Friday, August 26, 2011

How do you write?

Do you plan your book? Do you write up an outline? Or are you like me and simply sit down and start telling a story, making it up as you go? I'm a pantser.

I start out with the barest plan - a character, a problem, and a goal. After that, it's anyone's guess what will happen and who you will meet along the way. In my published book, King by Right of Blood and Might, I have a list of characters at the end that is 68 members long. For this story, I created a prince, and then I figured the story would end with him becoming king, but you know, that's kind of a given, a birth right, so I had to have a problem. What kinds of problems can a prince have? I wanted it to be something out of the ordinary.

Whenever we think of a royal family, large or small, we think of 'popular' and 'being involved', so I took all that away. My prince was raised by a father who was terrified of the great outdoors. You've all heard of recluses. So what kind of life would that be? And I made it even worse by fracturing the family within the home. The king saw a few of the villagers and took the occasional report from one or another member of his very small staff, but the queen seldom left her room.

Ok, now the problem had to be solved, and thus began the journey. Yes, he did become king but my what a journey it was, leading much farther than I ever thought.

It was a journey for me too. I'd never written a book before. haha Now I've got over twenty stories, most of them full length novels.

Not too long ago, I met a man (on line) who was also a publisher. I asked if he was interested in a book of mine that could be turned into a trilogy. He said he'd take a look at it, and the greatest part is, he loved it. Book one will be coming out in October.

I created this story in the same way. My prince this time didn't know he was a prince. Not only that, he wasn't living with his real parents, but then he didn't know that little fact either, and the biggest thing, his kingdom was in a different dimension or on a different world - who knows - not even I do. How does he get there? Well, magic of course. How does it end? He becomes king of course, but he doesn't sit on his own throne until the end of book three.

So tell me, how do you write? Are you a pantser like me?

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6 comments:

S.M. Carrière said...

I am most definitely a pantser. I have the protagonist, and the ending of the story. How my character gets to it it completely up to them!

BornStoryteller said...

OK...I thought I was weird with how I wrote. Never heard the term pantser before, but I am that as well.

I am writing my first novel in chapters as they come to me. I also had the beginning and the end written and planned, even though I know I will most likely rewrite the ending. It just gave me something to hold onto. I have "scenes" written out, some sketched out in my head, but no outline. I think it would drive some mad the way I am approaching this.

Congrats on the book trilogy!!!!!

Anna L. Walls said...

Thanks - Yep, there's more of us out there than you think. I too occasionally will write out a scene knowing I'll likely change it when my character actually gets there. I've also been known to go back and add small details to help along some future event. It's not unlike weaving a tapestry.

Tameka said...

This is a good topic. When I wrote my first novel, I was scared out of my wits so I bought books on how to write fiction and followed their guidelines. I did the note card thing and then wrote an outline. Now that I am comfortable and have that first baby out of the oven, I'm more secure and just go with the flow. Thanks for introducing me to a term I hadn't heard of. I guess I am now an pantser too. :-)

http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2011/08/lyric-fire-look-at-my-fabulous-life-episode-3-home-alone-with-vanessa-stone.html

eigroj said...

nice post... i think i am as well a pantser...

Anna L. Walls said...

When I first started writing, I didn't know anything about it. I mean, I even sucked at English class when I was in school. All I knew was how to type and I was pretty rust at that. All I wanted to do was tell a story. Heck, at the time I didn't even consider publication either. Glad you all stop by my blog. You're all awesome people.