• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

Swamp Guest ~ Emily Ryan-Davis

Please help me give our lovely guest, Emily Ryan-Davis a warm (but not oozing) swamp welcome.

A Pantser’s Secret Recipe for Worldbuilding

First, a big thank-you to Amber Kallyn and the other 6…ish Evil Dwarves for hosting me today, and to 7 Evil Dwarves fans for putting up with a break in the regularly scheduled proceedings.

Second, I’m Emily Ryan-Davis, I write romance (mostly contemporary, but my best-known titles are paranormal romance and futuristic romance, respectively)  and I’m a recovering pantser. It’s an extremely slow recovery. Like, I keep creeping away into the basement so I can sneak a shot of pantsing in the midst of my plotting days. When I can’t control myself and shred my synopsis to bits right before leaping in blind, my pantsing ways permeate all aspects of my writing. Character backgrounds? Yep. Total blank to me until I write my character into a situation and have to come up with a character-history reason why it might have happened.Aspects of the world in which my characters exist?I make it up on the fly.

I have maps. I love to buy school supplies so I have crazy amounts of grid paper and colored pencils and magic markers and index cards and binders, all purchased with the intention of getting my act together to create world bibles and floor plans and so forth, especially for my paranormal and futuristic books.

Never happens, because deep down I’m too impatient to plan for things before I do them (thank goodness for walk-in hair salons). While I recently started taking steps to amend my pantsing ways, with some success, the instinct to jump in is still there.

If you share that pantser gene and find yourself constantly struggling with setting worksheets and character background charts and all that other good planning-type stuff, I have something for you. It’s a recipe. And if you follow all the steps (heck, even if you don’t, and even if you add some of your own), in the end you’ll have built a world of your very own.


*Brain (any old brain will do)

*Method of recording words


Equip yourself with your method of recording words. Use the brain to come up with a first sentence. Write five or ten thousand words. Stop because your main character just said something that doesn’t make a damn bit of sense. Save your document. Go away for a month or two. Think about why your character said what s/he did. Use the brain to generate a component of the world that would have inspired such a puzzling character action. Go back to your document (or notebook or bathroom wall or whatever). Revise the first five or ten thousand words to reflect this newfound element of your world. Repeat as necessary.

What? Don’t look at me like that. It totally works. Trust me.

And check out her newest Release, Paint for Blood 🙂


 There’s only one substance on earth that can create a new vampire–the blood of a Chalice, a rare individual with magic in her veins. Atlanta’s human-vampire Civility Laws demand that if a Chalice is found, she must be destroyed. Vampire Teijon Reyes allowed the mortal girl Dessa Collier to live despite the threat she posed to society. If he ever finds her again, he will kill her, personal desires be damned.

Heiress to a family tradition of ward-working, house painter Dessa Collier has spent the past twelve years pretending vampires don’t exist. When a friend-enemy walks back into Dessa’s life after a decade-long absence, everything Dessa has been hiding from comes crashing down on top of her.

Thrown together on a mission to protect a city under seige, Dessa and Teijon can no longer hide from the powerful attraction that binds them…or the monsters out to destroy them.


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gothic-fantasy-paranormal-romance-ebook/dp/B008J7MR4I/

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/paint-for-blood-emily-ryan-davis/1112100208?ean=2940014621397

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/204481

All Romance Ebooks:  http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-paintforblood-874390-139.html

 About the Author

Emily Ryan-Davis is a lifelong East Coaster whose passion for the written word saw her through jobs writing obituaries, press releases and grants before she decided “I’m going to do this” and sat down to write a book. She made that decision in 2005 and has since published several short stories and novellas with digital publishers including Ellora’s Cave. On May 24, 2012, Emily left supervisors and payrolls behind in order to focus her efforts on writing and raising her son.

Emily has been a member of the Writer’s Digest-recognized writing community Romance Divas, where she volunteers as a moderator and organizes the annual “Not Going to Conference” Virtual Conference, since 2006.

Follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/emilyryandavis  or visit her blog at http://www.emilyryandavis.com

Next Post
Leave a comment


  1. I like this method of worldbuilding, there is a problem with it for me, I can’t have down time like that or else I start thinking of other stories to write and then I’m in a heap load of trouble, but the two ingredients are all you really need.

  2. This method is great, thank you for sharing.

  3. Emily, Thanks for supporting the “no plan plan” for writing and world building. It works for me, not without a lot of pacing and back tracking as you mentioned. There is of course the heart breaks that come when you’ve written a line so clever you can’t bring yourself to cut it even when it is something your character would never say. In the end it gets cut and pasted to a page of similar pearls you hope to use eventually.

  4. Emily, thank you for sharing the wonderful chaotic world of pantsing! Seriously, the whole “plan before your write” mentality–it actually makes the white jacket with buckles start to take physical shape right above my monitor, Then those sneaky buckles whip out and tie my brain into a smothered mess! Although I’ve been taking baby steps to combat the evil jacket of craziness, you may find me down in your basement hitting the pantsing bottle before you =0)

  5. That’s awesome! Love it 🙂 Thanks for sharing Emily.

  1. A Surplus of Possibilities « A Writer's Convenient Truth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: