Saturday, October 26, 2013

More plotter vs. pantser

A haze has settled in over my writing. Fortunately I think I am about bottoming out. My stories have been lost and I’ve had no idea how to begin to repair them.

But writing won’t leave me alone. I can be stumped and not write much but the mind still works it over, all the time. I am a writer. The best cure therefore is to write everyday, as much as possible, no matter whether I’m stuck or not. Butt in chair mentality. Noting gets accomplished without that and starting somewhere is better than doing nothing.

How best to do that comes back to the old plotter/panster debate. I’ve been a pantser since discovering writing. Being so absorbed with it, I’ve extended the concept to things around the house. My garage, for example. Been meaning to get to it for quite a while. Not only do other things come up that take precedence, but the job seems overwhelming.

The other day, I went out and did my normal. I stood and stared and wondered how to tackle it. Should I just willy nilly start putting tools and sprinkler parts and volleyballs away, or should I plot it out? Maybe I should build a shelf to pack some of that crap away and use the top of it to get me more worktable space. Should I measure out the space and see if the car can fit?

How do I go about organizing my writing clutter in order to get back into a rhythm and proceed with my stories? I’ve spent way too much time researching how to write to the point I don’t know what to do. I’ve got all the travel brochures but not a road map.

Deren’s Wednesday post was wise as it was timely. He said we should consider ourselves architects rather than plotters and gardeners instead of pantsers. He advised we consider both strategies not as an either/or, but as techniques in our writing toolbox.

The real gem of the post was the notion that most creative thought comes from following a strategy unlike one normally pursues. Different is good. I think I’m going to go the architect path for once.

(This article also posted at

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