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Posts Tagged ‘pantser’

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.

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Those of you that have been following and commenting on my blog know by now how much I HATED, DESPISED, ABHORRED trying to outline my new story. I was using Scrivener and the little note cards on the corkboard. I have discovered two things…1)I don’t think Scrivener has anything to offer that I can’t do other ways, and 2) I can’t outline the same way other people do. Or I can’t outline the way I “thought” other people do. I’ve found, by reading blog comments, there are vastly different ways to outline . What works best for me is to have a basic synopsis of my story with some main points, but not necessarily in outline form. The problem is that I’ve always just had this basic “outline” in my head. What I’m going to do is try to be a hybrid pantser/plotter for now and see how it works. That means WRITING DOWN my synopsis (for lack of a better word to use) instead of having the idea roll around in my head. As I get used to doing this, I might be able to plot a little heavier with each project.

All that being said, I’m either 95 words ahead of my 700 word count or 605 words behind. I have a little spreadsheet (I’m all about the spreadsheets) where I keep up with my word counts. I just haven’t decided whether to count the first day, since I was doing nothing but outlining and cursing (not really because I don’t curse) or start my word count on the second day when I really started writing. For now I’m counting the first day because I think I can catch up. 🙂

On the exercise front…I didn’t get up at 5:30 and walk on the treadmill this morning. I just couldn’t. I stayed up too late last night watching Final Destination 2 (for about the 3rd time) and then I had to watch a little of something else to get my mind off FD2 before I went to sleep. So I was up until about 1:00 or later. But I plan on making up for that tonight. And I’m NOT giving up on the morning walks. Also, I’m learning to eat 1/2 to 2/3 (depending on how big the serving is) of my meals and having the rest for another meal. Cheaper in calories and dollars! Oh, and I’ve lost 8 lbs. 🙂

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Okay, so I’m doing two posts today. I never do that, but I HAD to show everyone my awesome new shoes. They might be a little over the top for some people but…. Anyway, check out my previous post if you want to see a picture.

Now, back to ROW80. I’m a little bit behind again (not too bad), but my friend wanted me to go shopping with her last night. Shopping? When was the last time I really did that? So I thought about how I had worked so hard on my books and how I deserved to use a little of that money on JUST ME. So I did. :0) Anyway, I’m moving along pretty well on the novella. Part of the beauty of being a pantser (shut up Kait and Susan, LOL) is that I was going along writing what came to me, and I suddenly thought of a perfect reason WHY what was happening was happening. I had no idea when I started writing. So sometimes I’m as surprised as the reader would be. And that’s really fun. :0)

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