Blooming pantsers

According to NaNoWriMo, there are two kinds of writers, “planners” and “pantsers”.

Planners write out a detailed flow-diagram for their plot and then write the story out bit by bit; they also set themselves daily goals etc.

I’m a “pantser”.  We’re the ones that simply bash ahead, allowing the story to gallop away taking care of itself.  Dreadful style of writing, actually.  But it goes much further than that:  If I see the whole plot neatly laid out, I can’t write the story anymore.  Why?  It is boring.  I already know the plot, why bother “filling in forms”?

Similarly I have learnt over the years how some story “germs” are great and lead to full novels (and in one or two cases even to series); whereas others are dead-ends, at best suitable for a shot-story (^short-story I mean, lovely typo!).  Overdone, clicheed, “bin-dunn”, unoriginal…  doesn’t matter how sparkly a story germ looks at first, on closer inspection it has to work.

I started writing yesterday.  That’s right.  I skipped November 1 (because I was busy).  And then I laid about 6600 words of track yesterday – edited, cut, slashed, rewrote, revised (it was already the second “germ” I put down for this year, I wiped out the first), and this morning, after thinking on it, this germ is absolute rubbish.

I’ll start again.

I’ll start with something completely fresh, and I won’t start until I have a block of writing time unbroken by lessons, kid-related emergencies (such as parties), demands by a school where I teach, needs to promote P’kaboo books and to organize those promotions, etc.

If I only manage to find that good germ on the 15th of November, so mote it be!  It doesn’t matter.  Nano is a fun challenge, but not at the cost of producing something that inspires.  And if it fails to inspire me, its author – how on Earth should it inspire a reader?

Bloggies, I don’t know if I’ll meet the challenge of Nano this year.  I know I can (“Arcana” the product of last year’s), but there are rules.  Beyond the Nano rules.  There are my own rules too.  The cost of being a 100% committed pantser.







5 thoughts on “Blooming pantsers

  1. I’d definitely fall into the pantser category. I’m never able to stick to a plan for anything (especially studying) so I don’t see how I’d manage to do it while writing a story

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