Archive | August, 2014

Planning – a slowly-reforming Pantser’s guide

6 Aug

Two lovely people (Soizic included) asked me about planning novels and how exactly I’m going about the transition from pantser to plotter.

For the uninitiated, ‘pantsing’ comes from the term ‘to fly by the seat of your pants’, i.e. to start writing with perhaps only a vague (or no) idea of where you’re going, and just make it up as you go along. My first MS, a Nanowrimo project, was one of these. I did get a full manuscript out in the end, but it was pretty rambling. Although I tried to salvage it with some post-planning, it was never enough to make it into a coherent whole. I know there are writers out there who can pants brilliantly and produce a perfectly plotted book, but…I’m not one of them, clearly.

However, as I mentioned before, I’m very impatient with my ideas, and for the last couple of books I’ve sort of half-planned and then got lazy and jumped in. This means I still have problems like plot holes and bits where I’m totally stuck. I know I need to knuckle down and plot properly before I start anything new. I’ve got two brilliant ideas I’m working up at the moment – one of them is my Esador project, and another is a sci-fi – so I’m practising my plotting skills.

Worth emphasising – there isn’t a right or wrong way of doing this. You need to play around and find out what suits you – and, as I say, it might also depend on the story.

Under the cut, find my top resources:

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