Tag Archives: pantsing

Unhappy Camper

Well, this hasn’t been going according to plan.

And by “this” I mean “Camp NaNoWriMo” of course.

And by “plan” I mean at least one thousand words a day.

It’s day three and as I write this I have written less than a thousand words.

What happened?

I wish I knew.

Saturday I had every intention (Yeah, yeah, the road to Hell is well-paved. I know) of writing three thousand words.  I managed a little over seven hundred.  (Soraine is being a very uncooperative pirate captain and is trying to do some sort of odd heroic thing that is going to completely mess up other stuff… But maybe I should just scrap the other stuff and let her go and do it.  But anyhow, I digress.)

I did have one hellacious headache all day, though, which didn’t help.

So, Saturday was a bust.

Sunday was even worse – I managed to scrounge up another two hundred words or so, despite the headache that staggered in from Saturday.

And so far today hasn’t been very productive either. I was running errands for a large part of the day, though, so at least I know where some of the time went, unlike the two previous days.

But still… How did I get this far behind already?

I think maybe part of it was the departure from what I had planned. I’m fighting against the natural flow of the characters and story, trying to force it into what I had planned.

Or maybe it’s that I didn’t really have a whole lot planned for this scene, but when it made a 90 degree turn from my expectations I still insisted that it needed to follow along my non-existent planned route.

Either way it seems that the problem is my reluctance to give up control and go with the flow. (Maybe because what I’m writing is an extra scene to a more or less completed (a beta reader wanted more added) novel that I’m trying to finish up?)

At any rate, the solution now seems clear.  Strike through a lot of what I have written (don’t want to lose the word count) and start fresh, letting the characters lead the way.

On Friday I’ll let you know how that works out.


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Camp Update July 29 2016

What a wild week, writing wise.

When I wrote Monday’s blog post I was 7440 words below par for that day. I am now 1027 words above par for today and am only 2199 words away from 50K. I want to write more tonight (since I probably won’t get much time to write before work today) but I’m falling asleep in my chair and will probably go to bed as soon as I get this posted which is probably going to be around 3:30am.

I finished the minotaur story.  It’s nowhere near novel length, and it seems to want to be part of the SeaWitch universe, but we’ll see. I’ve put it into the “Novels I’m Ignoring” folder (yes, that is its actual name) and will pull it out to revisit it after I finish SeaWitch (which won’t be for quite a while yet, considering that I have (what I hope are) final revisions to Onyx Sun to finish, and the first round editing and revising of the twelve books of The Academy of the Accord series to do (and a concordance/story bible to make for it) and a sequel (or two) to Song and Sword to plot and write. Oh, and a prequel for it too. And more stories in the Onyx Sun universe and a sequel to Sanguine and… *sigh*)

And I still haven’t won that lottery.

So, anyhow, the minotaur story left me 6422 words short of 50K, and still not enough time to look through other WiPs to find something to work on so I started yet another novel.  Much like the minotaur story I had nothing to go on except the opening scene (and in this case a vague world premise as well), so I’m pantsing again, just like I did the minotaur story.  This one is quite a bit more angsty at the moment but I’m still having fun with it. (Well, aside from the fact that none of the characters have names, and neither does anything else.) I might keep this one active to poke at until November.

Or not.  I’m kind of looking forward to a break from writing to work on other crafts.

I’ll still be thinking about writing, but it will be nice to have some balance.


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I Am SOOOO Not a Pantser*

This novel is going to be the death of me.

I was so eager to start this story when I first came up with the idea, but now that I’ve started writing it, not so much.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m really starting to get into the story and my momentum is picking up as I leave myself notes to check this and retcon that, but… I don’t know.  I think this might not have been the best story for NaNoWriMo.

For one thing, it’s not really in my usual genre.

For another, I didn’t really have the outline cemented down.  Oh, I know what happens – or at least what I think is going to happen – and I even have an end scene.  Some things aren’t happening exactly when I had them planned, but as long as everything does happen (and I have a list of stuff that needs to happen) then it’s all good.

But there are some things that are just not well thought out.

Like the bad guy.

The antagonist’s motivation and back story were never finalized so I’m having a bit of trouble making the story make sense.  Some of my brainstorming for it was way too far fetched for this, although might work in a different story so I’m saving the notes, because, you know, I don’t have nearly enough plot bunnies.

So I’m still trying to get a handle on why he does the things he does.  I think jealousy is part of it.  And the fact that he’s power-hungry. (Aren’t all villains?)

But I think I really need to ditch the part that he’s some sort of ancient evil being who is trapped in a human form and drains people’s life force so he can live forever.  Yeah.  That and body-hopping into the body of his own eldest son down through the centuries. Yep.  That needs to go too.  And possibly the part about summoning a demon.

(Actually, I also created some back story for the protagonist that is a bit too far fetched as well, but I’m going to just run with it for now and take it out in revision, as it doesn’t really impact the story line enough to worry about it this round.)

I also need to figure out exactly how and why the protagonist’s father died.  That’s kind of important because it involves the antagonist and his motives – which aren’t finalized yet.

Solve one and I’ve solved the other.

And there’s an aunt that may never make it into the story.  She’s kind of tied into the antagonist, but I’m not seeing her as really being necessary, so she may not make an appearance after all.  (Pity – she’s kind of interesting.)

So, yeah.  I wish I’d done more to nail down the details of the outline.

But on the other hand, I’m learning to just trust the process.  Just keep writing, and trust that sooner or later everything will fall into place.

I hope.


*Pantser: one who writes without an outline, who writes by the seat of his/her pants


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Camp Ramblings 4-7-14

Well, I’m still behind by about two and a half days.  I’ll do my best to close the gap some today.  (I’m hoping for a 3k day — I’m too “out of shape” to think I can do 5k.)

But the good news is that it’s getting easier.

I’ve been using 750words.com to get myself to write, and for the first couple days it was hard: each word felt like I was pulling it out of a concrete block.  (I haven’t gone back and re-read what I wrote, but I’m guessing it reads like a concrete block, too.)  Yesterday, however, the words flowed much more easily.  I’m pretty sure it’s still stilted and awkward, but it’s getting better,  and I’m learning to go with the flow of the story again.

No, that’s not quite right.  I’m learning to let the story flow.

I don’t really have an outline for this — just a few points that need to be covered — so I’m sort of pantsing* it.

I normally do work with an outline:  it keeps me on track, and the more detailed I make it the faster and easier my writing goes.   But in a way, it does interrupt the flow of the story.  This one has just branched off in a direction I hadn’t expected, with a minor character having a vision that is going to be reflected in Book Three, which happens almost 20 years after this one.  It’s genius!

Or it would be if I had, you know… planned it…











*pantsing: writing by the seat of your pants

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