Going With Your Gut

One of the best things about pantsing is just going with your gut and writing whatever feels right.

What's that saying? Aim for the sky, land in the stars?

Sometimes it goes a bit wrong and you'll write something that doesn't feel right.  Now and then you just have to push on because your confidence is a bit wobbly.  Other times, you better stop what you're doing it and listen to those bad feelings.

Yeah... no, that's not right. Hmmm. How can I fix this (and still look AWESOME)?

My new MS just hit the second major plot development and I think I got so caught up in it today, I rushed too much and it all felt completely wrong.  The story was going in the wrong direction.  It's hard to explain how you know things are wrong when you're a pantser, but I felt like I'd somehow skipped from chapter five to chapter thirty-five.  Plus I hated what was happening.

The problem had to be solved! So I went and reread the most recent passage.  When I saw where the story had veered off course (as much as a 100% pantsed story has a course), I fixed the problem.  And just like that, everything returned to the wonderful flow I've had since I started this story.  PHEW! What a relief!

The other gut feeling I've had concerns my characters' survival. I nearly killed one off but it felt wrong, so he received a stay of execution. Will it last? Who knows! That's the joy of pantsing!

Comments

  1. I am so not a pantser--it's interesting to get a look into your brains. ;)

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    1. You're welcome ;) My brains are particularly squidgy.

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  2. Yep, I'm a pantser most of the time. I do a lot of backtracking to find out where I got lost. :P

    And I laughed out loud at that cat gif. Ha! Such a great metaphor for most of my writing days. :)

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    1. It's an awesome gif and, as you say, sums up writing quite well ;)

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  3. Outliner all the way, though I used to be a pantser. Outlining saves me massive amounts of time during editing. Sometimes I miss the pantser days though. And I've got to tell you, that first video made me laugh so I hard I cried~and then I felt horrible for the poor thing! LOL!

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    1. I recently outlined a story and three pages into the book itself stopped because I couldn't get into it. Pantser foreveeeeer!

      I know, I laughed way too much at the kitten too :P

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  4. I'm becoming more of a panster each time I start a new WiP. I'm finding it a lot easier to write now as a panster because you're not sticking to a set timeline. You have an idea of what's going to happen but there's more freedom for characters to develop in a way you never even thought about or for a plot or scene to go in a certain direction.

    Pansting all the way!

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    1. Hooraaaaaay! Panster high five! :D

      I love the freedom it brings and, like you say, your characters take on a life of their own because they haven't got to stick to a rigid plan. Fun!

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  5. Oh man, I cannot even contemplate the idea of just writing based on my feelings. Feelings are unreliable. :P Yeah, I'm definitely a plotter or at least a planner. I've been planning a story arc covering hundreds of years lately. I have to have the big picture all worked out before I can begin, though I'm more flexible about the smaller picture.

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    1. And I cannot handle extensive planning because I get soooooooo bored.

      I love how we're all so different in our approaches ^_^

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  6. I think I'm a weird hybrid of planner and pantser. I make a really detailed outline of what I want to happen in my story, but then I get writing and it starts to take me in sometimes random directions. So I sort of know what this feels like and it's definitely frustrating. Glad to hear that you were able to sort it all out again! :)

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    1. Sometimes I can be a hybrid, but usually only in the editing phase. Before that, it's all pantsing, all the time.

      Thanks!

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  7. I love that too! Now that I'm a hybrid pantsing-outliner (loose outline with only the major plot points), I'm discovering that joy, but also the frustration. With my thesis, I started taking it one way but when I got it back from my professor he'd struck a line through almost all ten pages I'd turned in. In red ink, no less. After I got over the initial despair, I saw he was right and ended up taking the story in a completely different and WAY more awesome direction. Yay!

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    1. I had a similar experience when my old writing group suggested a huge twist and all of a sudden the whole book made it to the end of a draft. Hooray! :D

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