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How Housework and No Plotting = Happily Ever After

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There are two things I want to tell you. Housework is sort of my hobby and I never, ever plot when I write a story.

While I enjoy cleaning and cooking, I also enjoy writing without plotting. Oddly, my lack of plotting when I write is rather the opposite of my domestic nature. I’m what you call organized. I like neat, tidy, clean. I wear an apron when I do housework. To me, everything has a place and there is a place for everything, but I still don’t plot because not plotting is not really that different from housework.

Allow me to explain. I like to bring chaos to order. I like the process of cleaning, the going from mess to tidy. I enjoy seeing the end result, those moments of ‘Look what I did, see what I accomplished!’ For me, telling a story happens in a similar way. I have story bits and pieces strewn about like a puzzle dumped out of a box. Some pieces are face up, some face down, some have fallen between the sofa cushions. There’s a scene here, another scene there. A few characters doing this and that, lots of dialogue with no clear picture, just lots and lots of pieces. I enjoy the process of writing, the going from mess to tidy. I enjoy seeing the end result.

The marriage of housework and no plotting may be the reason why my first book, A Basic Renovation has a dilapidated house in need of restoration as the foundation of the romance. The scorched-by-fire, overgrown, run-down, rat-infested property needs cleaning, love and tender care as much as the two leads, Dominic and Lesley, do. The delight of turning chaos to tidy is also why Willa in For Your Eyes Only has a huge mess to clean up—in secret—within the untidiness of falling in love with John. I adore the whole disarray that falling in love brings as much as the end result of a romance novel’s happily ever after. And I adore the whole disarray that a dirty house brings as much as the end results of cleaning it.

I don’t plot because I clean. I have no need to plot because cleaning house is my guide to writing a happily ever after.