Flying by the Seat of my Pants: Are You a Pantser or Plotter?

I am such a pantser!

A total pantser. Not a plotter do I want to be.  Pantser-vs-Planner

I don’t go around plotting the de-pantsing of the waistline challenged. No, that’s not what I’m talking about here. I write of the writer who writes with no plot in mind. Well, at least not a by-the-numbers plot, anyway.

Of course I have a beginning and an end in mind, but I prefer the meandering path that my characters tend to take me on. At times, I do have to rein them in, because they can get a little crazy (although, that’s not always a bad thing), and get them back on a more direct path.

About two weeks ago, my characters grabbed me by the belt loops and yanked really hard. They were so excited about a little plot  twist they wanted to show me. Yeah, it was good, so I jotted it down for when I get to that point in my book. When will I get there you ask? I’ll know it when I do. That’s what being a pantser is all about.

I don’t get out the note cards, or dry erase board, or cover my wall in Post It notes (I do have a dry erase board covered in sticky notes and a couple of note cards), or hang poster boards with my story written from beginning to end. That’s just not my style. I listen to my characters, let them have their say, sometimes let them have their way. I hope for the best. That a good story will emerge from the chaos in my head. But, if it doesn’t, I will take a step back and do a little off-the-cuff plotting to connect the dots and then continue on my writerly ramble.

I love my plotter friends, don’t misunderstand. Neither method is right or wrong. It’s all in the way our brains work. I get a kick out of reading the plot board in my critique partners office. It works for her. The notes on my aforementioned board say things like check out this band, your character ________ says, __________, this would be a good blog title, remember this quote.

Very random stuff.

At some point in my novel, I will go back and look at it chapter by chapter. See if the characters have led me into any gaping holes. It’ll be looked at by my critique groups and beta readers. Then it will go on to an editor who will most definitely find the error of my comma usage (and probably other grammar infractions). In the mean time, I’m happily pantsing my way through this story and thoroughly enjoying the ride.

For those of you who are writers, what’s your style and why? For those who have other goals in life, how do you approach them. Are you a pantser? Or, are you a plotter?

Hang on to your belt loops and your story boards!

RGPantserquote-Bradbury

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The Fullness of Life ~ More Random Musings by RG

I was going to say that I’ve been busy, but the truth is, my life has been full.Thomas Edison

It kicked off the weekend of the fifth with First Friday (a monthly celebration in different parts of the Denver Metro area) and a visit to the Santa Fe Drive Art District. I attended with two of my fellow authors, one of whom is an amateur photographer. We had a blast. We all agreed that the first place we visited, was our favorite. It was the most avante garde of all the galleries and was a studio space as well. These were the true “starving” artists. However, there was a more trendy artgallery that had a couple of artists that really appealed to me too.

The next day was the last workday for the local high school’s after prom. My son also came over for dinner, and I had a cupcake exchange party to go to. If you’ve never been to one of these parties, I would suggest you go, or have one. Several of us made cupcakes, had a tasting, had a winner for most beautiful and best tasting, and then exchanged the different cupcakes. It was a lot of fun and if you want your wife/husband, girlfriend/boyfriend/partner, mom/dad to bring home a variety of lovely cupcakes for you to try (or just eat) attend or send them to one of these parties. The event was put on by D & P Celebrations and they provided the decor, scoring sheets, and fun things to do. It was attended by Sarah, of Sarah and Brad Photography, who took our pictures holding various silly props to our faces. Here is a look at the cupcake spread (This is my picture, so you know why it’s crappy. Sarah’s can be found at her link). Please check out D & P Celebrations. They have really cute paper party goods and an Etsy store from which to buy them.112

The following Monday, I spent my last full time week with Blaster Bouncer. This was very bittersweet. I will miss working for them, but hope to Random Musings, Part 1keep in touch and maybe work a few events or fill in every once in awhile. They have three locations; Denver, CO, Chicago, IL, and Pittsburgh, PA. If any of you readers live in those areas and have kids, block parties coming up, after proms, other school events, etc., check them out.

Last Friday (not yesterday) I left work early to start setting up after prom at Dakota Ridge High School. I’ve been doing this a long time and still do it even though my kids aren’t in high school any more (Don’t ask, I’m crazy and that’s all I’ll say). This years theme was Mardi Gras mardi grasTrieze as it’s 2013 and the event was on the thirteenth. I have to admit, I had a lot of fun with this one and since my tastes run a little dark, I designed the cemetery, ’cause you’ve got to have one if you’re in New Orleans, right? This pretty much took up my whole weekend . . . Yeah, no, it DID take up my whole weekend.

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That brings me to last week. I started a new job; full time, year round, etc. As much as I would like to stay home and write, it doesn’t pay the bills (yet, I say quietly and to myself). So far, I like it and it’s close to home.

And, that, as they say, is that. My life has been feeling pretty full, but now that things have settled a bit, I can get back to concentrating on my book.

What makes your life full?

Seo ar an saol! ~ Here’s to life!full life

RG

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