Plotters plan their novels–they know more or less what happens each step of the way and then write from plot point to plot point. I’ve seen calendars and spreadsheets and outlines that leave me in awe.
Pantsers, on the other hand, write by the seat of their pants. That would be me. I know where to begin. And I have a general idea of where I’m going, maybe even a stop or two along the way, but I don’t know all the steps.
And really, that’s why I love writing. It’s the same reason I like reading. I want to know what happens next. I love it when I finish writing a scene and get to sit back and think, okay, if I want my character to learn a specific lesson or get into a certain tight spot, what might happen to get her there? It’s delicious.
For me, plotting is like having someone tell me what happens in a book before I read it. Why would I read it? I already know.
In my current manuscript a young man has been roped into running moonshine for some shady characters. I knew he was going to make a drop-off and I thought it would be under the classic back stairs with a loose step. But then I saw a picture of a tombstone in Northern WV that was used as a hideout for corn liquor in days gone by (bless Pinterest).
So what if my character had to go to a cemetery? I sent him and when he arrived he was discovered by the pastor. And the pastor had a message for him that he needed to hear. How cool is that? Did NOT know that would happen.
I admire plotters. I kind of feel like they have it more together than I do. I admire anyone with that level of organization. But me? Well, I’m just going to aim my compass in the direction I want to go and see what miracles I trip over along the way.
Can’t wait to bring you along on the ride!