Pantser, or plotter? How do you write?

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Re: Pantser, or plotter? How do you write?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2017, 05:56:18 AM »

You can blame my schoolteachers. We had to do charts for everything, and not just a general idea, an outline that laid everything out down to the sentence, and we wouldn't get full credit unless they were turned in with the paper and unless they fully matched. Need to make one extra point in this paragraph beyond the exact number of lines provided on the format outline? Failing grade for you. I found them incredibly stifling because they were so rigid. They put me off of any sort of outline. Permanently.

Worlds have a tendency to pop into my head nearly-formed. I may have to hash out a detail here and there as I go. (What are they using to dye this fabric? What game meat is available in this location at this season? What is a remedy for coughs that's widely available in this sort of setting? What are the materials that go into making this instrument? As I said...details.) But, generally speaking, the world pops in pretty well formed. I can picture the relevant locations (and anyone and anything living in them) pretty easily from the start.

Usually, I have some idea of my main character(s), although they have a tendency to flesh themselves out as I go along, and they may end up meeting a couple more people. Once in a while, I think I'm doing an ensemble cast, and then someone pops out and demands to be the sole main character. I generally don't do character sheets for personality traits, but I do tend to make note of physical features as I go because I find it easier to keep track of personality traits than physical traits. (How many characters have brown hair and brown eyes...OK now how many smoke vanilla pipe tobacco, adore the color purple, perfectly replicate birdcalls, habitually hum banned songs while they work, have an obsession with keeping their boots shined, have a soft spot for lizards, and crochet as a hobby?) I don't want someone accidentally being blind in the right eye in chapter three and the left eye in chapter fourteen or for someone to mysteriously lose their freckles or have their eyes turn from blue to green or to shrink six inches or something. Not unless it's part of the plot, at least...

And when I go to start the story, I know where it begins, and I have a pretty good idea where it ends. Everything in-between? It just kind of sorts itself as I go. I can go back and iron a few things here and there, and I frequently refer back to what I've already written to maintain consistency, but I absolutely do not put a plan down in writing before I actually write. I find that to be a tedious, agonizing task that takes longer than actually writing the thing, and I find that if I do that, I find them restrictive and end up wanting to go totally the opposite direction when I get there anyway, so not only was it tedious and agonizing, since I'm not going to be faithful to it, it was also a waste of time. I'm sure they're nice for those of you who actually stick to them, but for me, personally, they just seem to cause writer's block, an ailment from which I do not typically otherwise suffer, on top of it all.



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Re: Pantser, or plotter? How do you write?
« Reply #16 on: August 22, 2017, 02:43:18 PM »
Planner, all the way. Or rather flexible outliner. But if I don't have a direction, I can't finish, I can;t keep consistency and inspiration. I have a story wanting out of my brain and on the paper. It gets more and more defined when writing, but it exists.