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

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT

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.

WRITING HOBBIT GIF

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.

CAT CHILLING IN COFFEE SHOP

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?

Best,

Kathleen

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Posted June 14, 2017 by kathleea in Uncategorized

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