To Plot or to Pant, that is the question

Patricia Davids here, wishing you a very happy 4th of July holiday.

Dear Plotters.

I am one of your ranks. I plot before I write. I plot while I write and sometimes I continue plotting after the book is done and I must go back and fix the weak plot.

Dear Panters.

I an one of your ranks. I write by the seat of my pants all the way through a book.

What's that you say? I can't have it both ways?

I'll tell you what General Anthony Clement McAuliffe told the Germans when they asked for his surrender at the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. And I quote. "Nuts."

Nuts. I can have it both ways and I do. My plotted synopsis of a 60,000 word book is normally around 3000 words. That's the plot in a nut shell. What he wants, what she wants, why they can't have it, how they work together, how they start to fall in love, how his friends and her friends aid them or mess things up for them, how they find the courage to change and say, "I love you." That is the plot.

You know what that leaves? 57,000 words I have to come up with by the seat of my pants. No plot, no matter how good, makes a book. It can make or break a good story, but it's only the bones.

I adore Thor, but I'm sure his skeleton wouldn't do it for me. It's the muscles, the blond hair, that wicked smile, those eyes, and did I say those muscles? It's what is covering his bones that make him so awesome. Creating wonderful characters is done by the seat of my pants.

To plot is good, to create is divine.
Happy Independence Day.


Joan Vincent said...

Pat, I think most of us are some combination of plotter and pantser. The Thor analogy is right on. Happy 4th to you too!