Meet the Plotmonkeys!

Meet the Plotmonkeys: Writers and friends who keep me sane, make me laugh until I cry and help me beat my plots into something intelligible.

Once or twice a year, I get together with the four lifesavers on the right. We pass around copies of the plots to our latest novels, typewritten ramblings that are full of plot holes, questionable character motives and sometimes outright cries for help. We read each other’s thoughts, expose yet further weaknesses and scribble notes up, down and sideways. (In my case, they also poke at my science with sharp sticks, shake their heads, and shudder. “Where the $%@& did this come from, Anne?”)

And then the magic starts. Plot holes are filled, motivations explained and panic subsides. You’d think such a seemingly random group of goofballs would clash. A women’s fiction author, a young adult (YA) author, a dark fantasy author, an author of a set of forthcoming short stories (think the Italian-American version of David Sedaris), and me, a steampunk author. But we don’t. Instead, working to help plot a completely different kind of novel stretches the brain, and sends all of us home with so much more than merely a plot for our next book.

Just this past November, we got together for one of our infamous weekends and the plot for a new book (tentatively titled Venom & Lies: Book Four in The Elemental Web Chronicles) took shape. Wait, what about Book Three, you ask? That book, The Iron Fin, is drafted… and has begun a long editing process involving much red ink.


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