Saturday, April 18, 2015


     I am a pantser. That means I write by the seat of my pants. I follow Stuart Woods's procedure for writing: I read what I wrote yesterday, I edit that, and then I write today's copy.
     No outline.
     Well, sometimes I leave myself notes at the end of the day about where the story is and where it is going. More often than not, I write into the dark like Dean Smith
     Sometimes this creates disconnects in the story, and I have to go back and change something that happened pages and pages before. Just this week, I wrote one scene three times. It started with six characters sitting at a table. Then I realized that two of them had to be elsewhere, so there were only four at the table. Next I realized that two had to be off doing something else, so only two could be at the table. That means my progress for day one was 2,194 words; day two, 123 words; day three, 0 words.
     Keep this in mind. 

     I believe that writing is art; publishing is business. Write for love; publish for money. 
     I have business goals. To meet those goals, I need to write 4,000 words a day. I have never written 4,000 words a day in my life. Recall my progress on that one scene in the paragraph above.
     How did I discover that?
     To regain the habit of daily writing, I enrolled in NaNoWriMo Camp for April. I set my word count goal at 60,000, which divides down to 2,000 words a day. I saw this as a stepping stone to achieving my goal of 4,000 words a day.
     By 05 April -- 5 days in (goal: 10,000 words) -- I had written 6,424 words. I saw I was falling behind. I set up a spreadsheet to record my writing progress.
     By 18 April -- 18 days in (goal: 36,000 words) -- I had written 13,330 words. *:-O surprise
    The evidence is persuasive beyond a reasonable doubt. Pantsing will not support my business goals. 

     I like David Gaughran. David has earned my trust and my respect. When he talks, I listen.
     David recently (that is, yesterday) wrote of his troubles as a pantser and of making the switch to plotting. He recommended two books: Rachel Aaron; 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better and Libbie Hawker; Take Off Your Pants!
     Any book that promises to take my writing from 2,000 to 10,000 words a day gets my attention. I have heard and heard and heard about Libbie's book for the last month. It has my attention now.
     Rachel's ebook is 99¢. Libbie's is $2.99. I am grateful that these how-to-become-a-plotter books are inexpensive. 

     I am a pantser. I shall become a plotter.


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