Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#IWSG for September 2017: Writing Surprises


Once again, it's the first Wednesday in the month and time for a post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. I rarely remember to check for the question prompt, but this time I did! So.....

This month the prompt question is....

Have you ever surprised yourself with your writing?


This is an easy one...I always assumed I'd be an outliner. After all, I came from an accounting and computer background. I love organization! I envisioned myself compiling a detailed outline, scene by scene, plus full character profile sheets for all the people in my book. I tried that...I still have the trilogy outlined, waiting to be written.

But I made the mistake of writing a book by pantsing. I loved it and it worked for me. I have now written three Klondike mysteries, two Lei Crime Kindle World novellas, and one romance novel - all written by the seat of my pants.

The upside is I love writing this way. I love discovering characters as they pop into the story, I love finding romance where I hadn't expected any, and I especially love letting the characters evolve and tell their own stories - not mine.

The downside is remembering to record the timeline as I write it - otherwise, you can end up with some strange happenings. Yup, been there, done that, rewrote it to fit. Same for recording details about the characters as I write them. I've ended with two names for the same character (thank you beta readers), not remembering what color hair/eyes, etc. a character has or what vehicle they are driving.

But in the end...it's all worth it!

18 comments:

  1. "Pantsing," ha! I didn't know there was a technical term for the way I write and the way I live! I've never had any success outlining either, I hope it doesn't show!

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    1. It's been a big surprise for me...but it works!

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  2. I totally hear you on that! I'm a programmer, and I like to have all my domain objects planned out before I get going. But when it comes to writing, I just jump in and go! And yes! Timeline is a pain. :)

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    1. Wow! Another detailed analytical who writes by the seat of her pants. I love it!!

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  3. I could never write as a pantser. I need to know what happens and how it ends before I start writing. I don't write detailed outlines but I need to have the main events of the story planned out and clear.

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    1. I thought I would, too. But all my mysteries have started out without my knowing who the killer is (well, except my last Lei Crime novella, "Paradise Dead" - I picked the killer first). It's strange but it's been working for me.

      Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. You are a braver author than I! I love that you've done so well with pantsing. I'm co-hosting this month, and I wanted to stop by and say, "Hey!" http://www.raimeygallant.com

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    1. It has truly amazed me...and I have fun this way. LOL! Appreciate the drop by!

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  5. That is awesome! I have to do the same thing as a pantser. If I don't write notes as I go, people suddenly look different or do something twice.

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    1. LOL! I have to trust my hubby and oldest daughter to catch the inconsistencies when they do their first read throughs.

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    2. Hello, Donna. I have tried three times to post a comment only to have it erased since the pull-down menu doesn't allow me to enter a name and my website. So, this is my last effort (and I used Google successfully). Ah, technology.

      Yes, I'm more an intuitive pantser than one who outlines, and I appreciate your 'surprise' in learning the unique way you write. Thank YOU for sharing this inside story. I bet your accounting background still keeps you organized!

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    3. Wow! Blogger comments have been buggy lately, glad this one made it! Thanks for your perseverance!

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  6. So did we meet through blogging or a writing group or what? Although I've recognized your name for a long time, I didn't realize that you write mysteries. Gaaahhh! My favorite. I need to read them.

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    1. I think we met via the 2012 April A to Z blog challenge? Then on Twitter (where I'm really not active). Finally connected on Facebook and I've been enjoying your RV adventures, having been a full-timer since 2007 (although we are now officially snowbirds after buying a house in January).

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  7. I guess writing by pantsing is the same as reversing the process of the outliner - write first and than "outline" based on the organic stories. Well done! I'm an organizer as well, but feel that just writing from my heart is more pleasing than sticking to a schedule or timeline. That being said, when writing my memoir, it does help to get some sort of general idea about where I am going with it. :-)

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    1. Writing a memoir would be quite different, I would think. Good luck with that. I've had a lot of people tell me I should write my story but I truly don't think many would enjoy it. LOL!

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  8. I am such a bipolar writer, I am an outliner and a pantser and usually end up confusing myself but I love seeing where I end up when I just go for it.
    Happy Writing!

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    1. Now THAT is funny! LOL! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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I'm tired of talking to myself. Drop a note, please?