“Spontaneous” or “When Plotters Get Pantsed”

Thus far in my illustrious blogging career, I’ve generally done my best to stay ahead of my own game by stockpiling posts well advance of actually posting them. That way, if I ever found myself in a stretch of days – or even weeks – where I couldn’t find time to write new material for Ever On Word, not to worry, I’d simply put up the piece I’d had scheduled for this particular day since a month ago.

            It’s a good system, if one can manage it, and has served me well since September. But today I find myself feeling rather “unconstrained and unstudied in manner or behavior”, so I’m writing on impulse, with no clear idea of where this post is going to go, and with the intention to post it for your view immediately afterward (well, following a reread to check for typos, of course).

            Now, for a lot of bloggers, the type-and-post method is nothing out of the ordinary. For whatever reasons of their own, that’s simply the way they prefer to do things. Me? I prefer to plan. I like knowing what’s to come with time to spare, so I can work around it, or prepare for it, or at the very least just know. This goes for life, and since it’s such a huge part of my life, it goes for my writing, too.

            Off in the world of NaNoWriMo, they’ve got a word for people like me. They call us the Plotters – those who like to outline their novel’s plot and learn the bios of the characters and perhaps even work out a chapter-by-chapter idea of where the story will go before they put down a letter toward their word-count goal. That’s me, all right. Prep work and self-imposed guidelines are my friends, as I further explained (oh, wow, over a year ago!) in a piece entitled “Staying Within the Lines” (a part of my “The Making Of…” series of Facebook notes for my “Ballad of Allyn-a-Dale” page).

            Then there’s the other group: The Pantsers. These are the ones whose decision to write a NaNo novel might not have been made until November 3rd, but since they don’t require (or even do best without) a month of prep work, they can just go, trusting the story to build itself along the way.

            There’s something to be said for both sides – for knowing how to plan, and for knowing how to improvise. And particularly for control freaks like me, it’s probably good, every now and again, to look for low-pressure opportunities to practice leaving our comfort zone and just go with the flow, just to remind ourselves that we can operate on the spur of the moment without the sky falling or time exploding or our heads getting bashed in by some abnormal forestland’s creature’s magical stone.

Because “spontaneous” and “random” go hand-in-hand, that’s why.

            So that’s what this blog piece has been: Me pulling a Panster-like type-and-post, and not getting brained by a rock for it. Be encouraged, my friends.

12 thoughts on ““Spontaneous” or “When Plotters Get Pantsed”

  1. Poor random forest walker. 😦

    Hey, I tried pantsing this Nano! I’m usually a plotter who often tries to be a pantser, but usually when I go by my pants, I FAIL, which is sad. Because, I’m also one with a short attention span who hates structure. (So, for me to sit down and write a full outline of a story…fat chance! And chances are, halfway through the story, it will veer off in a different direction and my outline will not be quite an accurate outline anymore and…well, you get it.)

    It’s sad, like a composer trying to be a minstrel.

    • Oh, the forest walker was asking for it.
      Seriously, I was trying to decide who should be the victim in the pic’s scenario, and that character said, and I quote, “Bring it on.” Some people will do anything for an extra bit of attention.

      Ooh, man, pantsing for NaNo. That’s a little more than I feel I could safely handle. But you were successful this past year, aye? Tell us, how did it feel to fly across the 50K mark by the seat of your hard-to-find skinny jeans? *thrusts microphone under your nose*

      As for the composer/minstrel comparison… I will not cry in my blog comments, I will not cry in my blog comments, I will not– *unmanly sobs*

  2. Wow, dedication for stockpiling posts for a rainy day! I think it’s a wonderful idea and I wish I had that much juice in me! I just panic when it comes to three or four days without posting and just hope I can fashion something up. Your system, however, makes infinitely more sense and next time I have a spare day, I shall write a whole bunch and preserve my sanity! Cheers!

    • Cheers indeed for sanity preservation! Mind you, Louise, your fashion-in-a-panic system has tended to produce some enjoyable posts, from what I’ve experienced. There is much to be said, however, for having some breathing room for emergengies. Strike while the creative juices are hot, I say!

  3. Gotta type-and-post. If it sits, I decide I don’t like it and then chicken out. I have more than a handful of drafts (wanna-be’s) The posts aren’t that much better, but they’re already outted.

    • Lol — brave, Band-aid-ripper type, eh? Well, whatever gets your work out there. Writing’s twice as nice when shared.
      Thanks for popping in!

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