In the writing community, people loosely identify as either a plotter or a pantser (sometimes spelled pantzer). Some people plot out an entire book before they write it, and others fly by the seat of their pants.
Here is what I said recently on a writer’s board:
I was going to stand up and be counted with the pantsers, but I realized it’s probably not entirely true. At the bottom of my working document is a couple paragraphs of “and then this happens.” Not really paragraphs, almost bullet points.(For example, the WIP – paranormal erotic romance, and I’m 6K words in – the plan currently says “Reunion sex. Next day road trip (his car). Estate sale. Dirty, ask discount. Saleslady strange – young/old. Looks through M., then agrees.”)
I don’t always stick to it – sometimes things happen to the characters while I write, and entire subplots bloom or die. I change the “and then this happens section” whenever the story changes. After I write a scene, I delete the item from the plan. So when I finish writing the reunion sex, I’ll erase that line and start writing the road trip… unless the heroine pulls a muscle during the reunion sex and decides to surf eBay instead of being active. ;) Then I’ll change the plan to read “eBay. Looks dirty. Asks discount. Seller has same name as M’s great great grandmother.”
Doing it that way means I almost never get writer’s block. I always have a plan for what’s going to happen next, and even if the writing is pure torture and I end up trashing it later, *something* gets on the page.
One of these days I’m going to copy the original two or three paragraph blurb just to see how drastically it changes from concept to completion :P
As usual, the cherry on top came from another writer, a person I only know as “Tiff.” She suggested people like us be known as… plotzers.
My Jewish grandmother would have laughed. I sure did. Other writers rock!
I’m a little crazed today, but I hate making the three of you click on my URL in vain. So here’s a link about how the iPad isn’t going to preinstall any particular bookstore, but allow the user to install her favorite app.
Me, I hope readers go directly to the publisher’s website to buy my book, because I will get twice as much money. And by “twice” I mean “nearly a dollar” instead of “not quite enough to get a soda from the machine.” That is true of every digital publisher I know of, by the way. The author’s royalty is double if the buyer got the book from the publisher, because distributors take such a huge cut.
I just wrote to the editor to ask if there was going to be a Carina Press app ;)
I have a txt file on my desktop called “ideas.” Whenever I have an idea for a story, I just toss it in there. I should say whenever my husband has an idea, I toss it in there.
I have been working on a story called The Toybox ever since I submitted The Widow. And man, it feels like work, too. The idea is fine. It’s original. I like my characters a lot, especially the hero – he’s a resourceful son of gun. But I sit down in front of it, and if you’ve ever had to clean maple syrup off the floor and then wring out the rag over the sink, you have some idea of how difficult it is to get the words to drip out of my hands.
My husband was listening to me natter on about what a particular publisher was saying they wanted to see. One of the genres is something I’ve never written. With his head in the refrigerator, he tossed out the most brilliant, fascinating, awesome story idea in that genre I’d ever heard. He proceeded to prove he’s been listening to me blather on about romantic conventions by saying “This is the internal conflict, that is the external conflict, and the dark moment could be this over here.”
I tried so hard to work on Toybox this morning. I am somewhat confused to be staring at a document with the first page of something called All Wound Up, but it poured out of me, along with thumbnails of the next three scenes. I don’t believe in muses, but good grief, something interesting is going on.