About me, Book Process

To be a pantser or not to be a pantser…

I received the edits back from Elizabeth, my editor, for Elijah the Bloody. While I was writing the story, I knew it would go at the end of Chained in Desire, sort of bonus material explaining some history.

I had a blast writing the short and unwrapping some of Elijah’s past. A few things surprised me, since I’m a pantser and not a plotter for writing, but it all worked. Elizabeth pointed out a few things that I’m missing, because she’s damn good at that, and now I’m combing over the story with a fresh set of eyes. It’s rekindling my love for Elijah, the smart-mouth bugger. 😉

All this made me think about the difference between pansters and plotters. Would a plotter figure out these nuances that I missed first time round, or does being a pantser allow my subconscious work on the characters, shaping them without over-analyzing?

I’ve found so many little things in my work that point towards bigger things later on. In Magic Resistant, I had written this:

“Only once had a victim escaped from them, her mind broken, scars covering her body. The Queens claimed they would look into the matter themselves. Sixty years had passed, and still no answers.”

And at the time, I had no clue about the significance. In fact, I thought it was just a way to convey the evilness of the Fae and that to outsmart them was an exception, most definitely not the rule. Colour me surprised when in Sylvia’s Torment, it all made sense to me. That throwaway sentence spawned a novella, which will be released after Chained in Desire, the story I’m currently working on.

Being a pantser doesn’t mean I’m disorganized. Far from it.  I have several notebooks with major plot points, characterizations, blueprints, spells, timelines, and so much more. I could create word docs with all this information, but there’s something more satisfying about flipping through the pages and finding what I need.

I’ve been told by several authors that I should try Scrivener, and I tried. Damned if I could figure out how it was better for me than word. I understand that it makes shifting around scenes easier and gives you a corkboard for all your characters, and etc. Except I usually write linear, so I don’t need to shift scenes. My notebooks contain all my characters. That and I’m sure you can only install it on one system or else pay for another copy. I write on two different computers, a tablet, and sometimes my phone.

Those who do use Scrivener care to chime in? Are you a pantser or a plotter and has this program helped you?


2 thoughts on “To be a pantser or not to be a pantser…”

  1. I don’t use Scrivener either and I’m also a linear writing pantser 🙂 I use OneNote to keep track of all my background info, character descriptions, etc. It lets me stay organized and you can group information onto different tabs all under the same folder. I’m very visual so I need pictures of everything (my characters, what they drive, what they wear, what they eat..). The closest I come to outlining is hastily typing out point form notes when an idea for a scene pops into my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve thought about using OneNote, but never got around do doing so. And now I dread having to transfer all my notes. *laughs*
      And yes, I’m a visual person, too, which is why I need the blueprints for buildings and etc. I tried writing a scene and couldn’t figure out where things were until I had a picture drawn. It was a crappy picture. For one of them, my husband asked me why the bathroom was next to the kitchen. I told him to hush, the character lived alone. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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