Wednesday, September 5, 2012

confessions of a reformed pantser ....

are you like me, one of the writers who has never understood the insanity of that silly discussion about plotters and pantsers? for the past several years it's all i can do not to roll my eyes whenever this question arises. i mean come, we're artists, right? plotters seem so ... boring. little journey men and women, out there with their instruction manuals. they may as well be laying pipe in pre-worn grooves for all the creativity their work involves.

there, i've said it. i'm not proud, but it's true; for years i've scoffed at the notion of people planning out every little detail about their books. of course the novel i wrote without any plan whatsoever has done nothing more than collect dust on my desk, while the book i did plot has sold every month since its publication. but still - plotters are so structured. like those people who pre-plan every rest stop before they head out on their vacation.

so it was with a nod of the head that i checked out "no plot? no problem!" by chris baty, the godfather of NANO WRI MO. of course the man who brought us the concept of writing an entire novel within one month would be a fan of the free for all style of writing. right?

wrong. for baty slyly imbeds plotting advice throughout this (well-organized) little book. in fact, the book so clearly outlines the way to write a novel "by the book" so to speak that i found myself frequently tossing it aside so i could implement his suggestions for my WIP, which seemed to have no direction whatsoever. until i found it a point by point plot ....

what about you? are you also a reformed pantser? finding you have a lot more time now that you know the direction your novel's headed? i look at it like this: the road near my house dead ends at the ocean IF i make a left. if i make a right, well then i'm headed for the desert. doesn't it make sense to know whether i need to bring a beach towel when i leave the house?

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