Plotter and Pantsers: The Never-ending Battle

So, I imagine you probably see these two phrases everywhere (especially on Pinterest – don’t get me started with that) along with what they actually are: plotters plan it out, pantsers just wing it.

I used to be a bit of a pantser, then years ago (it’s actually been years, wow) convinced me to get Pinterest and there were all the worldbuilding articles and I started reading and fell into an endless pit of plotting and worldbuilding (it’s good to a degree). So I thought, “Screw it. I’m going back to my old way.” I did even less planning than before.

Not a good idea.

With old stories, I always outlined, always laid out chapters before I even started. Now, I’m happy with how the first draft of Chapter One’s turned out, but I’m not too keen on Chapter Two (unsure; think it’s too early for a certain character to show up).

Currently, I’m trying to get back to that happy medium. Think I’m just going to work out chapter layout and make notes on various bits and bobs when I get to them (or when I need to work through a block – nearly finished the design for the Archives).

Note: need to get another cork memo board – doubt my mother will be too impressed if I we move out and leave pin marks all over the walls.

 

Lee

(Warning: DO NOT FALL INTO THE PINTEREST TRAP. TREAD WITH HEAVY CAUTION! Though I will admit it is a good resource to use, as long as you don’t let it run you.)

 

Eye Lid – Possibly My Favourite Character.

So, the island’s had its summer (five whole days, what a treat!) and it’s much cooler now. Not bad, but I think I prefer the harsh winds. Can layer up, but can’t layer down!

Anywho, I’ve made progress on Chapter Two. I’ve decided this is where I’ll have Eilidh (or Eye Lid as she is otherwise known – long story) enter in and ruin Lachlan’s life further the story.

So I’ve been debating on where to go with their relationship. I know for sure they’re going to have to work together, but there are a horrific number of a couple of obstacles. For example, her heritage, certain characters, etc.

I want to have a bit of a contrast between the two. Lachlan’s quieter, keeps to himself and is curious.

Eilidh? She’s pretty blunt, up in your face and believes she knows everything.

Thinking I might put up character descriptions, at least for the main ones. But I worry it might have some spoilers? Not sure as of yet. Might be able to do something about the primary characters at least.

Lee

Naming Characters -The Real Reason I’ve Had Baby-Name Books for Years.

So, I’ve had concept ideas of various characters for yonks now. The major ones have names (first names at least): Lachlan, Eilidh, Fionnlagh, Colin, Aggie, Mags, Malcolm, Reinhardt, Aonghas.

Annoyingly, I found a name that really suited a character, but didn’t note it down – smart, right? (Oh, I’ll remember it – my rear end, I will). Well, I’ve found a name I think it might have been, but I can’t remember.

My choices? Stick with this name or go on what could be a goose chase and later realise, “Oh, yeah, that was the name.”

So, if anyone has any thoughts on the name “Arlin” for this mystical being, shoot. Means Oath, apparently.

 

Lee

P.S. Chapter Two has begun! Hence the need for Arlin.

P.S.P.S. Also had another idea for a story. More of a concept that I can’t quite pout into words yet, but just now it seems like something that might work out.

Okay, Writer’s Block Cure I Have Literally Just Found!

So, I may have been procrastinating and surfing Facebook, so I happened to find this gem:

(Link is safe, far as I know! It’s to a video on YouTube)

Word of advice, don’t click on any suggested video. You’ll get sucked into a cycle of video after video telling you about how you can motivate yourself – waste of time.

Video gets good from 2:37. I keep playing it from there on in the background.

New writing decision: scrapping everything about writing I know. Will follow my gut. No more looking at articles about how I should be writing. My way, or no way.

 

Lee

P.S. I managed to write up Chapter One. Score one to Lee!

Creating Characters – Easier than Worldbuilding, Trust Me.

Currently, I am in the midst of developing characters and their profiles, etc. Most lists I see, are just that: lists.

For example:

Name:

D.o.B:

Hair colour:

Eye colour:

(Side-note: this site is demanding that I am actually spelling colour wrong and many other things… Slightly irritating (old perfectionist tendencies that cannot stand to see errors), Queen’s English here, matey, or Standard English Scottish Standard English, whatever you want to call it, really.)

But look at that list… It’s just dull. It doesn’t scream enthusiasm, does it? It’s just fact after fact.

I don’t know about you, but I hate reading lists of facts like that (even the lists in school looked more alive).

So I’m writing them out in the general “fandom-wiki” style. Y’know, photo and biological facts in a table, sections for the character’s introduction, appearance, personality, their role in the plot, etc.

Looks much better, really.

Got quite a few to do: Lachlan, Eilidh, Fionnlagh, Ruomra, Reinhardt. (Just a wee thing here about this auto-check spelling thing-a-ma-jig: Lachlan, Eilidh and Fionnlagh are all spelt wrong? Yet Reinhardt isn’t? Ah, guess it’ll be a case of re-learning to ignore the red squiggles.)

Creating characters is definitely much more fun.

Current thought: I’m just going to do profiles like this for everything now, places and terms included.

 

Lee

Worldbuilding: Gotta Love It, Eh?

So I’ve been worldbuilding for Lachlan’s world. Everyone always talks so highly of it, so surely it must be brilliant?

