Plotting vs Pantsing

Hello again dear readers!

Yes, I know I missed writing week this month. Reason was, you know: LIFE.

So on another note, As I’ve been working (almost) diligently on my fantasy novel I’ve been thinking about story structure.

After doing a (very) little research I’ve discovered writers generally fall into one of two categories: Plotters or Pantsers.
“So Plotters plot and Pantsers… uh, pants?”
I am going to give my definitions for these terms for you as best I can.

PLOTTERS: Plotters are writers that sit down and nut out the intricate details of their story. They figure out the details for their Characters, where they want the story to go, when and where everything is supposed to happen. They are the type of people that will plan the plot-line for the whole series of books they are going to write before even typing the title of: CHAPTER ONE.

PANTSERS: Pantsers are people who prefer to write “by the seat of their pants”. They prefer to find out what happens in their story as they write it, letting the creativity take over and watch as the story comes to life before their very eyes.

Lets do some pros and cons shall we?


-Gives the story direction
-Writer knows where to take the characters
-Enables “epics” to be interwoven books in a series that live up to every promise, prophesy and plot-line in any one book

-Somewhat constrained creativity
-Can become disinteresting to write as the writer knows everything and may not be as excited to follow through with the finishes of the story


-Allows for characters to reveal their personality as they react to different situations
– Allows for creativity to run rampant and produce a story in which even the author is surprised by

-Can lack direction
-Relies on having a creative “good day” to go anywhere
-Ungrounded creativity can lead to a messy, out-there plot-line that doesn’t always make sense
-Plot-holes and unanswered questions.

Now before any dedicated plotters/ pantsers eat me alive, these are just some points that come to mind that MAY apply to writers of either category. You may be a brilliantly creative plotter or a very detailed pantser, but hear me out on this next point.



I know write? (intentional word pun)
Here’s what I’ve discovered in life: CATEGORIES CRAMP MY STYLE

So in conclusion, here’s how I’ve gone about writing this novel.
I began with a vague idea that I couldn’t stop thinking about and began developing an internal world that I’m sure will lead to my eventual insanity (see my previous post Fiction Writers Are Insane).
I then sat down and began to write this story for Chapter One. I ended up re-writing the thing several times as the world progressed in my mind, names for things changed and the plot began to reveal itself to me.
Recently I figured I had enough ‘revealation’ of the story to sit down and plot it out to give myself some direction.

The story is still developing and I will allow myself to make changes to the plot as I discover where the story is going, but I’m aiming my creative beast in a direction I want it to go and allowing it to devastate anything in it’s path – HOPEFULLY IN A POSITIVE WAY.

Well back to writing for me (and checking out all the iOS 8 updates of coarse)
Until next time, Anti-Greetings.
D. Rhys Graham


Theory Thursday #1 – Gravity¿ An unseen law

Good morning and a pleasant Theory Thursday to you!

As you may have guessed, today I shall write about a theory I’ve come up with. Now this theory is obviously being written by an aspiring fantasy/paranormal author. In light of this – suffice to say it won’t be boring.

This was actually a theme for a book that I was going to write (called Unseen Laws) until I figured out that books need more than an interesting theme running through it to be good (or even written for that matter).

And now I will attempt to kill physics! Wish me luck, and enjoy.

Gravity¿ an unseen law

What is gravity? The definition of the word is:
physics the force that attracts a body towards the centre of the earth, or towards any other physical body having mass.

My theory, is that this force called gravity is in fact unseen chains fastened to every physical body. The other end of these chains are tied to other objects, called anchors.

On Earth, the anchor is the earths core. It’s large enough to anchor every chain tied to every person and object.

In the solar systems, this plays out on a larger scale, having moon and asteroids tethered to their respective planets, and planets to stars.

In theory, one could loose themselves of these chains or even free themselves of them – albeit for a short time. These chains are in fact necessary, lest we should drift from our world and brave the dark expanse of space beyond. In view of this necessity, we can assume that if we rid ourself from of chains, new ones would seek us out.

One might adjust the positioning if their unseen chains from the soles of their feet to around their fists, and so packing a punch with the fierce force of nature behind it.

If one could somehow have mastery over these chains, they could rule the entire planet – and more. Everyone and everything with mass would become pawns to be moved to that person. They could hold the world hostage and have everything they seek.

A more selfless being could use the gift to contribute to the worlds grow and development.

It could also bring about some really awesome gravity altering fight scenes… I love writing fight scenes.

Work on breaking those chains
Until next time, Anti-Greetings
D. Rhys Graham

World Altering Wednesday #1 – No Death

Happy World Altering Wednesday!

I realised as I was writing this that it’s similar to Theory Thursday in that by changing something about the world, you create a new theory and challenge all existing rules in the world.

Also it isn’t a short story as much as a brainstorm think session, but it still achieves my goal of growing my writing skills, so I hope that’s acceptable to you dear reader.

So here it is, as always enjoy and feedback/ comments are appreciated.

No Death

What if there was no death? If every living creature could not and would not die?

