Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Confessions of a pantser....plotter?

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while know that I am a pantser. Now, that doesn't mean I run around stealing pants off people--at least not usually. It means that I write by the seat of my pants (pantser was coined, I believe, by Stephen King- aka the Big Pantser Kahuna). Aka--I don't outline.

I do have an idea where things are going to end up, and just who will be involved and possibly tortured. However, I don't sit down and plot it all out. It's just not how my brain works, and since I've finished seven books, that was how I figured I'd stay.

Don't get me wrong- I am in AWE of authors who plot. I have a few friends who are serious masters at that and I just watch them like one would a magician, "how do they DO that?!" (They may or may not think similar thoughts when they see my mad, insane, "Let's just run and see where this baby takes us" style. But I think theirs is more filled with terror.)

However, as I'm wading through the edits of book three of this six book series, I am having to admit that I may actually....have to plot. *looks around for the hordes of fellow pantsers who may charge forward at any moment*

Keep in mind, this isn't a six-book series where each book is related but not dependent on each other. This is a giant story that has been cut up into six manageable chunks. Think Lord of the Rings style- you can't take the books out of order. Well, you could but it wouldn't be much fun.

That means that I have a story arc for each book that also has to feed in and support the BIG arc. I think a six book series is called a hexology...or a sextet but no one seems to be sure. Whatever it is, it's big, it's technically a single piece with six moving parts, and I may have reached the end of my ability to fully pants within it.

There is so much going on with this, so many things that have to be put in place, say in book four or five for a payoff in the final book, that I am resorting to rough outlining for the rest of the series. It will still be vague, more like buoys that mark the path through the ocean, but I will be plotting.

Guess I'm going to be a plantser.


  1. I totally hear you. I'm a pantser on the same level as you (general idea of where things are going), but I've had to set aside my pantsing ways to figure out one of my future books. So I started jotting down scene summaries and then throwing them where I thought they might go. I'm still working on it. It's up to 20K words. I think that might be beyond what my friend meant when she suggested I try planning out the book.

    1. Wow! That's a pretty intense outline! Tell me how it works for you- it's just so hard for me to wrap my head around this concept- outling....sigh. The curse of the series writing pantser! ;)

      Thanks for coming by!

  2. Maybe your outline could be as simple as
    Book four - a, b, and c has to happen
    Book five - d, e, and f has to happen
    Book six - a + b + c + d + e + f = g, h, and I yi yi!
    That's an outline, isn't it?

    1. Very true- and pretty much what I have so far. I did some note-brainstorming recently. I like the yi yi!!! ;). I'm sort of working backwards, what happens at the end, and how the heck am I going to get there!

      Thanks for coming by!