Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Yesterday’s Daughter Tour Stop

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As part of the Yesterday’s Daughter blog tour, Sallie Lundy-Frommer is dropping by the blog to talk a bit about outlining a story. Is it a necessity? Or is going with the flow the way to go? Read on and let us know what you think.

First, let’s have a look at the book:

Yesterday’s Daughter 
Sallie Lundy-Frommer
Release date: January 24th 2011

Goodreads / Purchase

Yesterday’s Daughter is an emotionally laden vampire romance novel woven with layers of betrayal, love and loss. Grace Stone, who later learns her true identity is Sapphira, is a loner who survives abuse in the foster care system after being abandoned as a child.

A brilliant student, she escapes from her brutal foster parents as a teenager and creates a life for herself. But, her life is little more than existence; plagued with questions about what she really is, a family that she has never known and the never-ending need to keep her differences hidden. She is alone and lonely, believing it will always remain so until Malachi appears in her life.

Malachi, a Guardian of the vampire communities, has searched for his life mate, Sapphira, for decades. He refuses to cease searching for Sapphira even though she is believed dead by all. Conflict arises over the decades between Malachi and his family because of his refusals to accept another mate. But his very soul drives him on to continue his search, knowing that he could not exist if Sapphira were not in the world, somewhere.

Now I’m giving the blog floor to Sallie.

Plotting –  vs. –  Not Plotting

When I began writing Yesterday’s Daughter, there was no plan or outline.  I just wrote.  Sure, I’ve written many papers for school, college, and work, so I’m well aware of what it is to draft an outline.  As I’m writing this posting, I’m thinking about one of the first writing assignments I had in junior high school.  I remember the teacher talking about the requirement that there be a clear beginning, middle, and end.  Of course, the simple act of outlining has helped carry me through more an a few writing projects. 

And yet when I wrote Yesterday’s Daughter, I didn’t follow this tenet of writing.  In that instance, right or wrong; I felt it would be a waste of time and creative energy to spend days or weeks plotting out the story.  Hey, the creative juices were flowing and I just wanted to run with it.  I pretty much wrote Yesterday’s Daughter, from beginning to end without hesitation or mapping the storyline first.  Maybe it was easy for me to write in a near perfect flow of storytelling because I’d had the story in my head for years.  So I guess one could make the argument that I’d plotted out the story in my head over the years.  Perhaps…

Okay, there were times when I made lists and flow charts for action sequences using easel pads taped to the walls.  But this wasn’t done as a preamble to starting to write the book.  The notes, drawings, doodles, and lists were scratched out as I processed through the story.  They were used as visual cues and to keep the information about characters, locations, events, and descriptions orderly. 

Recently, I started writing the sequel to Yesterday’s Daughter.  With this endeavor, I began by bulleting a very perfunctory outline of the story.  It took about five minutes to make this list.  And just like with my first novel, I’m making lists or drawing pictures as I progress further and further into the story.  Again, these lists are not made to help map the story.  They are visual strings around my finger.  I’m still at the mercy of my dreams to direct the events and actions of the characters.

So with all this said, let’s go back to the original premise of this posting: To plot or not to plot, that is the question.  There are those who will aggressively come down on one side or the other of the debate.  I say, do what works for you, but I’m straddling the divide.  A bulleted list or two and a few stick figure diagrams work for me. 

What do you think?

Thanks so much, Sallie, for dropping by Xpresso Reads! I always love learning the writing process of an author.

Sallie Lundy-Frommer was born on a farm in the rural South to a family of migrant farm workers. At an early age, her family moved to the urban North-East. She now lives in the suburban North-East with her husband and a large assortment of plants. She holds bachelors and masters degrees in Human Resource Management and currently works in the health care industry.

Next stop on the Yesterday’s Daughter blog tour:
Plotting vs. Not plotting? What do you think?
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.
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30 Responses to “Yesterday’s Daughter Tour Stop”

  1. Randi Black

    Great post, Sallie. I always enjoy learning about an author’s writing process, and like that you’ve experimented with plotting in your head vs doing it on paper. I’m curious about these flowcharts! I know what it’s like to have a story inside my head for years, too, and enjoy witnessing it transfer to the page instead of taking the time to outline it (oh, the horror).

    Recently I discovered the joys of Microsoft OneNote. It’s where I type down quotes and plot points that I might forget later, and it’s great for inserting images and video clips.

    Again, great post and I look forward to reading “Yesterday’s Daughter!”

  2. Taneika

    Awesome post Sallie! This was really interesting to read! Obviously I’m not an author, but I find it impossible to follow essay outlines and plans because once I start writing, it turns out better than I planned! Flowcharts sound interesting too! By the way, Yesterday’s Daughter sounds awesome 🙂

  3. Alexa

    I would definitely with Sallie – it’s a choice that you’ll have to make for yourself. I’ve always been the type to write off the top of my head, but lately I’ve been realizing that plotting and outlining helps me too. Thanks for the insights Sallie!

  4. Amy

    Wonderful post. I think if I were to write I would just have to go with it. I don’t know that plotting would work for me. Although I started writing and had to stop because I didn’t know where to go with it. Maybe plotting would help. Yesterday’s Daughter sounds like a great book. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  5. Tribute Books

    Giselle, you always do such a beautiful job with your blog. Thank you for hosting Sallie today.

    I hope all the paranormal readers out there will enjoy getting to know Sallie’s behind-the-scenes process of creating her vampire romance.

  6. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Thanks for your comments, Randi Black.

    You said you were curious about my use of flow charts. Maybe I should have called them movement charts…:-) In my mind, I can clearly see actions of my characters as if I’m watching a movie. But I discovered that when I tried to write certain action sequences, there was so much going on, I had trouble keeping up with who was doing what. So my flowcharts, stick figures, and such helped me keep it all straight…..:-)

    I’ve never used Microsoft OneNote, although I have it. Sounds like it could be useful; I’ll try it. Again thanks for your comments and the tip on using OneNote.

