I have learned a LOT from my writing group. One of the things I’ve learned is that there are two types of writers, Pantsers and Plotters. A plotter writes outlines, a synopsis for each chapter, character outlines, scene outlines, etc. A pantser is someone who sits down at a blank page and writes, not knowing what is really going to come out.
I’m a pantser. I just wrote Chapter 7, and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Chapter 7 is about Eislen, a local on Refuge who is encountering advanced technology for the first time. Let’s just say it doesn’t really go all that well for him, which was not my intention when I started writing. But now that I wrote the chapter, I see that how it went is a much better way of integrating my local character into the story.
I like being a pantser, (not to be confused with panzer or panther) because it allows me to enjoy the unfolding of the story as much as I hope you will. Let’s just say that after I wrote chapter 7 I was sitting here with giddy excitement saying, “Holy crap that’s awesome!”. Don’t get me wrong, I know the writing isn’t awesome yet, that will take some editing. But the story? Fricking great, and I don’t even know where it came from. How sad is that?
Write. BOOM! Fantastic twist that solves all of the problems integrating the character into the story. Pure magic. I am probably 80% pantser at least, 20% plotter at most. I have three books outlined very vaguely in my head for this story line. I do write down ship stats, I blog this blog, and I do develop my characters more out of the story so I feel I know who they are. But I don’t outline my chapters, I just have a very vague outline of the book itself, chapter by chapter. That changes frequently, because I often realize that I need to write a chapter I wasn’t planning on.
If you’ve never sat down with just a concept and wrote a story start to finish from that, give it a try. You might be surprised at the creativity that comes out.
I’m off to write chapter 8 while the juices are flowing. When one is excited about what comes next would seem to be an excellent time to write.