Pantser or Plotter?   Leave a comment

Greetings All,

I’m pantsing my way through an historical fantasy that has reached the 30K mark. You might think this is impressive and for a pantser, it might be. I have to make it past the 30K mark before I can finish a book. If I don’t…it’s shelved for whatever reason. I read a blog post on why books don’t get finished that said it’s because the story becomes too familiar to you and you brain wants something new and shiny (see plot bunnies although mine are more like plot kittens).

kittens bopping heads

This is my process:

get an idea for a story, it could be a character, a plot or a random snatch of conversation that inspires meLightbulb idea



jot down notes about the idea


I put bullet points down on a sticky note or index card but not too many. I might know the beginning or the ending but never the middle.

moving road

let it mold itself into something


red gelatin quivers

My last step is to open my laptop to a blank page and write.


I try and write the first draft without stopping until I have the story down. This is called gagging your inner editor.

Pooh wants to go back to page 1

I keep going until I have my draft. It usually clocks in at 50K to 60K.

It’s important to let it rest for as long as you can. Not ten minutes even though it’s tempting.  A week is good, two weeks is better and if you can go for a month or longer, it’s good.


After it rests, I usually start with a read through and make notes. I put the story on my Kindle app so I can’t edit. I make notes as I go. Once the read through is done, I start the revision process. Some writers start with one chapter or one character or the plot. Whatever you want to work on first is fine just don’t try and tackle it all at once.

At this point is when I utilize my first group of beta readers, readers who don’t know your story and can give constructive feedback on what’s not working, what’s confusing and so on. These are “big picture” edits. Save the line edits for last. You can use as many beta readers as you want. I tend to use a couple at the beginning, make changes, send to one or two more, and that’s it. One of my CP’s (critique partner) will also get a copy to weigh in on too.

I usually do a round of three or four edits focusing on different aspects like setting, description, emotions, plot, characterization.

My last edits are line editing for better word choices, misspellings or grammar/punctuation mistakes and finally, another read through.  This time I let my computer read it to me and I listen for awkward phrases or anything confusing.

Morticia Addams Reading

I don’t write every day either. I’m more of a binge writer. I write in spurts.

silent movie writing

And there you have it. My writing process. Oh, and I forgot to mention, I spent an hour writing this post and not writing my WIP (work in progress). There’s always tomorrow though. Right?


What is your writing process like?




Posted June 14, 2017 by kathleea in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


A comprehensive guide for YA writers to understand and effectively write authentic teen characters

The Writer's Nook

Official Blog of Author & Editor, TIffany Hofmann

The Victorianachronists

Smart is the new sexy.

Ami with an I

It's all write in here, except when it's not.

Midwinter Names

A winter harvest of names

Rebecca Fields

Once in a while, the world needs a superhero

Whiskey, Wine, & Writing

Write Drunk, Edit Sober

Tripping the Write Fantastic

Exploring the vast, beautiful, scary, exhilarating world of writing and publishing

The California Roll

Simple, yet yummy

This Won't Be Updated Often

I write. I game. I paint.

Beyond Victoriana

A Multicultural Perspective on Steampunk

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan

New World Witchery - the Search for American Traditional Witchcraft

A show about magic and witchcraft in North America

Nerdy Chicks Write

Get it Write this Summer!

Max Wirestone

Writer, Librarian, Bumbler

Victorian Paris

Life in 19th Century Paris

%d bloggers like this: