Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Confessions of a Pantser

Okay, for those of you who don't know what a pantser is (and I'd been doing it for years before I had a label for it), we're the writers who shudder at the idea of plot charts, detailed character sketches and reams of paper devoted to mapping out your story. My stomach's starting to knot just thinking about it. I prefer to let things flow. Unfortunately, life sometimes intrudes on that free flow of creative juices. It can be as simple as needing to stop to fix dinner, or more complicated -- like when an idea is really cooking and you also have information to complete and email back to two editors from two different publishing houses regarding stories that are not the current WIP.

Yes, that's a good problem to have. But it's still an issue for a pantser. Just look in my files at the stories that stalled. But if I'm ever going to get my write-it-while-it's-hot mentality wrapped around the business of making money writing books, then I have to figure this out. I actually believe I've hit on the correct way to approach this. Unfortunately the lure of the "want to" is still outstripping the call of the "need to."

I think (because I haven't actually tested it yet) it boils down to -- God forbid -- organizing my time. Whoo...I'm getting that knot in my stomach again. I need to put the needs as the first thing I get out of the way before the characters in the WIP demand my attention. Easier said than done.

But I'm open for ideas from any fellow pantsers out there who suffer from this dilemma.

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