Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Why I love being a pantser
Ok, I know there is the great pantser verses plotter debate in writing-dom, with many folks coming down heavily on their chosen stylistic side. But sometimes, ya just have to marvel at how the human mind works.
I’m a pantser. From time to time I dilly dally with becoming more plotter like, at least outlining of some sort (this most often happens when I’ve been editing and cleaning up some "pantser-oops" mess).
But then things happen that could only happen to someone flying at least partially by the seat of their pants. A major epiphany half-way through my novella. I won’t spell it out here (just in case the thing makes it into print ;)). But suffice it to say it was HUGE.
I’ve never written a novella and never done a romance. So doing a romantic novella (even a geek one) is a major challenge for me. I think the challenge of the form and genre were stifling my writing and I wasn’t sure where to go (ok, I was- I had the ending- just had no middle).
All of a sudden a new character popped up. Literally, I typed the dialog as she showed up in my head, it took me a second to get her name.
After a few paragraphs of thinking she was one thing, an entirely different idea popped in. One that fit very well and was even more realistic because when I first wrote the interaction between the new character and my main character, I had NO idea who the new character really was. It was a perfect "what would really mess up my main character" moment.
It was a game changer and triggered a few more twists that really liven things up.Now, I’m not saying that plotting is bad, but sometimes a spontaneous twist in your story can make all the difference.