Pioneer Series coming to an end, Married In Haste (Brad’s romance) will be next, and Trying my hand at plotting for The Bride Price

I’m almost done with Forced Into Marriage which is the 4th and final book in the Pioneer Series.

I hope to have this out in August since I’m ahead of schedule on it.


I am only going to be able to show one scene with Joe and Michelle Otto.  I had thought there would be more of those two characters in this book, but the story didn’t play out the way I had expected it to.  I already knew there would be no room for Richard and Amanda Larson or Jesse and Laura Palmer.  I hope this doesn’t disappoint you guys.  I know one of the big perks of a series is seeing past characters.

It’s just that in this book so much of it is while the hero and heroine (Brandon and Lokni Herman) are on the trail that there’s not a chance to bring in a lot of people.  I did place them in a town for a couple of weeks (in story time), but since Joe had dumped Brandon off in the Wyoming Territory and Brandon and Lokni had to stop along the trail for her to give birth to her son, there was no way I should slip it into the timeline for them to meet up with Joe’s wagon train.  So that’s why it ended up being the way it is.

When I send Forced Into Marriage to my wonderful editing team, I will start Married In Haste (which is Book 2 in the Marriage by Fate series).

Married In Haste ebook cover 3This book follows The Reclusive Earl, which is Book 1 in the Marriage by Fate Series.  I think I have confused people by having two Regency series happening at the same time.  I didn’t realize that would happen, but since all of my Regencies do take place in the same world, I see why it gets confusing.  I have decided I won’t do that again.  In the future, I will only work on one Regency series at a time.

Anyway, this is going to be Brad’s romance.  Brad is Loretta’s older brother in The Rake’s Vow.  I’m hoping to do two main things in this book.  One, I want to make this humorous because I love to laugh, and I get a lot of fun out of writing comedy.  With Brad’s quirky nature on being pristine and orderly while the heroine tends to be clumsy, I’m hoping this will make for a good foundation for humor.  Two, I want to delve more into the breakdown of Lady Eloise’s group, Ladies of Grace.  In Taming The Viscountess, I start this breakdown in a very subtle way.  When Celia’s leaves the group, it will set off a chain of events that I’m hoping will start manifesting in this book.  *fingers crossed*

I decided to try my hand at plotting.

And I’m experimenting with The Bride Price (Misled Mail Order Brides: Book 1).

the-bride-price-ebook-cover10Can I really do it?  Is it possible for a panster to follow an outline done in advance (even if it is loosely done)?  (I’d like to know if you plotters could ever panst a story, so if you are a plotter and you attempted it, I’d love to hear about it.)

I have a reason why I wanted to plot this particular story.  I had to bounce ideas around with my friend and fellow author Stephannie Beman because I could not do it unless I had someone asking me questions along the way.  Stephannie and I chat a lot online, and we share a lot of our writing struggles as we’re working on our stories.  Just yesterday, she helped me figure out the best way to go in Forced Into Marriage.

I should add there are three things to note about the plotting I did.  One, it’s more visual than what authors typically do.  I wrote down phrases to get the main idea for a scene down and then “mapped” it out.  So it’s visually appealing to the eye.  I think this helped my creative brain work more in the process.  Talking with Stephannie also helped the creative side since brainstorming is a creative process.  Two, I made things vague.  I am not going to do a step-by-step account of what I want to happen.  I don’t know what the characters will want to do in detail when the scene comes.   Three, I wrote the first couple of chapters before I even did the plotting.  The reason I did this is so that I could get to know the characters.  I usually know the characters within the first three chapters of any book I write.  Once I know them, it’s a lot easier to proceed with the story.  For example, I thought Sep didn’t want to get married.  But as soon as I was writing the story, I realized he did.  Until I’m in the character’s point of view, I honestly don’t know who they are.