The reader’s first thought could be one of hope, they could think of those they have lost and imagined what it would be like never to have lost them and that they would never loose anyone else ever again.

But if we think deeper into the reason for death, we will discover that life is richer because of death. Death increases the quality of life, we treasure it more when we realise that it is limited.

Multiple aspects of reality would be altered, and I will attempt to write upon some of those aspects:

Food: If there is no death, there is no meat. No beef, no chicken, no turkey, no fish and heaven forbid NO BACON! If no creature could die, we would not be able to enjoy these meats (for those of us that eat meat). But if there was no death, one could argue that we wouldn’t need to eat at all. We would eat simply for enjoyments sake, not for survival or energy.

Population: If there was no death, and assuming that life continued and reproduction continued as normal, we would be over populated in no time. If we consider that this is already a problem in some places and in those countries often large ‘slums’ are formed, how long would it take before the whole world becomes like that? How much of our limited materials could we use to house and accommodate our unlimited population?

Animals: And that doesn’t just go for humans. Animals would continue to populate the earth, competing for room on our planet. Now predators and carnivores wouldn’t need to kill to eat anymore, in fact they wouldn’t need to eat at all, and unlike humans, they don’t eat for pleasure but rather to survive. They may still be dangerous to us in the respect that claws and fangs would still cause us pain and damage without being lethal.

Economy: Now I’m no economist, but I’m pretty sure that taking away products and services that we require to survive will effect our economic system. The money system itself may even need to be rethought to accommodate for the surplus in population.

Motivation: The will to live and to leave a mark on the world that will last longer than a single lifetime is what has caused many to strive for excellence and achievement. Take away the fact that would will cease to exist in the plane of reality and you will take away the motivation of the masses. Some brilliant minds may take longevity as the perfect tool to accomplish massive projects, but how long will they be inspired for?

And to conclude and summarise, quality of life would be lesser if we could live forever, hence: the need for death.

Stay Tuned for Theory Thursday, hopefully posted before the day is out 🙂
D. Rhys Graham

Tantamount Tuesday #1 – Settlers and Slaughter

Good evening! And a good Tantamount Tuesday to you!

I will start by giving a/my definition of tantamount: the same as, equivalent in value to.

Some of this story required some research, hence the later post (that and my full time job), but hopefully the details will make the story more believable (even though I found the information fairly shocking).

Also, the way this is written has been an idea of mine for a while, but there is far too much work involved to make it a full sized novel, so this was the perfect excuse to try it! Enjoy.

Settlers and Slaughter

The dry wind blew at John Chivington’s back. He stood on a rocky over-look above a lush plain. Bison grazed as herds below, fat from the plentiful nutrients in the soil.
We need this land. John thought, It’s plentiful, bountiful and it will make us rich.

Vasseth gripped the onyx armrest of his command station. He was at the head of his battleship, surveying the green and blue planet they were orbiting.
“The Emperor informed me of the minerals here.” Jassid, his general hissed. His reptilian tongue tracing the fangs protruding from his jaw. “And the liquid.”
“Indeed.” Vasseth replied dryly.
“This conquest will bring you much glory, my prince.”

“Colonel!” I have… a message… from John Evans.” A slim man barely in his twenties bent over to catch his breath.
“Out with it boy.” John downed a mouthful of whiskey. He found the rest of his troop to be gathering around to listen in.
“Everything is in place.” The messenger straightened, seeming to have recovered, “The treaty was successful, and Black Kettle along with his followers have moved to camp near Fort Lyon to hunt and settle.”
“And?” John’s wrinkled face twisted into a grin.
“And to continue as planned, imeidately.”

“My prince!”
Vasseth stood and turned to face the kneeling communications officer, “Report.”
“The Emperor wishes to speak with you.”
“Do not keep my father waiting, bring him up.” Vasseth snapped. His anticipation had taken hold of him, as well as his Varrillian bloodlust.
Blue crystal shards hovered in the space before Vasseth, shifting and grinding against each other until the formed the familiar, scaled face of Emperor Furrian. “Vasseth.”
“Glory to Varrillia!” Vasseth knelt before his father, grinding his fangs as he bowed his head.
“Rise my son, this is a glorious day for you.”
A test. “It is a glorious day for Varrillia and for my emporer.”
“Indeed.” Furrian bore his fangs and hissed to remind his son he was still his superior.
Vasseth remained kneeling, Furrian could wait. “What are my orders?”

John lead his troop casually to the Cheyenne camp. They had a peace treaty, and they maintained a trading relationship. There was no need to expect violance.
Once the troop were in the middle of the camp, John nodded to his lieutenant. He and a third of the group wove their way through the camp to the perimentre.
“Why are you here?” A tattooed and bare chested elder stood before John.
“I want to speak with Black Kettle, he and you with him have breached the treaty. he responded.
“You invade our land, but we make peace with you. There is no problem.” The elder gripped his staff, his knuckles whitening.
“Where is Black Kettle?”
“The Chieftain hunts.”
John looked around at the camp, other Cheyenne’s had gathered to watch events play out. More than half of them were women and children. His troop were all gripping their rifles, ready.
“That’s a shame.” And with that John pushed the bayonet of his rifle through the elders gut and pulled the trigger, the bullet ripping through what was left of the mans flesh, out through his back and lodged itself in a man behind him. He ripped his gun free and began to reload. “Kill the savages!”

