Wow! My first blog as part of the Soul Mate family of authors. It feels so good to be part of such a talented and supportive group of people.
Now that I’m here I have something to confess: I’m a pantser!
When I confessed this to my wife, the shock on her face told me she didn’t understand. You can imagine her relief when I explained.
There are two types of writers: plotters and pantsers.
Plotters plan out their story completely, diagramming chapters and doing complete character sketches. They know when their characters will meet, when they will fall in love, and the precise instant that ‘dark moment’ will hit, even before they type the first paragraph of their story.
Us pantsers…well we write by the seat of our pants. When I begin writing a story I have two very rough character sketches, and a situation to plop my characters into. Then I wait to see what they do. Oh, I can poke and prod a little bit along the way, but it’s really their story to tell. I’m just the recorder. As my characters adventure, I discover those flaws and dark secrets that the plotter knew right from the inception of their story. Many times along the way I have to backtrack to fill in or change an item I didn’t discover until later.
Throughout the day, even when I’m not sitting in front of my computer, my characters call to me, telling me the next part of their story. Many times when I do sit down to write, however, they take me in a completely different direction (the scamps), and I end up somewhere I never imagined just an hour or so earlier.
I’ve tried being a plotter, really I have. It seems to me the better way to write – no pitfalls, no blind corners to navigate. But it never worked for me. No matter how well I plotted, I would get to a point where my characters just refused to do what I wanted. I’d have to let them loose and end up replotting the rest of the story anyway.
So, off I go. My characters sharing their adventures with me, so I can share them with you. I’m a pantser.
S. C. Mitchell
I blog here and at: http://scmitchell.wordpress.com/