Thursday, February 6, 2014

Vicki Batman stops by Penny's Tales with the word for February!


Word for February: Plot

Pantser? Plotter? What’s that?

A Pantser is a writer who writes organically, by the seat of her pants. Her fingers rest on the keyboard, and the words flow from her fingertips. It’s magical.

In contrast, there is the Plotter, someone who creates a detailed outline to work from. Every scene is planned to the nth detail. (I’ve been told the benefit to doing this is the writer actually works faster with less edits.)To me, however, the plotter sounds like an eighth grade English assignment, not magical or fun, but torture.

I’m a Pantser (big surprise). Mostly, I begin with an idea about a character or plot. I know how I want the book to begin and how I want it to end before I put a word on the page. (Kinda like head planning.) I might bank these broken sentences and thoughts in a word doc. Then as they come to me, ideas for scenes are scrambled in the middle. Sorta like this:

Beginning
Scene
Scene
Scene
Black Moment
End

Wait a minute. Oh boy, scratch head, I’m confused. That sounds waayyy more organized than I thought. Am I a Plotter after all? Is the difference Pantsers never preplan and Plotters do? Can someone be both? Will I never sell if I’m not a Plotter?

Help!

Does it matter which? Isn’t what is more important is to put the writing on the paper, not how I plan to get on the paper?

I’m thinking this is an age-old argument, one I’m not going to solve. Because each of our paths are different, we will write in our own way with our own style. What’s important is we write the very best book we can write. That’s what will sell. What’s vital is the writing.

So regardless which you are--Pantser or Plotter--write! I can’t wait to read the next Best Seller.





       Three romantic comedies from sassy writer girl, Vicki Batman. 
 
"Just Desserts": a political dinner gone disastrous brings together a reluctant attendee and her seat-mate.

"Bug Stuff": An accountant unites with his co-worker to fight a pesky adversary.

"With This Ring": When a wife forgets her little black dress, all turns into something utterly romantic and unforgettable in the end.


Find Bug Stuff...and other stories at: http://amzn.to/1cuV6Ry  

Find Vicki at: http://vickibatman.blogspot.com


Bio:
Like some of her characters, award-winning author, Vicki Batman has worked a wide variety of jobs including lifeguard, ride attendant at an amusement park; a hardware store, department store, book store, antique store clerk; administrative assistant in an international real estate firm; and a general “do anything gal” at a financial services firm--the list is endless.

Writing for several years, she has completed three manuscripts, written essays, and sold many short stories to TRUE LOVE, TRUE ROMANCE, TRUE CONFESSIONS, NOBLE ROMANCE PUBLISHING, LONG AND SHORT REVIEWS, MUSEITUP PUBLISHING, and THE WILD ROSE PRESS. She is a member of RWA and several writing groups and chapters. In 2004, she joined DARA and has served in many capacities, including 2009 President. DARA awarded her the Robin Teer Memorial Service Award in 2010.

Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??"

29 comments:

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  2. I completely agree, Vicki. The most important thing about writing, I think, is to learn your style and go with it. That doesn't mean I don't try new techniques. I learn something new about writing every day, but I've found if I try to force things, the words won't come at all.

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    1. Hi, Susan! I think going by my pants works for me because I wasn't trained as a writer. AND those horrid outlines we did in school--ick. But after I write my story, I can go back and do one. Seems to work and we both agree, something on the page over nothing is the way to do it.

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  3. Pantser or plotter! Is it possible to be a bit of both?
    I love the line Most days begin with her hands set to the keyboard and thinking "What if??" - that is me! Great post
    Heather G - The Natasha Saga

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    1. Hi, Heather! What if was natural for me. What if the dog got out? What if there is a bone on the other side of the gate? What if he had to have it? What if he went on an adventure? There is almost no end. Yet it gives us avenues to pursue. Thank you!

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  4. Great post, Vicki! I actually started out as a panster, just allowing the writing to flow. But my first attempt at a full-length novel--a time travel romance--ended up such a mess. I had to do two complete revisions and swore I'd learn how to plot so it wouldn't happen again. Now, I'm a confirmed plotter and have a much happier writing experience, with little if no revision and just a bit of editing to finish up the manuscript.

    I guess, with writing, everyone has to find his or her own way.

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    1. Hi, Susan, and you are so write--we have to find our own way. I think my head knows the right way; so I'll go with it. Hugs, friend.

