PANTSER OR PLANNER?

Ah, the great debate of the writing life!
I’ve always been more of a pantser, but, now, as I write the second book in the Once in a Lifetime duology, I’m venturing on the planner side of life.

My current outlining situation

First of all, if you have no idea what I’m talking about, let me explain:

A pantser flies by the seat of her pants — hence the name. She has some vague idea or a main character or even just an opening line, which is enough for her to jump on board the story train and see where it takes them. This is usually how I write — I have the characters and just let them tell their story.

A planner knows what her novel is going to be about before she starts writing. She knows her characters, setting, plot. There are different degrees of planners, though. Some people write more in their outline than they do in the novel itself, with pages and pages of character sketches and world building and elaborate plot spiderwebs. Others will just do a quick overview and have a general idea of where the story goes. And here’s where I stand — I don’t know how much planning I need.

As I mentioned in another post, I’m rewriting the whole story from a different perspective. In a way, the story told by Becky can work as a type of outline. I already know everything that happens to her and to our second narrator when they’re together, so I can use that as a guide. The problem is, as I found out, how to weave these crossover points into the independent story of the other narrator. How much of it do I use? Or, rather, how do I use all of it without making it all about Becky?

I’m happy to report I’m progressing, slowly but steadily. I’ve been trying to find a middle ground, where I outline what’s already in the story, but also let the character lead — because he has a lot to say. It’s been fun getting to know him, his personality, his outlook on life. As you know, I’ve been struggling to find his voice, but it’s finally coming along. It’s nice to see he’s becoming his own person and making me proud! I know I must sound crazy, but, if you know anything about creative writing, you know characters have a life of their own.

Here’s a few things I found out about him so far: he’s an optimist; he’s funny; he’s sure of what he wants from life, maybe a little too sure; he loves dancing; he plays videogames; and, he might have a lot of tattoos (yes, I know, another boy with tattoos).
Do you think you’ll like him?


In other news, Welcome to New York has been nominated for Best Romance Book of 2019 at Author Academy Awards! You can help out by voting — click the image and find the book cover on page 12. I’ll be forever thankful!


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