Friday, 14 January 2011

What Am I? Plotter or Pantser?

Today, I'm doing nothing because it's my birthday and Rufus is keen to get started on my feet. So I'm handing today's blog over to lovely author, Rachel Brimble. Hello and welcome!

First of all, thank you so much, Rachel for having me here today! I really feel as though we have become good friends in a such a short amount of time, it’s great. Cannot wait for Storm’s Heart to be released, I will be first in the queue – and what a fabulous cover! Sexy!

I thought I’d blog about the theory of Plotter vs Pantser on my visit today – the reason? Well, as a staunch plotter for the first six years of my writing endeavours, I thought I would never become a pantser but over the last twelve months or so, I am rapidly becoming exactly that. And I love it!

For any aspiring writers reading this, there is absolutely no right or wrong way to write – as long as we are getting the words on the page, we are bona fide writers. Full stop.

The change for me came after book number five, ‘Getting It Right This Time’ (which incidentally is my next release – available for download from Monday January 17th, plug, plug, plug!).

Having already having four published novels under my belt, I thought I had a handle on my writing process – I came up with the premise, wrote the synopsis (which I always draft first so I have a skeleton to work with when I finish the novel – I hate writing them!) and then finally, a chapter breakdown. Yes, I was a TOTAL plotter!

But for books six and seven, I kept hearing fellow romance writer, Julie Cohen’s vital advice going around and around in my head – “allow yourself to write a crap first draft.” And so I wholly embraced this logic and my entire writing process changed overnight. Now I start with the premise, write a two-page synopsis and then write the story as it comes to me.

The second draft is often a deep and intense editing process but I love working this way and have managed to produce more work than I ever have before – and most importantly work that has sold, yay! (Book six will be out later this year).

Here’s the blurb & buy link (if you feel so inclined!) for Getting It Right This Time – enjoy!

Two years after her husband’s death, Kate Marshall returns home seeking security and stability for her three-year-old daughter. But when her path crosses with ‘the one who got away’…her husband’s best friend, she has to fight the desire to be with him for the sake of further heartbreak for her and her daughter.

A tough, straight talking theatrical agent, Mark Johnston is dangerously handsome, exceedingly rich, irresistibly charming – and branded by the tabloids as one of the UK’s most eligible bachelors. So even though Mark lost the girl of his dreams to his best friend, he finds no hardship in being single. Or so he thought.

Determined not to lose her a second time, Mark has to find a way to convince her they can work. But can Kate cope with the media interest and ruthless, money-hungry clients surrounding him, being anywhere near her daughter? Or accept that Mark Johnston is really the family man he claims to be?

Rachel Brimble, you are an absolute darling, and the cover of Getting It Right This Time is stunning. Not sure how I'm going to be able to wait until January 17th to read it though! I will have to distract myself somehow ... Just a little harder, Rufus, yes, that's better.


rhiannon.perezhiedra said...

Happy Birthday Rachel hope you have a relaxing day and get lots of lovely goodies :o)


Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Thanks, Rhiannon, you're a sweetie. X

Stephanie_C said...

How interesting that Rachel Brimble is changing from plotter to pantser. I seem to be heading the other way. Odd...

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Stephanie, I was a pantser,and got nowhere. Tried plotting and 'sold'. Not sure what will happen next! Will probably get knickers (aka pants) in a twist and revel in a dirty draft!

Nice to see you here!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Good call. I wish I could plot beforehand. Alas, I generally have a broad outline and them pants my way to the end.

Rachel Brimble said...

The dirty draft is highly recommended, ladies! ; )

It's weird how things have worked out for me - I think it is more a confidence thing on my part than anything else. The idea of plotting right down to knowing what would go into each chapter helped me loads in the beginning, but now I trust my instinct a lot more.

Does that makes sense?? Hope so...

Rachel x

Vonnie Davis said...

Great post. I am most definitely a pantser...big though they may be. I start with an idea and plow ahead, waiting for that magical moment when my characters take over. Sometimes the wait is longer than I like, but, hey, it works for me. Much luck to you. Love your book cover.

Rachel, have a marvelous birthday!

Sondrae Bennett said...

Good post. I'm a mix between plotter and pantser. Story line wise, I'm a total pantser. But I think it's so interesting to hear how other people write, and I love how there's no right way to do it.

Sarah Grimm said...

Great blog post, Rachel. I'm a pantser. Always have been and can't see myself changing. But as you stated, there is no right or wrong way to write. Anyway that works to get words on the page. :)

Getting it Right This Time sounds wonderful. I, for one, will be chacking it out.

Rachel Brimble said...

Lovely to see you Vonnie, Sondrae & Sarah! Isn't it great to hear how other writers work? We are all so different but we all manage to finish a manuscript every now and then ; ). Fabulous!

I forgot to tell Rachel that I want to give away a signed paperback copy of one of my books - winner's choice!

Everyone's name is in the bag, good luck!

R x

Sally Clements said...

Happy Birthday, Rachel L! Hi Rachel B! Great post. It is interesting how altering your way of working can help isn't it? I'm a pantster, but I've forced myself to try to plot more, so now I jot down turning points and a resolution before I start, then write a scenes list AFTER I've written them. This provides a quick and easy way for me to see the book in micro, and a framework for a second draft. The idea of writing a synopsis before writing the book.... (faints)

Rachel Lynne said...

Hi Rachel (s), my daughter says I'm starting a Rachel Club :)
I started out as a pantser, discovered after 35k that my story was going nowhere and took a plotting course. Then I managed to write Ring of Lies; though I didn't plot past chapter 7. Now, with my current wip, Broken Chords, I plotted all the way to the end and even have bits of dialog on the plotline BUT, I can't seem to get the stinkin' thing done so I'm rethinking this whole plotting thing ... I may have over plotted? If that's possible then I surely did it!
Might have to take a leaf out of your book, Rachel, and throw out a 'dirty draft'!
Can't wait for Getting it Right This Time!

Rachel Brimble said...

Hi Sally & Rachel!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting - I cannot recommend the 'dirty draft' highly enough, LOL!

You're in the bag for the draw of a free book. Ms Lyndhurst? When would you like me to do the draw? Today, tomorrow? Let me know, chicken!


Kerri Williams writer of romance said...

I'm a wannabe plotter- I start with a plot and outline and so on and then as I get half way when I realise I have steered away from the outline altogether, lol.
Congrats on number 6 and great cover!

Rachel Lyndhurst said...

Thanks to EVERYONE for visiting and for the kind birthday wishes, it's been great! Think I could get used to having all these lovely guests - bring more champagne, Rufus!!

And Ms Brimble, do the draw asap! Can I go in the bag? Can I? Pretty please?


Rachel Brimble said...

We have a winner!!

My lovely daughter has picked Sally Clements from the hat of commenters, yay!

I have contacted Sally directly for her choice. Thank you all so much for your fabulous comments.

R x

Sally Clements said...

Yay! Thanks R & R!!