About Ruth Ann Nordin

Ruth Ann Nordin mainly writes historical western romances and Regencies. From time to time, she branches out to other genres, but her first love is historical romance. She lives in Omaha, Nebraska with her husband and a couple of children. To find out more about her books, go to
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5 Responses to Pioneer Series coming to an end, Married In Haste (Brad’s romance) will be next, and Trying my hand at plotting for The Bride Price

  1. You? Plotting? The world is coming to an end! LOL. Just kidding. I’m curious about how this will go because you know what happened when I plotted.

    You know, even pantsers plot to an extent without even know it. We know the beginning, and we usually know the end unless we change our minds at some point. And we know several things we want to happen. So there’s still structure. It’s just that the characters usually take us on a course we didn’t expect. So many times, I’m like, “I had no idea this was going to happen!”

    • I did it because I want to write a novella for a change. I was hoping that by plotting I could shove off the tendency to go down rabbit holes in the course of the story. It’s the rabbit holes that expand the story for me because then I have to resolve all the plot points I made along the way.

      Though in a series, I might drag out one plot hole for the course of the whole thing. I notice in the Regency series I do, I noticed that there is usually one plot point that takes a good two to three series to resolve. This whole matter with Lady Eloise’s group is going to run through the next series. I could rush it, but I’m enjoying that one too much. I’d like for it to play out longer. I think as long as the plot point is a minor one, it can work.

      Anyway, I would like to do one series that is all novellas just to see if it’s possible. I have done standalone novellas, but I’ve never done a series like that. We will see if my characters cooperate with me. I’m hoping since I wrote the first three chapters first that I can make a go of it. I’m not plotting the stories I intend to be novels, though.

      We do plot. We just don’t write it down or expand on it. We have our highlights and then sit back and let the characters tell us what to do from there. It’s actually a very fun way to write. 🙂 I think a lot of it is gut level, and it’s really easy to keep track of the ideas in our heads. Maybe plotters have an easier time writing stuff down first.

  2. dorothypaula says:

    I guess I’m part plotter and part panster. I’ll plan a story in my mind, with the beginning, the middle and the ending, but I’ve never been able to fully plot a story and stick to the plot. It just doesn’t work for me that way. I usually create a file with lots of notes about my ideas for the story. I’ll daydream about the story, and different scenes. But I need to be in the characters’ minds and see the story unfolding as if I’m watching it on a cinema screen. I did try plotting in my first writings many years ago. I bought the loose leaf book with bright new paper. Made it look real pretty with the title and the headings, the tabs and columns, and whatever else I could come up with that made it look professional. But by the time I had my folder and files ready, I’d grown bored. By the second chapter, I’d lost interest in my story, and moved on to sewing a dress, or a pair of curtains. I’m admire and bless all authors that can plot the whole story and write it. 🙂 ❤

    • That’s exactly how I felt about plotting!

    • That’s what I worry about. That I will get bored with the story that I plotted ahead of time. I’ve heard other authors say the same thing. Once they have it all figured out, the fun is gone. It’s why I’m going to make this one a novella. I’m hoping for something about 30,000 words long. That should hopefully keep my interest long enough to finish it. I already know what I want to do for the second book in the series, but I’m not going to plot that one until I’m about three chapters into it.

      Like you, I have no idea who my characters are until I write the story. For example, I originally thought Sep (the hero in The Bride Price) wasn’t going to want to be married. I even wrote the description ahead of time stating this. By chapter two, I realized he does want to get married. Stuff like this happens all the time with my characters. When I tell people I really don’t know why a secondary character in my story did something, they think I’m crazy. If I’m the author, I should know why all of my characters did something. But the only way I can know their motives is by writing their point of view. I’ve been shocked many times to find out my secondary characters are not the kind of people I thought they were.

      You did a lot of plotting in that story. I can see how boring that would be. I just wrote down points of interest along the way in this story. I’m hoping that by keeping it vague, I’ll stay interested. *fingers crossed*

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