Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Plotters and Pantsers and Pretty Woman, Oh My!
The lovely Roni Loren over at Fiction Groupie did a great post a couple of weeks ago on Plotters vs. Pantsers. I remember reading it thinking that I am absolutely a pantser, just like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (minus the hooker part, of course). I even replayed the scene in my head where Julia's character, Vivian, says to Richard Gere's character, Edward (no, you can't call him "Eddie"), "I'm more of a fly by the seat of my pants kinda gal."
However, my pantser story doesn't end with a man hanging out of the top of a white limo wielding flowers in lieu of a sword, clearly coming to my rescue. Lord, I wish it did. (Actually, I would give him a red sharpie instead of a sword, to slash my manuscript to pieces. I would call him "Eddy", short for EDITOR...get it? I know, I'm insane.) Instead my pantser story ends with me pulling my already thinning hair out because I've lost myself in my story. I'm up to my eyeballs in edits and I can now see the gaping holes due to my lack of preparation (just like Roni said I would!). Can I fix them? Most likely. Will it be painful? Absolutely.
Thankfully, I have already begun to learn from my mistakes, creating a rough outline for my second book before I even BEGIN to write it. I don't want to get too detailed with my outline, because I'm still a pantser and I thoroughly enjoy not knowing ALL the details before I write (because a lot of them change in the process anyway). I do hope, however, that at least with a rough outline of my plot and characters that I won't find myself in such a stressful position the next time around.
What about you? Plotter or Pantser - or a little of both? Has being either one given you trouble in the longrun?