Vasseth stood, the communication with his father terminated, crystal shards falling to the floor. “Open a link to the planet.”
“It is done.”
An image on a flat screen replaced Vasseth’s view of the planet below.
“Greetings on behalf of Earth, may we humans be the first to extend a hand of friendship.” The soft creatures looked frail, light skin that was not scaled like a Varrillian’s, closer to the texture of Asteroid Worm.
Vasseth attempted to mimic the shape the humans were making with their mouths and round fangs. By the reaction of the humans, he didn’t do very well. “I am Vasseth, of the Varrillians. I will accept your hand of friendship when you weapons are disabled.” This worried the humans. Especially the one in green. Military.
“Surely you don’t expect us to do that!” he exclaimed.
“Surely,” Vasseth hissed, “You realise that you have ended this peace talk.”
“Forgive my friend, it was a missunderstanding!” The central human stood up abruptly.
“That was foolish.” Vasseth turned to his general, “Fire the charged plasma cannon.” he grunted in response.
The decorated man in green glowered, his skin turning crimson, “Fire the warheads!”

At the sound of the fired shot, all hell broke loose. Rifles and pistols joined the chorus, knives were pulled and blood was spilt. The troops at the edges of the camp ensured no one escaped, while the rest killed every savage in the camp.
By the time silence settled over the camp, 148 of Black Kettle’s followers had been slaughtered, only nine of Johns troop had been killed.
John walked through the bloody carnage, drinking from his flask of whiskey to numb to guilt creeping up his gut.
His lieutenant approached him, “What are our orders sir?”
John wiped the blood from his knife, “Cut up the bodies, set the whole camp alight.”

The charged plasma beams tore through the earth, each ship of the Varrillian fleet firing at key locations on the planet; ensuring the ripples of destruction would travel through every electrical and liquid body on the planet.
There wasn’t a single creature or even piece of technology that would survive.
“Damage report!”
“The humans destroyed a scout ship with their warheads, nine Varrillians were on board.”
“Send the news to their spawn, they have brought glory to their bloodline.”
“Yes my prince.”
“Scan for life.” Vasseth knew what the results would be, but procedure required it of him. “We have minerals to harvest.”


Wow one minute to midnight when I finished this! Technically still Tuesday!
Thanks for reading, feedback welcome, I’m going to bed.

Until next time, Anti-Greetings!
-D. Rhys Graham

Inspiration, coffee, writing, in that order.

Confession: I’m a cafaholic. I’m addicted not simply to caffeine, but coffee.

As a barista by day (for the past four years), coffee has engrained itself into my veins. It’s probably not good for me, but it’s true.

Therefore, without coffee, I gain a momentous headache that is almost incapacitating to me, but most certainly to my writing.

In view of this, when I get an idea, I make sure I’m plugged in to my energy source before proceeding to write.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let me ask you a question: what’s your energy source? Is it coffee, tea, redbull or a splash of cold water?

Until next time, Anti-greetings
— D. Rhys Graham


Weekly Schedule!

Alright! So in addition to the previously stated goals of this blog, I’m going to try something: a creative writing schedule.

My aim is to stretch the limits of my creativity every day by writing in different styles on different topics. Nothing too serious, just something that will get the creative juices circulating my often writers-blocked neural system.

So here’s the plan for this week starting Monday the 4th of August (we’ll see if I make it through one week to start with, and perhaps we’ll continue with enough persuasion from my readers).

Miscellaneous Monday : on which I shall write of something obscure or random.

Tantamount Tuesday: on which I shall write of parallels.

Word Altering Wednesday: on which I shall write of the world being altered in some way and how reality as we know it would be disturbed.

Theory Thursday: on which I shall write (and propose) a theory.

Fantasy Friday: on which I shall share something fantasy related and write a little about it.

Sojourn Saturday: on which I shall write about a journey of some kind.

Summary Sunday: on which I shall attempt to coagulate the weeks diverse writing into a somewhat comprehendible paragraph.

So that’s it! Wish me luck, I hope you enjoy what is to come.
Until next time, Anti-greetings

D. Rhys Graham


soulandquill First Post

Greetings! Salutations! And Welcome to the soulandquill blog!

My name is D. Rhys Graham, an aspiring fantasy author who currently has nothing published, but hopes to change that in his future.

For those new to the blog (which should be everyone except for time travellers – let’s meet) it’s aim is partly undecided, but I plan to share things that I find interesting, entertaining or helpful on my journey to Authorship.

I’m excited to find out where this blog takes us on the twisted roads of fate towards destiny, it should be fun!

For now, be awesome, stay tuned and Anti-greetings.
— D. Rhys Graham