Gabrielle Evans Keeps Moving Forward

The time, energy, and overall organization it takes to complete a novel is astounding to me. Doesn’t matter how brilliant the idea is, or how compelling the grammar and punctuation skills are, or even how riveting the first 20,000 words read … if an author doesn’t follow through until the end, then all the resulting efforts just sit in limbo without a “home.” It takes a special talent to see all the random, make sense of it, fill in all points between A and Z, then not only start the project, but finish.

Here is Gabrielle Evans to talk about how she works and what she does to make sure road blocks don’t get in her way.

Keep Moving Forward

I really wish I could be one of those authors who outlines, plans, and organizes before they start writing…but I’m not.

I’ve tried.

I lose my mojo and think maybe if I just sit down, close my eyes, and think, it will come to me. Not going to happen. I end up thinking about what to make for dinner. Did I remember to put the clothes in the dryer? Did I fill up the car yesterday? I wonder what’s going to happen on Tosh.0 tonight. You get the idea. I have to be sitting in front of my computer, fingers on the keyboard, and story in front of me before I can even think about what I’m working on.

I have to have a title! Even if it’s only a working title and I change it twenty times before I submit my manuscript, I have to have a point of reference.

Character names and physical descriptions are probably the only things I actually map out before beginning a project.

So, how does the chronically disorganized move forward when she encounters a roadblock? Especially, when what seems logical doesn’t always make the most sense or move the story forward fluidly?

Sometimes, for me, it’s as easy as skipping that particular scene. I know where the story is going. I know what’s going to happen in the next chapter, or even the next scene. So, I move forward, pick up the story later on in the chapter, and once I get things flowing again, become a little better acquainted with my characters, it’s not hard to go back and fill in the blanks.

Then you have the issue of “Sex for the sake of sex”. How much is too much? How much is not enough?

When you’ve set a word count for yourself, and you come in just shy of that goal, it’s very tempting to insert another sex scene. Mostly it doesn’t work. There’s nowhere appropriate to place it. It interrupts the story. It seems out of character. There are a gazillion reasons why it’s a bad idea. Writing erotic romance, there is a fine line between sexy and sleazy. Sexy = good. Sleazy = well…sleazy. Mostly, I just try to be true to my characters and let things happen according to what seems realistic for their personalities and the storyline.

“You don’t bring me to life. You won’t leave me alone. I don’t need you tonight. No, you don’t, you don’t bring me…” — Bulletproof Messenger

How do I keep moving forward when my characters are being uncooperative?

I want them to do one thing. They want to do another. I think they should say a certain line. They disagree. So, at what point do I just let go and allow them to have their way? I’m stubborn, so usually not until I want to pull my hair out. Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) my characters can be just as stubborn.

They know what they’re doing, what they want, and how to get it. Sometimes, they’re fumbling through the whole relationship thing, but really want me to just leave them alone and let them find the way on their own.

So, how do I stop smothering them and bring them to life?

Well, there are a lot of things I could do, but I usually don’t. I try to trust my characters, not be anal-retentive, and let them lead me where they want to go. This is their story, after all—their triumphs, disappointments, challenges, joys, and sorrows. They are already very much alive, and my need to “fix” them isn’t going to do anything but piss them off and give me a lot of sleepless nights.

With that being said, thanks for having me here today! I hope no one is scarred from this little jaunt into my cluttered mind. Now, it’s time to get back to work on Seize the Night [Enchanted 2]. Emery needs my help, he just won’t admit it. 🙂


Gabrielle is offering up PDF’s of books 1-3 in her Sexually Awkward series. To enter, comment below about how you push deal with blockage. Are you a hammer-it-until-it-fits or a come-back-to-it-later kind of person?

Open until Thursday, September 20th at 11:59 pm (PST). One winner will be chosen and notified on Friday.


20 thoughts on “Gabrielle Evans Keeps Moving Forward

  1. Jbst September 18, 2012 / 2:51 pm

    I try to work on it awhile, but then will try to come back to it later, if I can. Sometimes, work doesn’t allow you to come back to it later, but then, I try to do my best and hope for the best. If I can get back to it later, ideas or thoughts seem fresher.

