Sunday, May 1, 2016

Plotting AND Pantsing my way to a Novel (or Two)

Plotter and Pantser are just labels, and I don’t fall wholly into either category. I am currently writing two different novels (crazy, right?), each using a completely different approach. Actually, both of these novels have been on the back burner for some time, but I am looking to begin working on them again.

The historical fiction novel I am working on has been a little more to the plotting side of things. I determined a basic course of action for my character before I ever sat down to write, and I have jumped around very little, writing mostly from the beginning through to the end. With the exception being, I do have a rough sketch of the middle finished after reading “Write Your Novel from the Middle” by James Scott Bell.

I have my plot points outlined in my head (probably on paper too if I could find the right notebook). I have differed very little from my original outline, other than to add something I originally considered backstory. I decided to make it the event that gets my characters “up a tree.” I love the direction this book is headed, and I enjoy the way that I am writing it.


On the pantsing side of things, is my speculative fiction novel. First of all, I never planned to write speculative fiction—ever. I still don’t see myself as a spec-fiction writer. I began this book with a bit of flash fiction in response to a photo prompt on Flash Friday.

I wrote the one little scene and then put it down, but I couldn’t get the characters out of my head. They wouldn’t let me be, but when I sat down to try to outline, I got nothing. The characters wouldn’t speak to me. So, I decided to try a different approach.

The next time Flash Friday rolled around, I took my characters and placed them in the picture prompt. Suddenly, my characters were speaking to me again, and I was able to get another scene down on paper.

Most Fridays, I could add to my growing stack of scenes. Though they are just little tidbits, when I flesh them out, I think I will have a pretty decent start on a novel.

Unfortunately, Flash Friday has since ceased to provide picture prompts, so I will need to prompt myself to finish this one.


Speaking of prompts, I plan to post a prompt to this blog, (in the form of a picture, bit of dialogue, word, or phrase) each Wednesday throughout the summer. (This was originally requested by a student in the Creative Writing class I teach for my local homeschool co-op, but everyone is welcome to play along.)

Are you a plotter, pantser, or somewhere in between? I’d love to hear more about your writing process. Leave me a comment!

No comments:

Post a Comment