Plotting

Posted by on January 25, 2010 at 10:56 am.

I’m a pantser. Someone who usually writes by the seat of her pants.

I need only a vague idea for a story before beginning. Some days it works better for me than others. Two of my collegues and I are currently developing a series of writing workshops and one of them discusses the merits of pantsing versus plotting.

It was discovered that most of us fall somewhere in between. While I’m not going to give away our entire session. It’s interesting to see how we vary back and forth between the two processes.

With Kiere, the manuscript I wrote last November, I tried to do my usual pantsing. It caused me several problems. As I moved forward theough the story, my background setting changed considerably from one section to the next. Now when I go back to edit, I’ll have to nail down the background description and make sure ever scene follows through so I don’t confuse my reader.

Now I’m writing a semi-autobiographical story based on when I was a teenager. Details are sketchy and my memory gaps are larger than I’d care to admit to. While talking to my boyfriend from back then, it turns out my memory is also very selective. Who knew?

What I am discovering is that I’ve got to plot out this story even though I know what happened. My background characters are a mix of the people who were there (to protect the innocent or is it the guilty). I have to keep my modifications straight and remember what personality facets I’ve attributed to who.

This is turning out to be a greater challenge than I’d originally thought, but I’m truly enjoying the process… even though I have to plot 🙂

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