    Thanks for the generous giveaway!

  2. Trix September 18, 2012 / 4:59 pm

    I like to change up what I’m doing altogether and come back to it later, if that’s possible. I’ve never been good in a last-minute kind of situation, so I try to allot extra time to allow for this sort of thing…


  3. yganoe September 18, 2012 / 5:58 pm

    I would rather get it the first time but if I have to I definitely come back to it later.

  4. Giselle September 18, 2012 / 6:39 pm

    I’m more a come back to it later, person.

  5. Ann Roberts September 18, 2012 / 8:48 pm

    I do my best to work at it hard, try to push through it to just get something down on paper–even just a crappy sketch–then move on to something else in the story. When that isn’t even working for me, I try music or taking a nap in the hopes that it will let it “come to me in a dream”. Believe it or not, that has happened a few times. If not, I put that part or whole story aside for a while and come back to it after I can talk to friends or a writing group for inspiration. Sometimes, like you said, the characters are just too stubborn to listen to me alone!

  6. Michelle (MiMi) September 18, 2012 / 11:27 pm

    I hammer, shove, hammer some more. Then I come back later 🙂 chellebee66(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. Nae September 19, 2012 / 1:46 am

    I’m definitly a hammer-until-it-fits type of girl. I try to get it all over with the first go, but if that is just not going to work, I work out a time to come back to it. I’m pretty pedantic about organisation.

  8. Rebalily September 19, 2012 / 7:37 am

    I am the will come back to it later type of person. I could have a few different projects on the go at once, as my creative juices change so does the medium.

  9. Amy September 19, 2012 / 8:22 am

    I’ve already got all three of those too (and look forward to more) but wanted to comment that whatever your process, it rocks for those of us who get the finished product! I’ve got two characters of my own who can’t decide how to tell their story so I can sympathize… lol! Love your stuff and keep up the great work!

  10. Melody Hillier September 19, 2012 / 8:52 am

    i am a leave it for a bit, and come back to it later type. i also use music to help when i am stuck.

  11. Denise September 19, 2012 / 9:14 am

    I’m kinda in the middle when it comes to this. A lot of times I’ll just keep hammering at it until it begins to make sense, but then othertimes I’ll just skip it and move on to something else. Usually then I get inspired enough to go back and fix the first issue that I started out with.

  12. Erika September 19, 2012 / 9:17 am

    This article was fantastic and came at a perfect time for me. I have been struggling with how I “should” write and it is great to hear how successful authors tackle things. Gives me permission to write the way I think is best 🙂

  13. Suze September 19, 2012 / 9:20 am

    I’m definitely a come back to it later person, or even a ‘if i leave it alone long enough it’ll disappear’ person (obviously not a sucessful strategy but doesnt stop me from using it!)

  14. Chris Roberts September 19, 2012 / 11:07 am

    If it is determined to beat me, I leave it. Go to something that I know will not be mentally challenging that will take me about 30 minutes. Usually when I go back, my brain has found another way to look at the situation.

  15. jessica canoto September 19, 2012 / 12:01 pm

    i too of a hardhead when i have blockage i get determined to fix the problem it’s always been like this for me i won’t relaxed intill everything is fine and fixed jessica canoto

  16. Chuck September 19, 2012 / 1:53 pm

    This shot in the arm was just what the doctor ordered!!
    I thought leaving ‘it’ alone for a while might help, but I’m thinking–now–that might be pretty stupid (for me). I think it’s time to hammer until it fits!

  17. Brenda B. September 20, 2012 / 1:49 pm

    I am a leave it alone type when it comes back I deal with it. If not I move on to something else and sooner or later it will return.

  18. Urb September 20, 2012 / 6:48 pm

    Sometimes I return to what got me interested in the topic in the first place. Also, being a highly visual.person, images often give me a creative kick start.

  19. mantasticfiction September 21, 2012 / 11:51 am

    Congratulations Jessica Canoto … you won! I will be contacting you directly about claiming your prize.

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