Pantsing: The Joy and Bane of my Writerly Existence

No, not pansing where you run up behind your friend and pull down their pants. I mean, writing by the seat of one's pants. The opposite of plotting.

Of course, if you're a writer, "pantsing" has become a term we all know well.

I am a beautiful blend of both pantsing and plotting. You see, I plot on a very high level. Point A-Z. I pants the rest. The rest being Point B, C, D, etc. All the little side trips my characters take on their way to the main points.

For example, in the beginning of my book, I have Marietta, young, abused housewife. I want to get her from being in the living world, to being in a coma and awakening in the Shadowland - an in-between life and death world.

In the process, I found out she has an inner alter-ego who is tough and strong and pushes her to make certain decisions.

The reason I love pantsing is because I never know exactly what is going to happen. It's a gift and a curse, however, when I have to keep rescuing my main character from all the trouble she keeps landing in.

It's fun, but it is also not fun because she is SUPPOSED to be at point M right now and she clearly is far from being at point M on the way to point Z.

And now? Now I must rescue her again, and figure out how to rescue her sidekick. AND get them back on the right track to be where they need to be.

Nora Profit, of The WRiting Loft, told me "It ain't your party."

That means, the book has a story to tell and I'm not allowed to get in the way of that story (or tweak things so it goes my way). I don't get to have my way here. The story does.

Off to figure out what's going to happen next!

Keep Writing,

Claire L. Fishback


Pants or Plot? I think I've asked this before...


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