Monday, May 7, 2012

The Write Me

I used to be a total pantser.  I would sit for hours and write in a manic frenzy of inspiration.  Words, words, words.  I actually have a tendency to ramble.  Who knew?

To combat this, I started keeping a notebook to scribble ideas and outlines in.  And if I can't find it then post it notes usually do.  After four manuscripts I now have several notebooks and endless stacks of post it notes.  My handwriting has gotten increasingly illegible since I type 99% of the it almost looks like my notes are in code.  Which pleases me until I realize I can't read them either. Damn.

My outlines are not written in stone but more of a way to keep the story pointed in the general direction of where I want it to go.  Sort of like taking directions from my husband.  They won't actually get you to a specific destination but they will get you in the vicinity.  Sometimes that's the best we can hope for.

What works for you?


  1. With my last WIP, I tried to be a pantser. Tried to just write and find my way. That worked through the second thousand words before halting my story in complete confusion. I went back to the planning and everything fell into place with such ease. I learned that I'm a die-hard plotter.

  2. I'm still mostly a pantser. I find so many times that the serendipitous trail is the more interesting one for me, so I rely heavily on my intuition as I write. I do sort of outline though too -- about ten feet ahead of where I am at a time, just so I don't fall in a ditch or come face to face with some big stone wall I can't get around.

    And those pages really are coming...another day or two. :)

  3. I'm a outliner/pantser hybrid.

    Basically, I make an outline of things so the story is logical, then completely disregard said outline and write whatever I want. (But, because of the outline, the pantsing ends up making sense...I think.)

    The outline ends up just being an exercise in logical thinking, which I admittedly need here and there.... :)

  4. LOL at the husband metaphor. Seriously, that cracked me up.

    I'm a plotter. But I pants my way through my outline sometimes. Like I know specific plot points and write my way to them. :)

  5. I've just started outlining although I'm not a complete convert yet. I think I'm more productive with an outline and I know I can always deviate if I want to.

  6. I am trying very hard to be a plotter, at least a bit of one, but I don't think my brain works that way. Seriously, it has an inbuilt defense mechanism against plotting. It's called sleepiness. As soon as I think to myself, "Maybe it's time I sat down and plotted this thing", my brain goes, "Okay, sure, let's just have a nap first. Beginning mental shutdown in five, four..."

  7. I tend to be a hybrid, but I think that up front I need to be at least a little more of a skeleton plotter to keep myself on track and keep the pacing right!

  8. Funny, I was thinking about this today. I've pants my way through 4 nanowrimo's, and never revised any of them. The moster plotholes were too discouraging.

    I'm currently working on my first non-nano that looks like it might actually reach completion. The plot just came to me. And I broke it down a la SAVE THE CAT. I'm still on the first draft, but I feel like it's not just grabbing at straws and definitely has direction. That's strange because yesterday when I looked back at the outline, I realised I'm not actually following it. I even changed a character's name without knowing. I guess I'm following your husband's directions too. :)


It helps to know I'm not just talking to myself.