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  5. Amen to that, Vicki ... it truly does not matter how we get to "the end." What matters is that we write the best darn book we can. I also think I am a bit of each and respect the up and down sides to each panster and plotter :)

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    1. Hi, Florence: then you appreciate what Ms. Lipperman calls Plotster. In my head I know steps, but in my hands stuff spews forth. Hugs, my friend.

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  6. Wow ladies...great comments. I have to have some sort of outline, even thought I rarely stick to it....BUT if I didn't my story would go - Once upon a time, then, they all lived happily ever after!!!

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    1. Hi, Penny! Sometimes, we just need a straight and to the point HEA. A read to make us feel good. I hear the outline people writer faster. Thanks for having me today

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  7. I'm so glad there are no rules that you have to plot or you have to go by the seat of your pants. I would never have written if I had to follow rules. Guess that's why I write what I write.

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    1. Hi, Rayne! I had no idea that pantsters existed until I began and attended a meeting where the speaker spoke about these two. I was jumping up and down (in my head) because I didn't know. I thought I was a bad writer by not outlining. Thanks, friend, for stopping today.

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  8. Hmmm, I think we all have our own style. Probably no two writers approach the task exactly the same way. I am a mix. I started out as a pantser. What if? and off I'd go. But alas, I spent lots of hours rewriting those books. Some may never see print. Now I'm more of a hybrid. I learn little tidbits from speakers, from other writers, from trial and error. I mostly work with a spreadsheet with columns for the different threads that flow thru the book, even one for POV and weather. Is there such a thing as a SPREADSHEETER?

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    1. Hi, Pam and oh my golly, you created a monster. LOL. Yep, those speakers with fancy things have stuff that works for them. I'm just not into it yet. lol

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    2. Well, when you earned your living as an accountant/project manager, your mind just thinks in spreadsheets. Ha.

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  9. I agree with most of you all that it doesn't matter how you get to the end-just that you get there with the best darn book you can write. I see you mentioned me above as a Plotster. That's because I am an OCD plotter--names, research, character profiles and plot points--all on paper before I even write one word. But somewhere through those chapters things change and I end up with a book completely different than what I expected. Even my killer usually changes when I find a better bad guy. And keep doing what you're doing, Ms. Vicki, and putting out these great stories.

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    1. Hi, Ms. Lipperman! You created Plotster and I like it. I have a general idea of things and go with the flow. I like letting my fingers do the talking--waitaminute. I think that line came from a commercial. LOL

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  10. Great post!

    As for me, I just write. One book will be almost all pants. The next I might need a lot more plot. It depends on the book and what the characters are trying to tell me. I suppose I could be all pants, but sometimes I'm scared I'm fighting too much with my characters. Ha!

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    1. Hi, Lani and thank you. I have created books with character pages and time lines, but mostly after the fact to see if what I'd done needed some holes plugged. But over the years, rewriting and editing seem to have done the trick. Often distancing myself from a piece has helped tremendously. We all find our own way. Thanks for posting today. :)

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  11. I am definitely a pantser when I start. But then I try to keep one step ahead with my scenes. And I always think I'm closer to the end than I really am.

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    1. Hi, Janie! A fellow pantser-yeah! You know, I write until no more comes. That's it. The story says when it is done. Maybe that's why I can write short because I'm programmed. lol Thanks, sweetie, for posting.

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  12. Many a fabulous author has your style, Vicki. It's all about knowing where you'll end up, and figuring out how to get there. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Hi, Angela! I think there are a few of us out there from what I've read today and in the past. Yes, we'll get there with persistence and patience. You are great to post too. Hugs,

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  13. Wonderful post Vicki! We all write the way that works for us. It may change over time or even with certain books, but there isn't one right way!

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    1. Hi, Melissa! It's so reaffirming to hear from the commenters how there isn't one right way, but rather, our own way. Thank you.

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  14. Thank you so much, Penny, for hostessing me today. Loved having everyone chat with me. Hugs.

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    1. Absolutely....great turn out and comments!!!

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  15. I'm late to the party (just catching up on non-urgent emails)! I used to be a pantser, but am shifting to a bit more plotting. I'm using a plot board with sticky notes, so it is easy to change or remove scenes/ideas. This way I don't feel locked in, but I also feel like I have a better road map for that first draft. We'll see if I think the final product is better, worse, or just the same!

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