There are two kinds of writers, as my writer friends already know, plotters and pantsers. Plotters of course plot their story out. They know what’s going to happen before they begin writing. Pantsers….well, they do everything by the seat of their pants. Now there are many variations on these two styles of writing, but those are the root styles and most writers lean toward one category or the other.
When I write magazine or newspaper articles, I’m an outliner, the nonfiction equivalent of a plotter. I know what my main points will be, and I work within a solid structure. I’ve always said that the structure actually gives me the freedom to be creative with my writing.
When I write fiction……I’m a total pantser. For me the story happens in my head. The characters talk to me, and I grab a 10 cent blue BIC® pen and a spiral notebook and let them tell me the story. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way I work.
After putting my book aside for a year while I worked full time at the sewing store, I’m back to work editing and expanding the story. The editing part is going well, the expanding part …not.
The first draft of my story was done before I took the full time job….or so I thought. I had some excellent input, in fact amazing input, but I was told the romance book that I had written wasn’t a romance, it was women’s fiction with romantic elements. This means nearly doubling the original word count.
Adding words does not come naturally to me. After more than fifteen years writing non-fiction, where the mantra is ‘cut the fluff’, it’s hard to add words, in fact I often find myself cutting more than I add. It was going okay before my one year foray into the ‘real job’ world, but a year later, I’m having difficulty getting in touch with my characters again.
You know, Randi is young, she’d probably have a facebook page, maybe I should start one for her. Or maybe now is the time to switch into plotting gear, and use what I’ve written as an outline?
What do you think? I could use a little help here!! Oh and if you’re wondering what the beach pictures are about, Randi lives by the beach in the South Bay. (That’s Los Angeles South Bay….we have one too!)