Hello, my name is Lauralynn Elliott, and I’m a pantser. Kait and Susan have given me a good talking to about plotting and why I should. I understand the concept. I understand the reasons for plotting. I sort of plot in my head. But, alas, I’m still a pantser. And there’s a very good reason why. Here’s the story:
I don’t know what’s going to happen. Seriously, I don’t. I get an idea. A GENERAL idea. And I know the MAJOR points I need to hit. I almost always know the ending. I know certain things must happen. But if I sit down to write an outline for the book I’m about to write, I have no idea what’s going to happen in the book. So I can’t write the outline. This is going to sound strange, but there’s something almost magical about my hands typing out words. That’s the only way I can make the story happen. I don’t even think I could dictate the story. I HAVE to be typing it out, and the story unfolds as I do. I’m very surprised sometimes by things that happen in the book. Characters do things that I don’t expect. An example: I just wrote a character in my WIP who was going to be this older, snobby, stuffy woman who owned an antique store. As I was writing the interaction between her and the main character, she suddenly became a woman who seemed stuffy on the outside, but really had a good heart and a sense of humor. I had no idea. Now, sometimes, I’ll be sitting at my desk or somewhere, and I suddenly know what needs to happen in the next scene. But even that ends up changing as I write. I’ve never been able to do it any other way.
So maybe I need another weekend with Kait and Susan. Maybe they can beat me into submission. Is it possible for me to change? Maybe. I think if I could quit my day job, my mind would settle down and be more open to plotting. If I want to eventually get into writing mysteries that have very complicated plots, I will probably HAVE to change my method. Although, some of my beta readers tell me they like the twists that have been in the books I’ve already written. One said, “You think up the best twists and creatures.” But, honestly, for something a lot more complicated, plotting is probably necessary. Stephen King is a pantser. But I’m not Stephen King. I don’t have his experience. I think I’m going to start a WIP at some point during the summer and maybe work on plotting on my vacation when I’m relaxed and my mind uncluttered. We’ll see what happens.