Monday, October 12, 2015

Stick to what you know

At the moment, I'm working on the sequel to On the Buckle, my humorous romantic mystery. This is my second time taking a shot at this book. The first, in 2014, I got myself all organized, did my research (a LOT of research), made notes, and outlined the plot.

This is NOT how I usually work. You see, I'm a panster, not a plotter. I write by the seat of my pants. This method has always produced good, but slow, results for me. I wanted to get this book written quickly, and I truly believed that a more organized approach would help.

It didn't.

I wrote, but I floundered, unable to find direction, the right pace, or enough air. It was like I was stuck in a dingy in the middle of the ocean, in a horrific storm, at night. Without oars. Now, I know that for plotters, that's probably how it would feel to tackle a big project without having it planned out in advance.

The first chapter alone went to critique no fewer than six times. Can't say I was happy with it even then, but I pushed forward, scooping water as fast as I could with nothing but my hands. Diligently, I checked my notes and carried on.

But the writing sucked.

I'm going to make a long story short. By November of that year, I gave up after producing less than half of a crap first draft. Took a break, did some reading, started something new and completely different (The Roar of Smoke released in May of this year) which I wrote the best way for me--with no idea what's going to happen next.

Lesson learned. Stick to what you know.

While I regret the time I wasted going down the plotter path, I learned the hard way that no matter what anyone else says is the best way to write a novel, the best way for me is what works for me. End of discussion.

I'll write more about what 'writing by the seat of your pants' means to me in a future post.

Write on!


1 comment:

  1. Write on is right! It totally works for you! Me, I think I'm a hybrid. I like a rough outline, but when a character acts up or does something totally unexpected, I don't fight it. I listen to the character. Thanks for a great post, my friend. :-)