Posted in Writing

Confessions of a Recovering Pantser

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work and I finally finished a scene I’ve been working on. I’m getting closer to the end of my story. It’s been hard trying to balance writing, work, and family, but I’m managing, but enough about that.

Today I want to talk about writing. I haven’t spoken about it in a long time because I’ve been busy trying to get my story down. It’s a huge undertaking to write a novel. You have to get the characters down and then the setting and plot. I used to write by the seat of my pants, but this last story I plotted out, and even though it takes longer by plotting, I do find my story is better, and there is less editing. This story has taken me a couple of years to write. I’ve written it over a couple of times and it’s better each time because practice makes perfect, right?

Photo on VisualHunt

Being a Pantser, affords the writer a lot of freedom. Plotting, I’ve found, makes you rein in that wildness inside yourself and forces you to move in a direction. Sometimes, I miss my pantsing style. It was so free and easy, but when I look at my story after plotting it out and I realize it is the way to go.

So, for me to master the art of plotting, I had to study it first. So, I purchased the craft book, “Story Engineering,” by Larry Brooks. I recommend it to all of you aspiring writers out there. It takes you step by step through the plotting process and makes sense of your story.  I wish I had read this before I started writing, but live and learn, right?

 

 

The vast majority of writers begin the storytelling process with only a partial understanding where to begin. Some labor their entire lives without ever learning that successful stories are as dependent upon good engineering as they are artistry. But the truth is, unless you are master of the form, function and criteria of successful storytelling, sitting down and pounding out a first draft without planning is an ineffective way to begin.

Story Engineering starts with the criteria and the architecture of storytelling, the engineering and design of a story–and uses it as the basis for narrative. The greatest potential of any story is found in the way six specific aspects of storytelling combine and empower each other on the page. When rendered artfully, they become a sum in excess of their parts.

You’ll learn to wrap your head around the big pictures of storytelling at a professional level through a new approach that shows how to combine these six core competencies which include:

• Four elemental competencies of concept, character, theme, and story structure (plot)
• Two executional competencies of scene construction and writing voice

The true magic of storytelling happens when these six core competencies work together in perfect harmony. And the best part? Anyone can do

 

I also purchased Steven King’s book, “On Writing, A Memoir of the Craft.” This book encouraged me to keep writing. You need to write as often as possible. You need to practice, practice, practice.  That’s what I took away from his book. He gives practical advice in his memoir and gives me hope that I may eventually reach that New York Bestselling Author status I’m striving for.

 

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work.

“Long live the King” hailed Entertainment Weekly upon publication of Stephen King’s On Writing. Part memoir, part master class by one of the bestselling authors of all time, this superb volume is a revealing and practical view of the writer’s craft, comprising the basic tools of the trade every writer must have. King’s advice is grounded in his vivid memories from childhood through his emergence as a writer, from his struggling early career to his widely reported, near-fatal accident in 1999—and how the inextricable link between writing and living spurred his recovery. Brilliantly structured, friendly and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told.

So, there you have it, two craft books I’d recommend. What craft books have made an impact on your writing? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Author:

I'm a Young Adult Author with two new series, "The Starlight Chronicles" and "The Super Spies." The first one's a coming of age series and the second one's a mystery/thriller series. I'm also the mother of two boys who keep me hopping and they're my inspiration for everything. When I'm not shuttling my boys to school or a play date, I'm writing. When I'm not writing, I'm reading, hiking, or sometimes running. I love anything chocolate and scary movies too.

6 thoughts on “Confessions of a Recovering Pantser

  1. I love King’s ON WRITING. Most recent craft book I’ve read: Jane Alison’s MEANDER, SPIRAL, EXPLODE–definitely a take on the art of literary writing. I touched on it at my blog, but it’s so smart there’s no way I could do it justice to review it. But, basically, Alison argues against formulaic writing and for discovering alternative structures–other than the tried and true story arc. Worth checking out (especially if at heart you are a pantser!).

  2. I bet you miss pantsing, don’t you? LOL! Thanks for your recommended reading, Lisa. Love ‘On Writing’ by Stephen King, but haven’t read Story Engineering. As usual, great post, girlfriend!

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