As I embark on the editing process with Book 2 of my Sealed With a Kiss series, I came to a rather startling conclusion two weeks ago.
I don’t want to be a pantster anymore.
Shocking, I know. I’ll give you a moment to collect yourselves. Yeah, yeah, I know—this news probably not as shocking for you as it is for me. But truly, this is a huge deal for me as a writer. It is not so much just a change in strategy, as it is an entire paradigm shift in how I approach writing.
Pantstering (wow—now I’m really making up words, lol) is how I have written since I first sat down in front of the computer to tell a story three years ago, and it is how I have identified myself for the last year and a half as I have learned how to be a professional writer. It’s what gets my blood going when I sit down in front of an empty page, the endless possibilities of which racing through my mind.
But… here’s the rub. As much as I love the writing-by-the-seat-of-my-pants thing, I really hate the revising-seventeen-times-to-get-it-right thing. After all, I may have sold my first book, but after the endless edits it required, I might have well have written three more in the time it took to fix the thing.
And now, as I stare in the firebreathing face of my first professional deadline, I’ve decided I kinda want to know that all those loose ends get tied up tidily. I want to pull the reader along in a well-thought-out story arc, where the character growth is subtle but purposeful, and, quite frankly, I don’t want to be sick to death of my own story by the time I'm done.
So, thus begins my foray into becoming a plotter…er, rather a plotster. (I can’t change myself completely, after all!). After the fantastic workshop by Cherry Adair, which led to me reading the fantastic book by Debra Dixon, GOAL, MOTIVATION, CONFLICT, which led to some rather fantastic epiphanies about how I wanted my story to go, I am ready to give it the old college try.
Today, after two weeks of plotting, brainstorming, and character mapping, I am set to begin the rewrites of Book 2. My goal is to go into this revision with such a flawless gameplan, I’ll emerge on the other side with a fantabulous book.
That’s the plan anyway, lol.
I’ll keep you updated as to whether my characters cooperate or not. So tell me, are you a Plotter, a Plotster, or a Pantster? Have you ever changed your methods, changing tactics after years of using the opposite method? Will Ava Stone and Lydia Dare turn their backs on me know that I have gone to the dark side, lol? ;)