From a Pantser to a Plotter…

The time has come for me to start writing novel number 2, and I have decided that after the way I had ended book 1 and from a few people’s comments who have read the book, I need to do a sequel to ‘When Love Meets Lust’. I have loved writing my characters and I am rather excited to be able to meet them again and give them another adventure.

When I wrote my first novel, I used to sit at my computer and let the words fly from my brain and onto the computer screen. I felt such a thrill of not knowing what direction I was going to take my two main characters, Ruby and Ryan and it allowed me to be absorbed in the whole writing process and let my ideas run free. I did of course do several drafts/edits after this initial flurry of words to ensure that the directions I was taking the character’s wasn’t absurd and did not create an illogical story line.

Little did I know at the time of writing the first novel, that this method of writing clearly put me in the ‘Pantser’ category. When someone had first told me of the term I thought that they were mispronouncing and misspelling the word ‘Panther’ (In fact my autocorrect, thinks I am making the same mistake). I thought that like a panther, it meant that you would grab hold of an idea/thing and just run with it, and to be fair that’s not too far from the truth.

Although no big cats are involved, there are pants – and who doesn’t love a pair of pants? Especially if they are gold and sparkly! Before I digress into more pant talk and end up making this a pants blog post (did you see what I did there? – I really need to get out more…), let me explain what a ‘Pantser’ actually is. A ‘Pantser’ is someone who “flies by the seat of their pants” meaning they do not plan out anything or plan very little, which definitely explains my approach to my first novel.

However, when it came to me sitting down and to write novel number 2, I couldn’t help but start to plan the story in my notebook rather than heading straight to the keyboard. It was not because I had lost the thrill of writing about Ruby and Ryan, I just felt I had to take my time and be clear as to how their adventure would take off from where I had left them last.

I was surprised as to how I had suddenly switched from being a ‘Pantser’ to a ‘Plotter’; someone who plans their novel before writing it. I began to wonder whether I should be approaching it like my first novel and continue with the non-planning ethos but this time it just didn’t suit me. Plotting is now my currently preferred approach, as at this time in my writing career I feel more comfortable working out what will come next in my story.

If there has been one thing I have learnt from the whole ‘Pantser’ or ‘Plotter’ discussions is that it really doesn’t matter what camp you fall into, whether you switch camps or aren’t in either camp, the most important thing is to find a writing style that you are comfortable with and you enjoy writing so it is fun and doesn’t seem like a chore.

Right…it’s time for me to find a pair of gold sparkly pants and start the draft/continue plotting book number 2!

Blog soon.

Stephanie X

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