Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pantser! To plan or not to plan.

I can't believe we're to P already. This blog month has totally flown by. I hope everyone else is having fun with this, and I wonder how many of you approached this a-z event a little bit you'd approach a manuscript. You know what I mean. Did you plot or pants your way through it?

I love this topic.

So I know a few people that chose to participate, and I think (suspect) that the way they took on the A to Z is a great deal like the way they choose to novel. One of them plotted. He not only picked his topics prior to the first kick-off, he also wrote the blog posts, pre-posted them and had everything set to go ahead of time. Since April first, his blog articles have been spewing out on time and in formation all on their own.

My other friend had absolutely no idea what he intended to write. He didn't want to. He preferred to let the whim take him. He has posted every day--hasn't missed a letter--but he mulls each letter over the day of, chews on it, and then spews out whatever strikes him that day--sometimes he gets them off early, and sometimes they post in the wee hours sneaking up on the deadline.

Both of them seem to be having a blast. They've both posted fantastic content, and though their styles differ completely, both have gathered a little crowd of commenters and blog followers. In short, they've both found an audience. Aha!

I didn't think it mattered.

You see, whatever your style, the people you want to attract are those who like it. So, unless you want to be stuck doing things against your grain forever, you'd better be true to yourself from the get go so that the right people can find you. The people who appreciate the way YOU choose to do things. Your audience.

See where I'm going here?

Anyway, this event has taught me a little bit about my own method as well. I'm pretty sure I fall, and am very happy, somewhere right in the middle. How did I do the A to Z?

I made a few quick notes of possible topics for each letter. I waited. A few days before the start, I wrote one and set it to go live on the first. I waited. On the first I got excited and wrote a few ahead of time, set them to post and took a few days off. In the meantime, I tweaked my list of topics as new ideas popped into my head that I liked better. I kept up the forward momentum enough to get a few days ahead and then I took a few days off. Then I wrote on spot for a few days. Then I got inspired, rewrote my topic list and posted one ahead.

In short, I employed the same odd mix of planning and seat of your pants surprises that I use when writing a book. I have a little order. I like a little chaos too. I go with the flow without letting it wash me away completely. That's my style. It's what works for me. It probably would drive both of my friends crazy.

But I did find it very interesting that our style of writing pretty much mirrors how we organized this event as well--maybe even how we organize everything.

And I'd be interested in knowing if there were any pantsers out there, who blogged this thing more like a plotter, or vice versa.

Curiouser and curiouser
~ Frances

1 comment:

Jessica said...

I'm an in-betweener who tried to plot beforehand, failed, and have been winging it by the seat of my pants ever since. The only thing I've followed is my original idea to write 14 writing speculative topics and 12 flash fiction stories.

Love your blog!

Jessica
A to Z Blogger & SF/Fantasy Writer @ Visions of Other Worlds