The writing process is an interesting topic and one I’m driven to share, because this process is much the same for all of us, whether we’re on the road to publication or have already arrived there. The journey never stops.
Let me give you some points to note about the fabulous writing process. Sit back. Relax. Because this is truly how the writing process works, and as writers we quickly learn to trust in it.
- The task isn’t in the writing, but in the rewriting.
- Seriously, your first draft isn’t supposed to be that great. You’re supposed to just continue on right to the end without too much self-editing. Phew. *wipes brow*
- Why? Because as you write this first draft, your story will build, and you will come to know your characters’ personalities.
- Which means the second draft will be better. Oh yeah.
- The third better still. *smiling*
- Now I know you see where I’m heading with this, because the more each chapter is rewritten, the better it’ll get.
- So, how many rewrites are there? Most authors will tell you around seven.
- Yes, we edit and edit far more than we ever spent time in originally writing the book.
- How come? Because we trust in the writing process, and it’s simply how it’s done.
So, back to that all important first draft, and the writing process for this. Do we plot? Or do we fly by the seat of our pants and make it up as we go along? Often referred to as being a pantser.
- That’s entirely up to you. As writers we have very creative minds, and our characters do as well.
- Plotting is great, and I’m completely on board for this.
- But at heart I’m a pantser. I love to let my characters take over. They drive the story, often throwing me into the backseat and taking the wheel. It’s all about strapping on a seatbelt and enjoying the ride.
- For me, my first three contracted books were 20% plotted and 80% flying by the seat of my pants. Two of these three books are part of an eight-book young adult series. So for the third book in the series which I’m currently writing, I’ve swapped to 80% plotted. Why the change to plotting for someone who’s a pantser at heart? Because it’s part of the writing process. As writers we have to adapt, and for me, here’s my reason why.
- I was requested during the submission stage of my second book in the series, to provide a synopsis for the third book. Now, this is a book I hadn’t yet written, although from the moment I was asked, I was actually beyond excited. The pantser within me of course had a few doubts, but I set her worries aside and instead spent an entire day plotting and plotting, and by the end of it I’d written a fabulous synopsis for my third young adult book. At the moment I’m close to finishing that first draft, and during the writing process I’ve actually managed to stay on track, all while allowing the creative pantser within me a little of her crazy streak.
- What I can happily report is that plotting definitely pays off. My current book’s first draft has been written quicker and smarter due to having a plotted synopsis on hand. And whenever I veer too far off track, one look at my synopsis brings me back. My characters still burst with personality, and they still tell me to take a backseat at times, but I’ve found an even sweeter balance with the switch to a greater plotting level. Step by step, I’m still learning.
- So, if you’re right now a pantser and considering plotting your next book, I can say it works. I’ve already plotted the storyline and written the synopsis for the next book which I’ll begin in a couple of months. I’m all ready to go, and it’s a wonderful feeling. I’m ready for both my front- and backseat rides.
So, are you a plotter or a pantser? Or like me, have you discovered you can actually work at being both? What’s your percentage? Maybe it’s half and half. Leave me a comment and let me know. I love hearing from you.
Thanks for dropping by to see me this week, and if you’d like to pick up your fabulous “fly by the seat of your pants” copy of Protector or to gift it to someone special, the links are just below. 🙂 Have a fabulous week.
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