Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Interview with Author Annalisa Parent On writing Novels

                                                        Storytelling for Pantsers: 
                              How to Write and Revise Your Novel without an Outline 

1. What really inspired you to write your book, to force you from taking an idea or experience and conveying it into a Book? There are 20 million people out there who want to write a book, yet only 1 million books in total are published per year. What that means is that the vast majority of people who want to write a book never finish a book to publishable.

 To me that's a tragedy.

What I've noticed about so many writers is that they come up against the nonlinear nature of the creative process and they get stuck.  In other words, they’ve written chapter 1 and then chapter 8 and then chapter 5--these are smart people and they want the creative process to be a little bit more straightforward. Unfortunately, our brains don't cooperate with this mission and the result is a lot of frustrated writers who never get their message out into the world.

 I wanted to do something about this problem, to help people to get their stories out and to get them out well. I combined my years of experience working with writers with my study of Neuroscience to create a guidebook to help writers out of the murky-murky mess they often find themselves in and to find more straightforward success in sharing their important message.

2. What is it about and whom do you believe is your targeted reader?
This book is for you if you:
• Have started a novel at least 68 times (the same novel) and only written the
first chapter
• Write chapter 1. And then chapter 5. And then chapter 2. etc.
• Need to write to discover your story. (It’s highly likely you’re also the kind
of writer who, when asked what writing is like, says “I just watch my characters
and write down what they do.”)
• Get lost in the weeds of writing and revision because portions of your novel
are in different phases of the writing process.
• Feel frustrated because “Dang it; writing’s hard enough. Why do I always
have to complicate it?”
• Think the cover of this book is cool, or wear pants. Because, hey, the cover is
cool. So are you, and so is this book.(Who says you can’t judge a book by it’s
cover? Pshaw.)

3. Are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer? Hungry for a book that shows you how to write and revise your novel without an outline?
Discover the secret sauce to help those of us seat-flyers get at least some grounding
in what we do, and to find and use a system in the chaos that is pantsing.

4. What do you hope will be the everlasting  thoughts for readers who finish your book? What should remain with them long after putting it down?
One of the most gratifying pieces of feedback that I've gotten from readers of Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise your Novel without an Outline
 is that they finally found a home. What I mean by that is that many writers have been told that they must outline in order to truly be a writer. They've tried to outline, they've tried to be a writer they're not and they're frustrated and the writing isn't going anywhere. What they tell me after finishing Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise your Novel without an Outline is it they finally understand the writer that they are, they're motivated to write and most importantly for many of them it's the first time that they're writing style has been validated not only by another author but by science itself.

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers?
The best advice I have is: find the writer you are, and be that writer. Neuroscience has given us so many clues into how to optimize brain function better to be more creative, and to stay in creative flow longer. If someone tells you “In order to be a writer, you MUST outline,” or “you must NOT outline,” or “you must stand on your head while writing…” they’re full it. While that may be true for them, and it may indicate their journey to find their best writer, there are very few rules that are universally true. In order to be a writer, you write. You put words together. That’s the rule. So, find YOUR best writer, and be that writer. There’s gold in them there hills.

6. What trends in the book world do you see and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?
Self-publishing, or Indie Publishing, has democratized the publication process. This means that more people are publishing now than ever before. While I am in favor of this trend overall, I stand with an emerging number of high-level indie publishing professionals who believe that quality remains paramount--regardless of how an author wants to publish. For fiction writers, this means that regardless of how one publishes, a quality engaging, clear story always comes first.

7. What great challenges did you have in writing your book?
I wrote Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Write and Revise your Novel without an Outline in a month. I was on a tight deadline from the then publisher, who asked me to write the book, and we were going to use it for some major events that were coming up. I did it--and handed in my manuscript to the editor at something like 11:50 PM the last day of the month, but I don’t recommend it to anyone! I had no words left at the end of that month. I had used them all up writing 267 pages of writing advice to would-be fiction authors, and i was a poor, poor conversationalist for at least a week afterward.

8. If people can only buy one book this month, why should it be yours? 
Because life is short and how-to books should be funny, not drudgery. I won a humor award for my book--now that’s saying something for a how-to book. I work with writers who take the writing craft seriously without taking themselves too seriously, and the style of this book reflects that mission. Deeply serious about the craft issues that stump non-outliners, and whimsical and fun in all other moments. Pantsers are unique individuals, and, as I say “the creative process is wonky.” This book helps writers to get unstuck and to get some true forward momentum. 

About the AuthorAnnalisa Parent helps writers to finish, publish and sell their novels. She owns and operates Date with the Muse, LLC, which helps storytellers to publish traditionally at the highest level possible. 

A Teacher of the Year nominee for her use of neuroscientific principles, she applies these same principles to her work with writers to create confidence, writing flow, and success. 

Her book Storytelling for Pantsers: How to Outline and Revise your Novel without an Outline helps non-outlining fiction writers to work through the writing and revision process with ease, and has been lauded by multiple New York Times bestselling author John David Mann as “brimming over with invaluable practical writerly wisdom...her love of life—pours out of every paragraph. Read her book. It will infuse joy into your days and make you a better writer.”

Annalisa writes for many local, national, and international publications, has written and produced sketches for a Telly-Award winning television show. She has been featured on Huffington Post Live for her fiction writing, CBS, Associated Press and Korean Broadcast Systems, as well as many internationals podcasts, radio programs, writing conferences and workshops.

for more info, please see: for fiction writers and Laurel Elite Books for entrepreneurs. 

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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2018. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.

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