Wednesday, December 15, 2010


What's that? Yes, I did make up a new word for my writing process thank you very much. Actually, Joe Selby first mentioned it, but I changed the spelling a bit. 

It's a hybrid of plotting and pansting. I know, it sounds like I am being overly nit picky. After all, any amount of plotting should place me in the plotting camp right?

Not exactly. Most of the time when you plot the book out you have detailed character bios, extensive worldbuilding, and ten or more plot events. You know the minor subplots and how the character gets not just from Point A to Point Z, but from B, C, D, and E. 

You have a plan, in other words.

On the other side of the camp are your pansters. They might have a vague idea about characters, and what the plot might possibly be about, and where it could be set, but they might not really have a clue either. They make it up as they go along.

I am sitting somewhere in the middle. I have a little background information, more so than most pansters have, but I have no idea how my characters are going to get from one point to another. As I stated in a previous post, I mostly write until I don't know what happens, and then I brainstorm what could happen based on what I just wrote.

It's interesting to write this way, but it's a lot messier than I am used to.  Overall I think it's working very well, and I will probably use this method in the future. The only bad thing about it is when you get a great idea for the plot, but it completely rearranges what you've already written.

In which case you can normally just pretend that's how the book was already written and fix it in revision. This time however changed two of the character's roles and jobs, so I went back and wrote some opening scenes to get a feel for the characters. 

I could blame that on not plotting things out ahead of time, but it wouldn't be true. I've had the book perfectly plotted but when I got to the end, the antagonist did something that completely changed everything that came before. That was an instance I did pretend that's how I always meant for it to happen and just moved forward. 

So how are your books coming along? Well? Train wrecks have looked better? Are you all ready for the holidays?

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