Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Life of a Pantser Writer

We all have dreams. Big, big, big dreams. When you first put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you get this dopey grin on your face. You're just aching to write your amazing idea down. Then you start.

You write the first chapter like it was eating chocolate cake and keep on smiling because that was as simple as pie. Am I making you hungry? You get twenty some pages into your story and you...choke. You stare at the screen in horror. What do you write next? The empty pages mock you. Nothing. You got nothing. So, you flip your computer off your lap and walk away in a huff! Yes, I have been there, though I've never flipped my computer, but I have tossed it to the side. This is exactly how I write. It's probably not the most brilliant way to write, but it's my way! My book, The Vullens' Curse Book 1 of the Jade series, started off with me and a notebook at work. I wrote this crazy scene down and was all proud of myself. I got a good hundred pages into that book when I realized it was totally screwed up. I deleted half the stuff I wrote and literally ignored that story for a good six months. Then like a lightening bolt, it struck me in the face. I had it. Everything. Sometimes, as a pantser this is the best plan. Other times, the story dies screaming. I have had a few of those. The idea is great, but point blank, you need a decent plot. You can have plenty of cool scenes, but if you have no clue where the characters are going it's going to fall into quick sand. The more you struggle with it, the faster it sinks. Eh, yeah. Here's the thing, don't delete your book! Save that thing! I couldn't imagine if I had just up and deleted the Jade Series books. That would have sucked! 

A pantser needs to just let the story tell itself. I've learned this. I will literally not "think" about my story before I write it. Sure, I do think about it here and there, but I never plot unless I am directly in front of a computer with my fingers ready! Here's a tip for all you pantsers out there, for the love of God, don't publish until you read your book like ten times. You may find plot holes where characters disappeared, or an idea you had fizzled out. That is one thing I notice as I read a good indie book. It's all crazy amazing and then it's just not. It's super disappointing. It makes me sad because the book had tons and tons of potential to be amazing and then dialogue  or plot holes, or just plain dumb stuff got in the way. Please, don't kill your story with dialogue. Put a fight scene in it or a zombie eating someone. Just don't make your characters talk your readers to death! Okay, okay I'm done with my rant. Word of advice pantsers, just keep writing! You may not feel "organized" (points to self) but the thing is, you love what you do and your story is a passionate mess. Just keep writing it even if it has to sit on a shelf for six months!


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