Ha, nope. 

I’ve been doing it to make sure there are no plotholes but man, is it draining.

I’m currently sitting here, for the umpteenth time in a row, stuck. There are general outlines of how to do this, but it may be driving me just slightly insane. I’m trying to discipline myself (no freaking wonder I’ve eaten all the bleeding chocolate. And ice cream. Again.) and I am not to start writing properly until I have a pretty well developed world in place.

Be handy to have one of the Muses in place behind me, smacking my head whenever writer’s block hits.

I have it all in my head, it’s just a case of getting it onto paper so I can make sure it all makes senses. A long, painstaking case in fact.

But it is good. I’ve laid out various lists of categories (I’ve tried looking around for lists, but most have categories that don’t fit Lachlan’s world and/or are irrelevant. I’ve mostly had to figure out by myself what I had to do (pre-made lists are useless to me, unfortunately, though they sometimes do have a category or two that fit to me) and now have lists of what to write out (figured out a couple wee bits and bobs with it at least).

I would recommend it. I’d also recommend one of those squishy stress balls, for those who are as impatient as I am.

Better get back to writing origin tales and folklore out. I feel I’ve gotten most of it done, but it doesn’t look like much. Hence, my current predicament.

(Plus, I’ve accidentally switched the computer off twice after typing out huge amounts – the switch is right by my feet and I’m a horribly fidgety person. But who needs to save every five minutes when you can live dangerously?)

Might share some, if I remember to actually save it.

 

Lee

Decisions! Wait, I’ve Actually MADE a Decision?

Most people who know me might say I’m indecisive. I might agree with that, might not.

But I’ve actually made a decision!

I’m going with the story I worked on in 4th year (no.2). Logically speaking, it’s the best to go with, especially with this deadline.

I had been planning to write 4,000 words a day, so I would have time to leave it a few days and edit, but it hasn’t exactly worked out that way the last few days. Mostly, it’s been due to mood. I couldn’t get out of bed today.

But I’ve gotten some encouragement. I’m still going to try. Can’t get anywhere if I don’t try!

Shall be posting a daily wordcount perhaps. Might motivate me to get my rear-end into gear.

Bis später!

Lee

Newest Task of Writing a Whole Book by March 31st. Isn’t that smart?

Plain and simple: I’m an idiot.

I realised today actually yesterday because it’s actually 3am the next day that I have a month to write a book. As in, really realised it. So first thought there was, how in name of Hades’ underwear am I going to do this?

I checked the minimum word count. For YA, what I mostly write, it’s 40,000. The stories I’m deciding between are planned out for about 50/60,ooo words each. After seeing that, I just thought, “Oh, I’ve winged it with massive essays in school before.” So I’ve decided I’m going to be fine.

Besides, worst comes to the worst, I don’t finish on time and I have a good chunk done. No harm, no foul.

However, I’m not sure which story to use.

1 – the original one I was going to use. I used it in Higher English (may or may not have been written up a week before the deadline when I was pumped up with morphine in the hospital). It needs a lot of work planning wise, so I might not use it for this.

2 – when I was in 4th year, my English teacher really helped with writing. She offered to read bits as I wrote and give feedback (she was a wonderful teacher, and really helped me realise how much I want to write). I did for a while but it died out when I got unwell (she noticed I was unwell but I was terrified of telling people. Not the wisest move.). I found the old drafts (one is already 10,000+ words, happy days!) and am contemplating rewriting the beginning and carrying on. There’s quite a bit of planning done on this one, if I can dig out the old book that I wrote all the notes in.

3 – there was a story I was working on before Lachlan’s. It got a bit complicated (I had a lot going on then) so I decided to leave it for a while before coming back to it. There’s a lot of planning and research (intense planning and research, might I add) behind this one.

4 – Lachlan. There’s planning and research at least partly done. I still need to figure out bits but it’s mostly thought out.

Now, I thought, okay, I’ll leave 1, since that one needs significantly more work done. So it leaves me with three choices.

I think I’ll have to dig through all the boxes to hunt down any notes I can find. Oh the joys.

O Muses, Strike Me With a Fountain Pen!

I was thinking, “Hey, why not share how I write?” in terms of preparation and what I surround myself with.

First of all, I do usually use my laptop (and sometimes have to switch off the wifi because Pinterest, while handy, is very distracting). I have a couple moleskines next to me usually,  a plain old  writing pad for writing letters, a pot of ink and a fountain pen.

I find writing with a fountain pen just stirs something up inside. There’s something so pleasing about writing with one, maybe it’s dipping the tip into ink, maybe it’s when the pen scrapes against the paper. Maybe it’s even the fact that I always come out of every writing session with ink all over my hands. Oddly satisfying, I must say.

Don’t usually eat much when I’m writing, it’s a bit of a nuisance really. Drinking though, well, it’s rare to find me without a cup of tea or a flask. And you can bet on Zeus’ feathers that it’ll be some berry tea.

Music is always a must. Usually just a playlist on Spotify I’ve made up to suit the mood of what I’m writing. Highly recommend Two Steps From Hell. Cinematic music is very good to write to (do sometimes feel like I need something with lyrics though).

Lee