Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Going by the seat of your pants....

photo by Shena Tschofen
Did you ever think about where that phrase originated? As I was typing this, I wondered so I Googled it and came up with this explanation page.
This is early aviation parlance. Aircraft initially had few navigation aids and flying was accomplished by means of the pilot's judgment. The term emerged in the 1930s and was first widely used in reports of Douglas Corrigan's flight from the USA to Ireland in 1938. The old flying expression of 'flies by the seat of his trousers' was explained by Larry Conner, means going aloft without instruments, radio or other such luxuries. [source]
That's how I write, by the seat of my pants. People often ask me, so thought I'd talk a little about how I write my mystery books,

Coming from thirty years in the computer industry, ranging from data entry operator to programmer to systems analyst to VP of Client Services, I always believed it'd be a plotter. I was sure I'd be outlining the entire book, scene by scene as well as detailing every little idiosyncrasy of each character. I mean, after all, my career in IT demanded that level of detail.

Imagine my surprise when I wrote my first mystery novel, Not a Whisper. I had the prologue, which came from a dream I had written down years before, which gave me a dead body. I had a setting, an area where my late husband and I had lived, and I had a couple of characters loosely defined. I had no idea who the killer was, or even who the dead body belonged to...I just wrote. I think in that book, the killer changed half a dozen times.

The same thing happened in book two in the Klondike series, Barely a Spark. I knew who was going to die but had no idea if it was murder, suicide or an accident. I just wrote. With book three, Almost a Touch, I kind of knew who the killer was but wasn't sure who was behind the killing (you'll have to read the book to understand what I mean).

Three more mysteries, all set in Hawaii, and I wrote the same way. By the seat of my pants... I guess it's working!


  1. Now I'm going to have to look these up!

    So far, I tend to be a planner, but that may change as I start writing more.

    1. I think our writing styles evolve, the more we write. I still have my first romance trilogy, completely outlined, partially written - I got bored. I may pull them out again. LOL!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.