I have always been a pantser.
My first novel, The Traitor’s Legacy, was pantsed and my second is too. However, it takes me an inordinate amount of time to actually get a novel written, and I have started to wonder if this is because I write by the seat of my pants. I mean, can I keep blaming my two lively boys and the housework and my Proofreading course? (Yes, of course I can, but there must be something else since I use all of these to procrastinate). Sometimes it takes a while for the characters to tell me what they are doing. Sometimes, horrors, I get stuck, or my characters do nothing for a while, and I wonder if plotters suffer similar issues.
If I plotted a novel, then I could write a scene a day. I may even write a novel in 45 days a la Nora Roberts. I could write five or six novels a year! Except, I know I would get half way through a scene and yawn with boredom,since I know what’s coming next. With pantsing I never know, and that’s fun. But not knowing, can sometimes mean Not Ever Knowing. Ha. And this is where a combination of plotting and pantsing can have the edge. Plot the main arc, but let your characters lead in the scenes.
I hit on a brilliant way of kick-starting a novel again. Wake up in the middle of the night and let your imagination run wild with your characters. They will do things you never intended, or thought of. For example, my hero is going to put my heroine in a dungeon and leave her there. I would never have thought of this as the next step in months of plotting, yet this is the next logical step for the hero, and utterly in character.
So… what kind of pants do you wear? Control briefs (i.e. needing a lot of plotting aid)? Hipsters (i.e. some plotting, but the lace indicates a racy edge)? Tangas (flirt with the idea of having very little plotting)? Or, g-strings (i.e. very flimsy plotting control)?
I do normally have the flimsiest plotting control, but am toying with the idea of plotting out a series of short stories. This could be fun, I am thinking, because, well, how much lace would I like? How much elastic? How much sheer fabric?
I have always been a sworn g-string pantser but maybe, just maybe, those control briefs might be comfortable, might even (horrors) fit me better.
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