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.

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