Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pantsing

Pantsing (verb): Writing by the seat of one's pants. The act of not following a script when writing a story. The opposite of plotting. Noun: Pantser. (and no, I don't mean the practical jokester back in Jr High)

Rhymes with "dancing." (But it's quite the opposite because when you're pantsing, you aren't following a lead, telling you where to go, guiding you each step of the way. Pantsing is like jumping off a cliff blindfolded. You don't know what's below or how far you're going to fall. And it's totally exhilarating. :-)

And I'm totally pantsing my current obsession--the lone sci-fi/fantasy YA I'm working on. (Only haven't decided if it's YA or Adult fiction.  It's in the murky middle like so much current YA selections). I only have a few sketches in my head (from a weird dream I had) of a couple things that are supposed to happen. That together with a page of random notes that I add to on the fly is the totality of "plotting" I've done on the story. But I already have 3 chapters (about 10,000) which is pretty good for me considering how much I like to plan stuff out. Most of my stories start out with pantsing and then I freak out and think I need to write an outline, which then turns out way too detailed and starts to squelch the creativity. Some of my WIPs I've plotted more and other I've pantsed.

(And I think I like saying pantsed and making it mean something other than what most folks think of). :-)

The most important thing about my current bout of pantsing: I'm having fun with it.  I don't have a clue where the story is going (ok, I know a couple plot elements that need to happen, but I don't know when or how) so I almost feel like I'm reading the story rather than writing it.  It's totally a blast!

For more info on Plotters and Pantsers see The Character Therapist

Teaser update: Mr Amazing Dude still insists it reminds him of The Village meets Serenity meets Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. I don't know that it's nearly as epic as any of those....but I'll take the compliment! I'll try to post a couple of pics later that remind me of the story without giving anything away. :-)

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