Saturday, August 11, 2018

HOW I PANTSED MY NOVEL'S FIRST DRAFT // a collab about pantsers

Hey, friends! Today I bring to you a collaboration! And not just any collaboration - a collaboration with my friend Nicole from the epic blog Wild Pennings. In this collab, we are going to talk to you about PANTSING. For part 1 this morning, I’m going to let you inside the head of a pantser - in other words, I’m going to share my pantsing process with you! Then later today, Nicole will be sharing a different post in regards to pantsing. Rather than about pantsing, she is going to be writing something for pantsers. So definitely be on the look-out for that this afternoon!

What's fascinating about pantsing is that there's no pattern to follow, no set of patterns to choose from. When you're writing by the seat of your pants, you don't fully know what you're doing or what’s happening. Some scenes and plot points and what-not come to mind as you get to them in the drafting process, and some come to mind as you’re brainstorming outside of writing. Either way, it’s a journey of discovery. Where will the journey take you? You don’t really know until you're on the road; you don't really know until you get there.

Let’s make one thing clear: When I pantsed the very first draft of my current novel-in-progress, I didn’t know much of anything about story structure. These days, a lots of writers will have studied different story-structuring methods and so will naturally keep that in mind as they write. As for me, when I considered myself a full-on pantser, I was undereducated on that sort of thing. I didn’t keep story structure in mind (except for beginning, middle, climax, and end) as I wrote that first draft.

Did I survive said draft? Barely...

But discovery writing (as some call pantsing) is a cool experience nonetheless. Lately I've been dipping my toes in outlining, which has been fun, but when I was a pantser through and through my story surprised me many times. Sometimes when I didn't even know how a scene was going to end, I just kept typing and the end just… HAPPENED. Which then opened up several opportunities for how the next scene would go.

Overhead shot of a turquoise typewriter next to a beige notebook and a plant

I blindly poured out scene after scene. And I didn't know what the climax and ending would be either, until I got to them.

When you’re a hardcore pantser, sometimes it seems like you're not even the one writing.

Another funny aspect of pantsing - that I've experienced - is how not much is set in stone, and that can result in some serious nonsensical messes. XD Something I may have incorporated early on in the story could disappear all of a sudden, without my realizing it. Without an outline, without knowing the ins and outs of my story beforehand, it's way too easy to introduce a character or object or some other piece of foreshadowing out of the blue and then forget about it.

And what is the result of that? Plot holes galore.

OH. MY. GOODNESS. You have nooooo idea how many ginormous plot holes riddled my novel's horribly messy first draft. For example, towards the beginning of the story I mentioned something about the Book of White Magic. Whatever that was. :P One little mention of an ancient book that was probably supposed to turn into something significant over the course of the story. I think I planned to find out later on how exactly it would be significant. (Aaaaah, the beauty of pantsing. XD)

But did I ever mention the Book of White Magic again? Haha, NOPE.

By the time I finally got to “The End” of my fairy tale retelling, I knew full well I had a problematic draft on my hands. In fact, I felt it necessary to completely rewrite it. (Now I’m on the fourth draft and it’s looking much better, but that’s beside the point…) The point is, I had SO MUCH FUN discovery-writing that story. Yes, it had a lot of problems. Yes, I barely survived it. Yes, I got stuck sometimes and had to brainstorm my way forward. But not knowing what happened next made the drafting process all the more exciting and enjoyable. Of course, that’s not to say plotting is not exciting or enjoyable - like I mentioned previously, I’m currently trying my hand at it and it’s been fun!

But, there’s a certain thrill to not knowing what’ll happen next…


Before I wrap this post up, I have one piece of advice for you, whether you're a plotter or a pantser. To my fellow pantsers: If you've never tried plotting, give it a shot! And to my fellow plotters: If you've never tried pantsing, give that a shot! For the longest time, plotting did NOT appeal to me. I could hardly stand the thought of planning out my story beforehand.

Then, after learning more about the beauty of story structure, I finally told myself, "You're going to do it. You're going to try plotting your next book." And now I'm in the thick of sequel-planning and having SO much fun with it!

All I had to do was try it out, and suddenly I realized that maybe the idea of being a plotter wasn't so far-fetched after all... XD

So let me advise you: Try plotting. Try pantsing. Expand your horizons. You never know if something will work for you or not! :))

All right, friends, I hope you enjoyed learning about my pantsing process and how I pantsed the first draft of my novel! Writing by the seat of your pants is hectic all around, but it's nonetheless an exciting experience.

Now talk to me! Are you a pantser or a plotter? Let’s chat about discovery-writing. And be sure not to miss Nicole’s post (<< link) this afternoon! A big thank you to her for reaching out to me about this collaboration! <3

The Lord's Truly,

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Classic Book Vote Results // Hiatus Announcement

Hey, friends! I apologize if this seems hastily written (it is), but I'm popping in really fast to announce something I should've announced a long time ago - the answers to that classic book vote I hosted a while back, in which I gave you the opportunity to vote on the classic book you thought I should read first.

Well, here I am, finally getting back to you with the results. :P

And the winner was...

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

I plan to read it this month, and I'm super excited! :D

My second announcement is that I'm going somwhere where no WiFi is available, so I have to take an Internet hiatus from today until the 4th. I won't be able to see any emails, messages, comments, posts, or otherwise until I return. 

God bless you guys! <3

~ Lila Kims