Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Biorhythms and the effects on plotting/pantsing

Remember when I told you I'm always working ahead of the class?

This book has been a completely different experience for me. That isn't to say every book isn't different, but my method is generally pretty much the same. I'm a pantser for the most part, and when things get away from me, I step back and plot. I tend to throw everything out there and sort out the mess afterward, but I generally work in a fairly straight line with a few diversions along the way. It can be messy, but its linear.

When I started the research phase of this book, I met with a friend to get background, and to my surprise and delight, she got very excited about my initial visions for the book, asking me questions like "and then what?" And then she said "what about if they do this?" Reference back to where I tell you I make this up as I go along. I learn things when my characters learn them, or when they reveal their secrets to me. So plotting ahead threw me off balance. A lot.

Two weeks ago I told you how I threw at least two chapters worth (and definitely more than two) into the first chapter. This story is gushing out and I can't control the flow! Some stories are like that, I get into the groove and write for hours and hours, and then other stories I have to grunt through every word, struggling to find my way. The problem this time? The scenes are popping up at me out of order. All of them! WAIT! I can't keep up!

Part of this is due to my heroine. She's that sort of person. Leaps before she looks, enthusiastic, gung-ho, full speed ahead. Her boss calls her wreckless and unpredictable - and talented.

I'm not sure if its the phase of the moon (maybe its the effect of the eclipse! or maybe the Perseids) or biorhythms or what. I've been writing scenes like a mad woman, but they're helter skelter. In the wrong order. All over the place. Then I stop and say "but what about this plot point?" or "that plot point?" And then I write another scene that I'll have to tuck in somewhere. This is exhausting! But also exhilarating.

I'm sticking with pushing the blame on my heroine. She's that kind of an "all over the place" kind of person who doesn't want to miss a minute of her life. As an author, my process is completely up-ended, but I'm enjoying the ride.

Just when I thought I had this gig figured out, a character shows up to show me there's more than one way to craft a story!


  1. Just when you find something that works, you find it doesn't work for every book. Enjoy the process!