One of my biggest wishes? When I grow up I want to be a plotter.
In the writing world there is a common question. Are you a plotter or a panster? It’s this idea that there are two types of writers. A “plotter” is someone who meticulously plans their book from start to finish. They have set wordcount goals for each day or week and a schedule to keep and a precise master plan.
Then according to this common generalization, the yin to the plotter’s yang is the “panster.” A panster is a fly by the seat of their pants writer who throws caution to the wind. He or she sits down and just starts typing. Whatever magic spews forth from their fingers is what you get.
I hate pigeon holes. The whole squeezing a round peg into a square hole? Hates it, I do. We do not live in a black and white world. I preach to my kids nearly daily (or at least it feels that way) that stereotypes are wrong. Keep an open mind and do not make assumptions or snap judgements about people.
The one thing all writers have in common? We’re a curious breed. That’s about the only consistent trait I know of. Many, many of us worship the coffee gods (I do! and the coke and chocolate gods as well!), but not all of us do. Many of us get up at the crack of dawn, chain ourselves to our desks and spend hours banging away at the keys, but not all of us writers are able to do that. Many of us have cats, but not all of us.
We each have our own, individual, way of doing things.
Me? Do I have a point behind all this rambling?
I do. I think most authors are a combination of plotter and pantster, black and white, good and evil. I am about 90 percent panster and 10 percent plotter. I wish I had a magic master plan, but I don’t. Most days I can barely hang on to my kids (it’s a wonder I haven’t forgotten them in some random grocery store or mall…), my sanity and my checkbook (my kids can seriously put away some pizza!). If I’m not working at the evil nightshift job or wrangling my kids, I’m writing or sleeping. Maybe doing a load of laundry. Truly that’s the story of my life, or at least this chapter.
I know the ending of Catching Cara is a bit of a jaw-dropper. I was shocked when I got there AND knew it would get me in trouble. If I changed it or forced it to become something it wasn’t meant to be, I guarantee I’ll regret it later. I refuse to give away spoilers or (because I am mostly a panster) restrict what might or might not happen in book 3 of Dark Horse Inc. When writing Joe and Cara’s story I found that their story leads immediately into Rick and Leigh’s. I had a very hard time separating the two. VERY hard. Because I am 90 percent panster I have NO idea exactly what is going to happen in Rick and Leigh’s book. I have some vague ideas and I know there are things that need to be tied up. I actually have a written list and am keeping track. For all of my seemingly scatterbrained tendencies, I am a fanantical note-taker. But I write in a very fluid world. Often what I think is going to happen, doesn’t. My characters surprise me daily. Example? Joe and Cara’s race scene. I thought for sure I knew what would happen. I KNEW who would win. But I was SO wrong. (Nope, not going to spoil it.)
I have to follow my gut when I write. It’s what guides me through the chaos. It’s become my number one rule.
I will say this about book three. It starts off with a bang. Yes, I have started it. No other character has come at me so strongly as Rick has and that’s a scary thing for me. I pray I can capture a quarter of his emotions on the page. Seriously.
So to wrap up my ginormous ramble! Yes, Rick and Leigh are coming next. No, I do not have a title yet-I’m afraid to commit now when something better might come along later. There are a couple of obvious ideas but who knows? Yes, I plan to write more Dark Horse Inc. books after. Something is lurking for James and Noah but I have NO idea what yet. (Truly it’s a mess in my head…writing straightens the chaos) And there is no telling what may come after that.
Can I ask a little favor of you? No matter your feelings on the books, whether you love or hate them? I value your honest opinions and readers are welcome to share their opinions whether they be positive or negative. Please don’t be a spoiler and ruin them for others. Whether that be here, reviews, Goodreads…wherever. That’s all I ask. Okay. I could use a little patience but I know I left everyone hanging so that one might be a stretch, lol.
*quick side note* – I have a small part in something coming up. My part in it is already done. Has been for a bit now. Rick and Leigh are my sole focus. So don’t panic if you see something else with my name on it. It’s already written and off my desk. (And it’s good! You just might enjoy it too!)
Thank you for going on this ride with me!