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?”
Kinda.
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?

PLOTTING –

PROS:
-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

CONS:
-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

PANTSING –

PROS:
-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

CONS:
-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.

WHY NOT BE A BIT OF BOTH?

Gasp!

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

Advertisements

Summary Sunday #1 – What have I done?!

Happy Summary Sunday dear readers! And thank you for all those that read the whole way through the week.

The aim of Summary Sunday was to see if I could fuse the weeks writing into the cleanest, coagulated, bloody mess possible. Yeah still not sure about the clean factor, But I’ll give it my best shot.

Now I have a problem: How do you combine all these topics, themes and genres… even timeframes together?!
The Answer: Creative licence. And I’ve applied my forms, submitted my soul and signed in a blood soaked quill tip. Wish me luck!

As always comments and feedback are apreicated. Enjoy!

The End

Science has come along way these past few centuries. We found a cure to death. Well, I say we, I really mean they. I was in the next room, studying the absurd. A theory that I could distort and control the binding chains of gravity. We had done it before “Most people laughed at the thought of what we call a plane, that was 1903… it’s 2861!” was my favourite excuse for continuing my futile search.

But it was neither this cure or my futile research that had me concerned. Frederick Johnson from the astrology room next door had had sightings of what many believed imposible: Alien life. Threatening, dominating, alien life. From what seen, these were warships, which to me was a bad sign.

Frederick was chosen as a representative for the science division for the World Alliance Conference. And because of my previously less futile and award winning research, I was assigned to accompany him.

The meeting was in the next town, a short trek through a forrest. A trek I had never taken, and a trek I would wish I had never taken.

*****

“The howling is unsettling.” I mutter to myself. I would have discussed this with my companion Frederick, if he were still alive. “Probably just the wind… I hope it’s just the wind.”
Oaks and pines swayed un-rhythmically, unsure of which direction the wind wanted them to lean. Odd scents carried by the air mingled into a rotten musk, mostly wet wood and fermenting fruit.
“The path is coming up. I’m sure this time.” The truth was I’d lost the path days ago, Frederick had lost his life because of it. No time for guilt. I’ll mourn when I’m safe.
Moss-covered roots obscured my journey, high and thick they walled in my strength. I’d dropped my pack on the second day, we’d eaten too quickly, and since then I’d only eaten the odd berry that didn’t look too poisonous.
Where am I going again? I wondered. “Out of this cursed wood!” I yelled, trying to conjure up some courage.
Something responded. A deep lonely call. Not as shrill as a wolf, more like a groaning. Could be a bear… Or worse.
I picked up the pace.
I stumbled on a root, or maybe it hit me, I couldn’t tell. I didn’t care. I needed to run.
The groan came again. Closer than before.
And ran faster, my foot struck something. I looked down, That root defiantly moved.
I followed the root back to it’s tree with my eyes and found another pair staring back at me. The bark rippled and pulsed, enumerating and dark and evil power. A dryad. A myth. A threat.
I grit my teeth and push myself off the ground, I wasn’t dying here.
Mid-leap I heard a whistle, something hit and sharp had hit me in the base of the skull. I reached behind me to check for blood, I pulled out a dart.
A dart?
I went dark.

*****
I’ve been in here for hours.
The shack was cold, wet and damp. To say it was uncomfortable would be like saying an inferno is warm. There weren’t any lights, and the smell of stagnant water and algae blooms filled my nostrils.

“Hello?!” I called again. It was all I could do, I was tied to a chair with an old rope that made my skin itch and burn as I moved.

Wood creaked, moaning as the wind pushed against it and the earth bellow shifted. The shack couldn’t be that large, only a few feet in each direction from where I was bound I had guessed.

Why am I here? Where was I last?

I couldn’t remember, but my situation looked grim to say the least.

The chill began to leave my bones.

Morning is coming. The thought brought some hope, though I couldn’t decide why. Perhaps it would mean I could see my surroundings, not that being able to see would save me. I don’t think I’ve missed the sense of sight more in any time in my life.

Day break came, dim light filtered through the cracks between wooden planks. The shack was as I had envisioned it: bare. There was nothing unique or different about this isolated wooden room, and that’s what scared me.

I tried screaming for help again, allowing my voice to grow louder and louder in volume until the shack shook. The vibration frightened me, I stopped and allowed the silence to fill me again.

That’s when I heard it. scratch I listened carefully. scratch scamper scratch

“Hello?” I called desperately hoping someone had found me, but I knew within myself that this was not someone as much as something.

scamper scratch scratch scamperThe noises were getting louder, and more frequent. They scared me.

scamper scratch scratch scamper I saw something move, or maybe a few somethings move. scamper scratch scratch scamper “Bugs!” I exclaimed aloud as I realized what the intruders were.

I was relieved, for a moment. Until hundred of them covered the walls, all coming out of the woodwork at the same time. They crawled over each other, their sizes and shapes blurring into one mass of convoluting life.

The noise was unbearable, akin to the intensity of a waterfall, but sharp and grinding.

What if they don’t stay on the walls? I wondered too late as a blanket of exoskeletal creatures fell upon and covered me. The crawled all over me and I tried to scream, bad idea: they got in my mouth.

I thrashed about on my chair as the insects covered every part of me, threatening to smother me whilst trying to get inside me.

The chair toppled, my head hit the floor, and there was no bugs.

I heard a hissing and looked up expecting to be attacked by reptiles, but instead saw a black pipe. It was emitting an odd smelling gas.

Hallucinogenics? I slipped into unconsciousness.

