I write furiously.

    Congrats on your books Nicole!

    Great that blogger came back up eh? Those goblins! ;)

  15. I am part pantser, part plotter. I have to have a loose outline, or I get writers block. But I don't like to write too detailed an outline, or I feel too constrained.

  16. It's great that you "write as a reader!" I think it's important to put yourself in the reader's shoes. Excellent guest post Nicole! Congrats on your books! Julie

  17. I'm not much for outlines. I tend to have a basic idea of what I want my MC to go through, and I take it from there.

    Interesting read, thanks! :-)

  18. Hey Nicole, I envy you being a pantser! I wish I could. I figure it all out thru the end and head down that path or I might not ever get there! And you said right with this: By realizing that I write as a reader has helped me become a better writer.

    That is so true. Great to see you on another blog! Keep writing

  19. With me, it depends. Sometimes, I need plot lines-they help me figure out details. Other times, I just imagine, and when it's good, I write it down. Did that make sense?

    I can't imagine the difficulty in keeping three novels relevant and coherent, and interesting all at the same time. Yet, for one of my stories, that is my goal. Ha!

    Congratulations, Nicole, on finishing!!!!!

  20. Pantser for sure. I love being dragged along by my characters. Thanks for quaffing the wine and burning the pizza Talli. I really enjoyed seeing what Nicole had to say, ha ha...


  21. I like that she's a pantser! There's still hope for me :)

  22. I still really love the sky in that cover... And that's a really cool set of titles for a trilogy! I need to come up with something awesome like that...

    PS. 30% plotter, 70% pantser!

  23. Love this approach to author interview. I write with the audience in mind as if they were watchiong the action, Hmmm strokes chin, maybe I should be writing screen plays? :O)

  24. Lately, I have been writing free
    style., an image claims my imagination and I run with it.

  25. For me, it's all about character too. Writing the stuff I like to read is also another way of improving what I do. Wishing you success with the sales of your trilogy.

  26. Hi Nicole, Hello Talli,

    Thanks Nicole for sharing your writing styles. And thanks for bringing her to us, Talli.

    Congrats on the release of Champion of Valor!

  27. I often think about the ending far too much, making plans for the big exit and often forget about bits in the middle.

    Hope you enjoyed that pizza, Talli!!

    CJ xx

  28. Hi Nicole. Following your blog tour. Not a writer but; a reader who loves to find new authors and books. Am really enjoying finding out more about you and your works.
    Sue B

  29. Fantastic interview, Nicole and Talli.

    It was interesting reading about how being a pantser works for you. Every time I compare my un-plotted writing with to writing where I've worked out chapters, scenes, and a plot, the latter isn't anywhere near as good. It feels forced. I'm happy to read that being a pantser can work!

    Ellie Garratt


Coffee and wine for all!