Pantsing Experiment

I’m not sure whether the election results have had anything to do with the last week of not being able to write. But when I find myself thinking about getting back to work and saying “What’s the point?” something is going on. Despite having supposedly finished Camp Expendable and on the verge of converting it to an ebook, I started going through it again because I’m just not happy with it. But that came to a screeching halt in the middle of the second chapter. I’ve had periods like this before, so I’m hoping it’s very temporary.

But, as usual, being in the midst of a serious down period, the ideas don’t stop coming. One has been nagging at me for a few weeks, and seems so much more important now, with the US taking a turn toward something ugly, and the rest of the world crumbling around the edges. The current title is A Small Bright World of Sorrows. The premise is that an observer has been sending alarming reports home about a world and its inhabitants, and now two “adjudicators” have arrived, tasked with determining what’s going on, whether this world is dangerous to the rest of the inhabited universe, and if it is, what to do about it.

For some unknown reason, I sat down with a notebook this morning and started writing. Pure pantsing without the distraction of the internet. I gave up paper and pen a long time ago, but two pages came so easily that I’m seriously considering just keeping on with the story this way, whenever the notion strikes. Looked at objectively, writing a novel in longhand is a potential nightmare, so I don’t know whether I will just go on that way, or transfer the material to Scrivener every few days–or when there’s enough to be worth taking the time. Right now, I like the idea of just letting it pour out of my head however it wants to, and knowing that it will be much harder to read if I try to do any editing. So this will be a truly “rough” draft.

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4 thoughts on “Pantsing Experiment

  1. It’s supposed to engage your creative brain better if you must form the letters by hand and take your time. Enjoy – maybe it will lead somewhere you decide to go. If not, it is still good for you. Win/win – and we need those lately.

  2. I am a strictly “panster” writer. I may end up plugging up plot holes (basically changes in direction that come to me as I write) but the characters develop better, at least for me. They grow and react in a natural progression, that the reader can sense. Nothing wrong with panstering. Even panstering when youre at home with no pants on!

    1. I’ll always be a hybrid. Pure pantsing doesn’t work for me. Have to have some idea where I’m going and what kind of characters I have. Once I have that down, I can let them have their head or just keep a light hand on the reins.

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