*****

When I came to I wished I hadn’t. My head hurt, and on top of that I was watching beams of charged plasma course through the atmosphere and hit the earth. Something else fell from the sky and caught my attention, It looked like a flying navy ship crossed with a lizzard.

The ship landed close to me. I stumbled over to it, still feeling groggy. A hatch hissed and popped open, revealing a half dead pilot, a half dead alien pilot.
“What are you?’ I managed after a few moments of stunned silence.
“Varrillian.” It hissed. It’s entire body hissed, and burst into flame and sparks.
I’m next.
I was right. For a moment, I was aware of everything and felt nothing. The ground cracked below me, the lake next to me fizzled and it’s inhabitants rose to the surface before evaporating. The shack creaked a few feet off, but otherwise didn’t budge. Suborn. A metal sign that read: Sand Creek, Colorado began to melt.
Then I felt everything and was aware of nothing else besides my unbearable pain and agony. It only lasted a moment though, and then it was over.

It was all over.

And there we have it!
I completed my week of writng! Woot!
Success!

Stay Tuned, Anti-Greetings
D. Rhys Graham

Sojourn Saturday #1 – The Woods

Happy Sojourn Saturday!

Here’s the final short story before tomorrow’s compilation

The Woods

“The howling is unsettling.” I mutter to myself. I would have discussed this with my companion, if they were still alive. “Probably just the wind… I hope it’s just the wind.”
Oaks and pines swayed un-rhythmically, unsure of which direction the wind wanted them to lean. Odd scents carried by the air mingled into a rotten musk, mostly wet wood and fermenting fruit.
“The path is coming up. I’m sure this time.” The truth was I’d lost the path days ago, my companion had lost his life because of it. No time for guilt. I’ll mourn when I’m safe.
Moss-covered roots obscured my journey, high and thick they walled in my strength. I’d dropped my pack on the second day, we’d eaten too quickly, and since then I’d only eaten the odd berry that didn’t look too poisonous.
Where am I going again? I wondered. “Out of this cursed wood!” I yelled, trying to conjure up some courage.
Something responded. A deep lonely call. Not as shrill as a wolf, more like a groaning. Could be a bear… Or worse.
I picked up the pace.
I stumbled on a root, or maybe it hit me, I couldn’t tell. I didn’t care. I needed to run.
The groan came again. Closer than before.
And ran faster, my foot struck something.
I grit my teeth and push myself off the ground, I wasn’t dying here.
Mid-leap I heard a whistle, something hit and sharp had hit me in the base of the skull. I reached behind me to check for blood, I pulled out a dart.
A dart?
I went dark.

IMG_1115.JPG

Miscellaneous Monday #1 – Out of the Wood Works

Welcome to the very first Miscellaneous Monday!! Well I’m excited. Today’s writing shall be about something random, a good way to start the week I think.

I had a random phrase pop into my head today: out of the woodwork. It basically means when something comes out into the open from a concealed place.

So here goes! And in something I don’t usually do: first person point of view *GASP*

Out of the Woodwork

I’ve been in here for hours.
The shack was cold, wet and damp. To say it was uncomfortable would be like saying an inferno is warm. There weren’t any lights, and the smell of stagnant water and algae blooms filled my nostrils.

“Hello?!” I called again. It was all I could do, I was tied to a chair with an old rope that made my skin itch and burn as I moved.

Wood creaked, moaning as the wind pushed against it and the earth bellow shifted. The shack couldn’t be that large, only a few feet in each direction from where I was bound I had guessed.

Why am I here? Where was I last?

I couldn’t remember, but my situation looked grim to say the least.

The chill began to leave my bones.

Morning is coming. The thought brought some hope, though I couldn’t decide why. Perhaps it would mean I could see my surroundings, not that being able to see would save me. I don’t think I’ve missed the sense of sight more in any time in my life.

Day break came, dim light filtered through the cracks between wooden planks. The shack was as I had envisioned it: bare. There was nothing unique or different about this isolated wooden room, and that’s what scared me.

I tried screaming for help again, allowing my voice to grow louder and louder in volume until the shack shook. The vibration frightened me, I stopped and allowed the silence to fill me again.

That’s when I heard it. scratch I listened carefully. scratch scamper scratch

“Hello?” I called desperately hoping someone had found me, but I knew within myself that this was not someone as much as something.

scamper scratch scratch scamperThe noises were getting louder, and more frequent. They scared me.

scamper scratch scratch scamper I saw something move, or maybe a few somethings move. scamper scratch scratch scamper “Bugs!” I exclaimed aloud as I realized what the intruders were.

I was relieved, for a moment. Until hundred of them covered the walls, all coming out of the woodwork at the same time. They crawled over each other, their sizes and shapes blurring into one mass of convoluting life.

The noise was unbearable, akin to the intensity of a waterfall, but sharp and grinding.

What if they don’t stay on the walls? I wondered too late as a blanket of exoskeletal creatures fell upon and covered me. The crawled all over me and I tried to scream, bad idea: they got in my mouth.

I thrashed about on my chair as the insects covered every part of me, threatening to smother me whilst trying to get inside me.

The chair toppled, my head hit the floor, and there was no bugs.

I heard a hissing and looked up expecting to be attacked by reptiles, but instead saw a black pipe. It was emitting an odd smelling gas.

Hallucinogenics? I slipped into unconsciousness.

—–

Well I hope you enjoyed! One thing I learnt was that whilst writing from first person point of view, you can tap into the characters emotion a lot easier than in third person.

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