Feb 17, 2009

Pantser or Plotter?

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, February 17, 2009 2 comments
Plotter: One who organizes, plans, plots, outlines, synopsizes, characterizes, takes copious notes, and researches before putting pen to paper. Before they sit down at the computer, they know exactly what’s going to happen in their story and feel confident that every scene flows into the next and all loose ends are neatly tied up.


Pantser: One who writes by the seat of their pants, and who does NOT plan, plot, outline, or do character studies ahead of time. They generally get a basic idea for a story and/or character(s) in their head, sit down at the computer, begin writing, and trust that everything will work itself out in the end.

(from The Plotter and the Pantser - A Writing Chat About Characterisation http://www.hodrw.com/ppii.htm)

I always thought I was (well, wanted) to be a pantser. I liked the idea of flying by the seat of my pants - and, ok, it seemed like much less work without all that planning.

But I guess it's not something you can choose... it's what you are. And, yep, you guessed it, turns out I'm really a plotter.

Every time I start a new ms I have a general basic idea and characters and sit down and go for it. But before too long I am starting to take notes, establishing conflict, writing out notes for chapters and... well, basically plotting.

Sigh.

I guess next time I should just bite the bullet and save all that time by doing the planning before I start.

Feb 10, 2009

Bits 'n' Pieces

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, February 10, 2009 1 comments




Phew what a week it has been. And I think the whole month is going to be the same.




Let me see....




  1. First Kiss - I am entering the RWAustralia First Kiss competition so that has meant rewriting and rewriting my entry. It is now all a blur. I'm not even sure what I think about it anymore.


  2. I have signed up for Bootcamp 109 (woohoo) where I get to interact with some absolutely fab authors, learn amazing things and become part of what will hopefully be a great support group. Of course this means lots of work, work, work. Our starter packs have arrived and our pre-bootcamp homework issued. I switch between sheer excitement and absolute terror.


  3. I've been critiquing like crazy, helping my fab CP with her ms to make her deadline (which she is going to do!!! So stop reading my blog and get to it, lol), plus a few others with various chapters. I have to be careful of my subconscious during this as during the process I question whether I can really write as I compare my work with others and I wonder at my ability to offer meaningful suggestions.


  4. In between times I have been trying to progress my own ms, which is rapidly falling behind. My First Kiss entry (see above) is from this ms, so I have to remember while new words may not have appeared, some has been polished until it shines.


  5. Finally, my big goal is to enter the Valerie Parv competition, which I realised today is only 6 weeks away. Oh my gosh! Of course, this isn't helped by the fact i have decided to add in a new chapter 3, pushing all current chapters back. The comp requires ch1-3 of course, lol.


  6. On top of this, naturally, is everything else that falls into 'life'. You know, family, friends, housework.


Everything is making me so squished and squashed, I'm amazed my weight isn't falling off (another New Year's goal, but we won't go there). But I know that I will come out the other end of February with new friends, new skills and hopefully close to a new ms.

Feb 2, 2009

Short Story

Posted by AJ Blythe at Monday, February 02, 2009 0 comments

Over the Christmas period I wrote a short story, which I have subsequently entered in the Little Gems contest. I hadn't intended on entering the contest, instead I had been going to continue focusing on my work in progress. However, things didn't quite work out that way. Probably because of a discussion late last year on the contest I had been thinking about the topic and a little idea for a story began to worm its way into my mind. No matter how much I tried to shake it, the idea just grew and grew and I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Needless to say, it appeared the only way to clear my mind was to write the darn thing.


It was actually a lovely experience writing the story, as the idea had been swirling about in my mind for such a long time that I had the characters, plot and story twist all worked out. And at least I can say that I have completed one story this year, lol.


So, I have entered it into the contest. Being rather proud of it, I can't help but wonder how the judges will find it. I think that the feedback from this contest will be very enlightening, to see if work that I am proud of translates to reader satisfaction also. Not that I have high expectations. This is the second contest I have entered and my biggest goal is to just do better than the last. Besides, with all the feedback I am going to receive and use to edit, there are always other short story competitions.


But, if truth be told, I have a feeling that there is really more to tell, that the few words we were allowed in this contest didn't give my hero and heroine a chance to really tell their story. I think the true potential of my short story is the one that is still to be told.....


Goals

Well, as you can see I have missed last week's blog. On a positive note, though, I am currently editing my First Kiss entry and I have made the 30 minutes writing each day. Unfortunately, the 30 minutes, as it turns out, hasn't always been 30 minutes of increasing my word count. Instead it is a combination of my writing, critiquing, research, technical development, blog etc. So I need to focus and make 30 minutes each day just about my writing. Obviously I need to try and find more time in my day to attend to the other writing related tasks that are ever present.
 

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