Monday, December 16, 2013

WRITING WITH NO PANTS ON

It was uncomfortable at first…
Writing without my pants on, that is…
Usually wearing pants is what inspires me to write.
Today however, I wrote sans pants…
And it was new, it was different. It was great!
But just so you don’t think I’ve gone nudist…
Let me explain.
As a writer you know there are two types of us...
Plotters and pantsers.
For non-writers, being a pantser is writing by the seat of your pants…
Unlike plotters who, well…plot.
I’ve always been a pantser and enjoyed the process…
Letting creativity flow into my head…
From who knows where…
And then letting my fingers type away.
But not anymore.
Why?
For awhile I’ve been working on a manuscript…
One that had been critiqued and somewhat edited before…
But something felt off, just not right, and I didn’t trust.
“Enough!” I said a few months ago…
“I am going to find out what in the hell is wrong with it.”
And so I researched, found a respected editor…
And sent her my manuscript.
The other day, I got the manuscript back.
“You are rambling,” was one of her remarks.
“Portions of the story are going nowhere,” she wrote.
“Get rid of the first eighty pages.”
Now, if you know me…
You would have bet I headed straight for the tequila bottle…
Or a container of mint chocolate chip ice cream…
Or worse...
Threw myself on the bed so I could sleep my insecurity away.
But not this time…
It was if the universe (respected editor)…
Finally gave me the answer I’d been searching for…
And the answer I got back was clear:
While my story was unique, my humor entertaining…
The manuscript wasn't working.
AND I GOT IT!
Summary?
I am in the process of rewriting this story…
But unlike the first go round (pantsing)…
This time I am plotting...
I am thinking through to the end of the story…
I am writing an outline…
Then a synopsis…
The story will remain mostly the same, also the characters…
But before I write another 87,000 words...
I will know if the storyline works.
Oh, and I know you pantsers out there are shaking your head…
But maybe being a pantser works for you…
It just doesn’t work for me.
So, from now until the end of the holidays…
And on into the new year…
I’m dedicating my writing hours to this rewrite…
I will be blogging sometimes, but not much.
I’ll see you next year…
And in the meantime have a fabulous holiday season.
So tell me?
Have you ever written a manuscript from scratch—again?

Always, Em-Musing 
Leigh Caron writes humorous women's fiction.
She lives in Akumal, Mexico and will host a
Spiritual Energy Writer's Retreat in Mexico in 2014



12 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Good for you! Welcome to the world of the outliners. I could not write without an outline.
And yes, I have written a story from scratch - my first book.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

It's frustrating to start over, but better than trying to fix what can't be fixed over and over again.

Samantha Vérant said...

Yep, there's more to life than pants! There is plotting. (I'm trying this too. We shall see...)

Happy Holidays!

Bisous from France!

Anne Gallagher said...

Yes, I've rewritten books several times from scratch. Not fun. Doing it now, as a matter of fact, with a brand new outline. Hopefully, it will be better than it was.

Saw the pics of your trip. Fabulous!

Happy Happy Holidays Leigh!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oiy. That's hard to hear but it will be worth it.

Yes, I did recently rewrite a manuscript. It was the second one I ever wrote so needless to say it had major problems and major rejects. But I always liked the premise so I decided to take it and rewrite it. I kept maybe 60% but the beginning chapters changed for sure. Oh, and I just sold it. So you can do it too!

BECKY said...

Hi! I just became your new follower, but for some reason it wouldn't take my photo....so I'm the first "blank face" person on the last page of followers! I'll try to add my photo again later! Thanks again for stopping and commenting on Jennifer's blog post, too!

Laura Marcella said...

It's very brave to start over on a manuscript. But it's going to be even better! Good luck with your rewrites and edits and have fun!!

PS) I'm a plotter, too! I don't necessarily stick to everything I plan–actually writing the story has a way of inspiring new ideas I hadn't thought of in the planning process, but then I just rewrite the outline.

Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

farawayeyes said...

While I don't have the advice of a respected editor, I've been thinking that my current WIP needs to have the same things happen to it. A basic rewrite from an outline and synopsis. I have far too many places where I'm 'lost in the woods'. Thanks for this bit of encouragement.

Madeline Jane said...

Haha, I've never thought of plotting as writing without pants! Being an outliner is fun, I promise. (Sort of.) ;) If you really want to go hardcore, I'm reading Story Engineering by Larry Brooks right now, and I it's helping my outlining a lot. Good luck!

Gossip_Grl said...

87,000 words sounds exhausting to me, but it sounds like you have a game plan in order.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I have, and though it was really hard to get restarted on it, it was worth it in the end. So much better. Good luck!

Gina Gao said...

I like having outlines when I'm writing things. It gives me a sense of purpose.

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