  7. Sallie Lundy-Frommer


    Your comments have me smiling big time….:-) Outlining didn’t seem like a good use of my time and so much changes between outlining and writing. Like you, I find the writing flows better and turns out better if I just write.

    As for the flowcharts, I honestly don’t know how other writers handle it when a scene has several characters with lots of action, things happening at the same time. Flowcharting action helped me a lot!

    Taneika, thanks so much for your comments and I hope you enjoy Yesterday’s Daughter.

  8. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Hi Alexa,

    Thanks for your comments…..We agree, writers have to do what works for them….:-)

    My mother uses an expression, “There’s enough ways for everyone to have one of their own.” Well, I think there are many ways of creating and each writer can use a technique of their own…..:-)

  9. Sallie Lundy-Frommer


    Because Yesterday’s Daughter was in my head for so long, years, maybe I had mentally outlined the book. But when I did start writing, it very much was an organic process for me, growing – becoming.

    Don’t let the fact that you didn’t know where to go with your story discourage you. As you indicated, maybe plotting will help or try bouncing your ideas off someone. You never know where inspiration or the answer to where your story should go will come from — dreams – nightmares – discussions with friend – or while taking a long walk — It could happen anytime and anywhere, you just never know!

    Good luck with your efforts and be sure to let know how it goes. You can find me on facebook.

    Thanks again, Amy.

  10. Mimi Valentine

    Wow, this is SUCH an awesome post, Sally!!! 🙂 I’m an aspiring writer myself and I totally agree with you: I don’t like to plot. LOL! I just have the idea of how my book is going to go when I start it, and things just keep piling up on their own! Characters start to write themselves, ideas for twists and turns start to surface, and usually by the time I’ve written the fiftieth page, I already know the whole purpose of my book! I just need to fill in the gaps, and adjust whatever I need to. 🙂

    Of course I jot down points so I remember what’s going to happen and some small ideas so I don’t forget them and such, but I find that when I try to write every single thing down, I get bored with the story and drop it LOL! That’s happened before! x)

    But that’s definitely something that different people feel differently about! 🙂

    P.S. I can’t wait to read your book! <3

  11. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Hi Mimi Valentine,

    I couldn’t have said it better, “characters start to write themselves.” I’m so glad I finally started listening to Malachi and Sapphira, as well as the other characters that make up the world of Yesterday’s Daughter. All my characters write themselves. They’re in charge and I’m at their beckon calls….:-)

    Like you, I jot down things. I draw (and I use the term draw loosely….:-) stick figures and other types of doodles. But none of this was done in advance of writing Yesterday’s Daughter. I didn’t create an outline. I just wrote and it came out in a steady flow as if it was just waiting to be unleashed.

    I’m not anti-outline, but with Yesterday’s Daughter, I didn’t need one.

    Thanks for your wonderful comments. I hope you enjoy Yesterday’s Daughter and I hope I hear from you with your feedback. You can find me on facebook.

  12. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Hi Heather,

    Thanks for stopping by and posting comments.

    We agree about doing what works for the individual writer. I think some people come down so aggressively pro or con for plotting/outlining because they are coming down on the side of what works for them.

    I’m not touting one style over another. And who’s to say a writers creative process will never change. I for one will never say that someday I won’t be addicted to plotting, but not now.

    We have to live and let live…plot and not-plot…..:-) We can all get along….:-)

    Thanks again, Heather.

  13. Celine

    Oh gosh, how awesome is the title? I haven’t heard of this book but the cover is so gorgeous and it sounds awesome.

    I think it’s great to start a book with no plotting (like just pour out everything you have in mind and see where the story goes) But starting a book with a plot is also great because you can also follow the plot and write the story without stopping because you’re running out of ideas!

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Giselle and Great post, Sallie! 🙂

  14. Janiera

    I’m totally adding this to my TBR pile. Finishing my first novel myself yesterday I never plan the book. It takes all of the fun and creativity out of everything!

  15. Sallie Lundy-Frommer


    I love the cover too…:-) I told the team at Creatspace how I saw Sapphira in my dreams. They nailed it.

    It’s like Sapphira stepped out of my dreams and onto the page…:-)

    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy the book.

  16. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Hi Celine,

    Thanks so much for your comments. I love the cover too…That’s my girl, Sapphira. I think the title is perfect for Sapphira as she is Yesterday’s Daughter. I won’t say more……:-) I don’t want to spoil it for you.

    And as for plotting, I’m so into just pouring out the story….:-) When the creative juices are flowing….I let them go ….unchecked.

    I’m glad you liked the post and thanks for stopping by.

  17. Sallie Lundy-Frommer

    Hello Janiera,

    Thanks for adding Yesterday’s Daughter to your TBR pile.

    Congratulations on finishing your first novel. It’s emotionally exhausting, finishing a book; I felt as if I’d given birth…:-)

    Good luck with your book. Let me know when it published. I’d love to read it.

  18. Julianne

    Hi Sallie, wow your book sounds interesting! I’m a non-plotter (or pantser, if you will), myself. :)) I do like to know where I’m headed, but I find when I plot the whole thing out, first the story dies, weird though that may seem. But yes, you’re right. Charts can help keep all the plot points straight. 🙂 Good luck with the sequel to YD!

  19. Julianne

    Hi Sallie, wow your book sounds interesting! I’m a non-plotter (or pantser, if you will), myself. :)) I do like to know where I’m headed, but I find when I plot the whole thing out, first the story dies, weird though that may seem. But yes, you’re right. Charts can help keep all the plot points straight. 🙂 Good luck with the sequel to YD!