*Big Wave to Pete* Thanks for letting me take over your blog temporarily to share some of my thoughts on the pantser vs. plotter debate.
I am not a pantser. I can’t just let a story evolve in front of me. I do not write detailed outlines and know how the story ends before I start writing it. So I guess I’m not a true plotter either.
I’m one of those hybrid writers–those plantsers you hear about from time to time.
For me, writing is part story mapping, part discovery. It’s the ultimate road trip. I have an idea of where I am going, but am open to detours and changes in the route. I need a destination that I am making my way toward, but know that I might not end up exactly where I planned.
I usually come up with a concept–an inherent conflict that sets my characters in motion. Then the characters come to me. I play with them inside my mind. Seeing who they are and how they react to things.
I’ll jot down an occasional note on my laptop or Post-its. Whichever suits my mood. I keep the Post-its above my desk or in a file folder.
I take my time building my story world. Before I start to write, I sit down and put together a two-five page synopsis of the novel. Enough to get me going. The end is usually blank. I can’t end a story before I begin it. But I can draw a road map to where I think it should head.
I spend months imagining the opening scene. Fine tuning it in my head. Once I have it down, I put fingers to keyboard.
Finding my process involved a lot of trial and error. When I tried to write without the outline, I got stuck and had to outline as I went. That was a frustrating experience for me. But I learned pantsing wasn’t for me.
Realizing I needed a plan of some sort, I tried different things out. More planning, less planning. My first manuscript had a 12-page outline, my second 48 pages, my third 5 pages and my fourth had 2 pages.
It doesn’t matter if I like a 20-page outline and you like no outline. What matters is that you are writing. That you feel you are being productive. That your method is working for you.
And who knows, you might find your method evolves with each book and that you slide along the spectrum of plotter to pantser.
What it really comes down to is: am I getting words down on paper? Am I meeting my word count needs? Is the story coming out of me?
And no matter how you write, if your answer is yes to those 3 questions, you are writing the right way for you.
The Six Train to Wisconsin Back Cover:
Sometimes saving the person you love can cost you everything.
There is one person that ties Oliver Richter to this world: his wife Kai. For Kai, Oliver is the keeper of her secrets.
When her telepathy spirals out of control and inundates her mind with the thoughts and emotions of everyone within a half-mile radius, the life they built together in Manhattan is threatened.
To save her, Oliver brings her to the hometown he abandoned—Butternut, Wisconsin—where the secrets of his past remain buried. But the past has a way of refusing to stay dead. Can Kai save Oliver before his secrets claim their future?
An emotionally powerful debut, The Six Train to Wisconsin pushes the bounds of love as it explores devotion, forgiveness and acceptance.
Kourtney Heintz writes emotionally evocative speculative fiction that captures the deepest truths of being human. For her characters, love is a journey never a destination.
She resides in Connecticut with her warrior lapdog, Emerson, her supportive parents and three quirky golden retrievers. Years of working on Wall Street provided the perfect backdrop for her imagination to run amuck at night, imagining a world where out-of-control telepathy and buried secrets collide.
Her debut novel, The Six Train to Wisconsin, was a 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Semifinalist.
Connecting with the Author Online
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/kourtneyheintzwriter
Amazon Author Central Page: http://amazon.com/author/kourtneyheintz
Paperback available from:
Ebook available from:
My thanks to Kourtney for agreeing to Guest Post. I like the idea of the Hybrid Model and The Six Train to Wisconsin in next on my TBR pile 🙂