Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Most people shudder at the thought of writing without an outline or other plotting aid. The opposite is true for me. I've tried many programs, storyboarding, etc., and all they do is make my creativity seize up like a car engine sans oil.

Would you like a peek into my SOTP (seat-of-the-pants) writer brain? Here goes:

1.  After I wrote "the end" on The Moses Conspiracy, I sensed the story wasn't complete. At first, I thought the original characters would again take center stage. 

Yet, when I sat down to write, my mind kept veering off and focusing on a secondary character, Jim Kenneman. A reader had mentioned she really liked him. As I was trying to force the issue and make the other characters primary, Jim finally whispered in my ear, "This is my story."

2.  Okay, switch gears. What story did Jim have? Well, he'd helped break up a hate group called, "The New Patriots." What if they decided to seek revenge and re-establish their organization? I sat down and put Jim in his Washington, D.C. office. (I couldn't wait to see what would happen next!) 

3.  I usually know where to start and where to end. The fun is getting there. Yeah, it's sometimes a little nerve wracking, but a hefty dose of prayer gets me through the tough times. And so, The Scent of Fear was born. 

4.  All through the first draft stage, another book was taking shape. A character from the first book was developing in my mind. She kept pushing me to finish, so her story could be told. So, a sequel turned into a trilogy. 

5.  People think a SOTP writer only writes when they're inspired. Not true. Getting my seat in that chair and writing is sometimes the hardest exercise of all. I try to leave a few loose ends from the previous writing session. It gives me a place to start, to pick up the story thread if you will.

So, there's a little glimpse into the writing life of this SOTP writer. BTW, this entire post was done at a moment's notice because it somehow slipped through my time management net. Happy writing!

Susan J. Reinhardt's publishing credits include her debut novel, The Moses Conspiracy, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers. 

You can connect with her at her blog:  and on her Facebook author page.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

Blog:  Christian Writer/Reader Connection    http://susanjreinhardt.blogspot.com

Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanJReinhardt

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012233.Susan_J_Reinhardt

Twitter:  @susanjreinhardt

Review for A Scent of Fear, by S. Black:

Once again the ugly head of the New Patriots begins to influence the American people’s freedoms and to persecute the Christians. Henry Schwartz, the antagonist from The Moses Conspiracy, alias Striker, former head of the New Patriots, gains controlling influence with the Vice President Loring and President Briggs of the United States, spreading accusations against the current Director of National Security. Believing them to be true, the President appoints Henry Schwartz to replace Jim Kenneman as the new Director of National Security, and to arrest Jim Kenneman for treason.  Henry’s goal is to eliminate Jim Kenneman

Pros about the book:

“Scent of Fear” is scary with a believable plot in predicting America’s future downfall politically, financially, and spiritually. It was one of those books that was hard to put down. Lots of intrigue.

Cons about the book:

Quotation from Ellie Zimmerman in the “Scent of Fear”:
 “Pardon me, but I’m having trouble keeping the names straight. I’m not accustomed to people using an alias.” 

She expresses my exact problem with following the story line…keeping characters straight as to who they were, very confusing at times. 

I also had problems with the ending feeling too abrupt. So much so that I reread last few chapters to see what I had missed.

The love romance of the story between Dr. Abbey and Jim Kenneman seemed to grow too quick. They had only met once, time had elapsed; and before you know it, Jim was declaring his love for her and she was accepting it as if they had been seeing each other on regular basis and talking to each other a lot.  It just didn’t seem real to me.


  1. Hi Sandra -

    Thanks for having me on The Borrowed Book today. I enjoyed sharing my SOTP process with you and your readers.

    Susan :)

  2. It was interesting to read about Susan's SOTP process. As a mostly SOTP writer, I can relate. Susan knows how to keep readers on the edge of their seats!

  3. I couldn't put the book down. After reading the Moses Conspiracy, I could not wait for The Scent of Fear. Needless to say, I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the next book. I am hoping to follow the characters through their lives in what I believe could most easily be our future America. I was especially glad for the romance of Dr. Abbey and Jim Kenneman. I agree it was fast, but the heart wants what the heart wants and in such uncertain circumstances I believe ones emotions are running high and to the extreme. It was very believable as I could see myself in such a time with all the horror going on in your life that a love relationship would be most comforting and at least a little breath of fresh air.

  4. Great article! I'm a reformed SOTP author, mostly because when I started writing mysteries, I couldn't keep my clues straight. LOL! Now, I carefully plot each book, but I leave a lot room to be creative where I can.


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