Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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wilderness
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by wilderness » July 24th, 2011, 4:14 pm

My weekend thus far:

Friday night: Total breakdown. Crying, shouting, pillow-whacking. Accuse husband of not believing in me. Explain *I* don't believe in me. Will never complete novel: "2nd draft" is turning out to be a complete rewrite, and 3rd won't be any less painful. WASTING MY YOUTH.

Saturday morning: Coffee, deep breaths. Crystallize main theme with help of adoring husband. Ideas, plan of action, and determination!

Saturday afternoon: Stare at blank screen. Regret being a pantser. If only there'd been a plan all along...a convenient outline with all the answers.

Saturday evening: Husband goes out on the town. Stay home to stare at blank screen. Force self to begin writing. Write until stuck. Know where the scene should go but not how to get there.

Sunday morning: In the shower, muse hits. 40 minutes of wasting water later, begin scribbling furiously in journal. Lose 50% of ideas due to no longer being wet. Realize 3rd draft will involve major rewrites, but it shall be BRILLIANT. Am angsty GENIUS.

Sunday afternoon: Read about other pantsers' woes on Bransforums. Am not alone! Rejoice! But man, that polymath is smarter than me. Now back to that scene...

Conclusion: Is there a less painful way to write? Probably, but not for this writer, not for this work, not at this time. Will figure it out the next time around maybe, hopefully....

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polymath
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by polymath » July 24th, 2011, 6:50 pm

wilderness wrote:Sunday afternoon: Read about other pantsers' woes on Bransforums. Am not alone! Rejoice! But man, that polymath is smarter than me. Now back to that scene...
I'm not all that smart. Barely above average on I.Q. testing. Barely okay on SATs and GREs and such. Maybe passionate about writing to the point of answering a life's calling. Maybe a little above average on memory skills too. None of it a gift. All of it a result of a darned lot of hard, dedicated hammer and tong and anvil work and many tears and much beating my head on the anvil.
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wilderness
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by wilderness » July 24th, 2011, 7:01 pm

polymath wrote: I'm not all that smart. Barely above average on I.Q. testing. Barely okay on SATs and GREs and such. Maybe passionate about writing to the point of answering a life's calling. Maybe a little above average on memory skills too. None of it a gift. All of it a result of a darned lot of hard, dedicated hammer and tong and anvil work and many tears and much beating my head on the anvil.
Polymath, if you didn't completely ace those tests, then they must not have been testing the right thing. I've learned so much from your posts.

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CharleeVale
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by CharleeVale » July 24th, 2011, 9:22 pm

wilderness wrote:
Sunday morning: In the shower, muse hits. 40 minutes of wasting water later, begin scribbling furiously in journal. Lose 50% of ideas due to no longer being wet.
AMEN! I know exactly how this feels. Lol.

CV

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Sanderling
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Sanderling » July 24th, 2011, 10:35 pm

wilderness wrote:Lose 50% of ideas due to no longer being wet.
Hahaha. That's totally the truth of it. I want one of these for my shower: http://www.riteintherain.com/
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by washingtonwriter1968 » July 25th, 2011, 11:54 am

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Oh My do I know what you mean! Well I am off to write Thanks again Sanderling!
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by dios4vida » July 25th, 2011, 3:52 pm

Hey Sanderling (and the rest of us shower-inspiration people), if you wanna write in the shower the cheapest way to do it is to get some grease pencils at your local office supply store. Or eyeliner. Either one. You can use them to write directly on your shower walls. The water won't wash it away but it comes off easily with some rubbing alcohol. I've done it for years and it's the best thing ever, if you'll excuse the hyperbole.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

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Cookie
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Cookie » July 25th, 2011, 6:46 pm

wilderness wrote: Sunday morning: In the shower, muse hits. 40 minutes of wasting water later, begin scribbling furiously in journal. Lose 50% of ideas due to no longer being wet. Realize 3rd draft will involve major rewrites, but it shall be BRILLIANT. Am angsty GENIUS.
Waterproof notepads. That way, you can write your brilliant ideas down in the shower AS YOU GET THEM.

This is what I use:http://www.amazon.com/Aquanotes-AquaNot ... 044&sr=8-1

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Sanderling
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Sanderling » July 25th, 2011, 7:36 pm

Great ideas, Brenda and Cookie! I wouldn't have thought of the grease pen, but that's a really easy solution.

I'd never heard of that Aquanotes, either. The Rite-in-the-Rain notepads are something I've used as a biologist when doing surveys outdoors on wet days; I assume the Aquanotes is similar, but actually designed to stick to the shower wall.

I find it amusing that the shower is such a common place for strokes of inspiration that there are actually products marketed for it.
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"Because if you have at least a modicum of talent and if you live by these six rules, you will make it."
--Robert J. Sawyer, speaking here of Heinlein's Rules.

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Cookie
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Cookie » July 25th, 2011, 9:13 pm

I hadn't heard of them either until one day, after being frustrated because all my brilliant ideas went away after I left the shower, I got to thinking how a waterproof notepads would be the greatest invention ever, I looked it up on Amazon and that is what I found. It is not very large, however it works well enough for me.

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dios4vida
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by dios4vida » July 25th, 2011, 10:50 pm

I learned about the grease pencils from author Emma Bull. She lives here in town and she mentioned that method as her salvation for in-the-shower-inspiration. I haven't been able to live without it ever since.

My Mom once told me why people get inspiration in places like the shower and on the toilet. She said that the routine and relaxation of the shower (and the...umm...satisfaction of using the toilet) actually releases a chemical in your brain that makes it super-relaxed for a few minutes, thereby allowing the subconscious mind to work better and idea come to the surface. I guess that's why it's not uncommon to hear about people like us finding the lightning bolt inspirations at those times.
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson

Fenris
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Fenris » August 2nd, 2011, 11:32 am

dios4vida wrote:She said that the routine and relaxation of the shower (and the...umm...satisfaction of using the toilet) actually releases a chemical in your brain that makes it super-relaxed for a few minutes, thereby allowing the subconscious mind to work better and idea come to the surface.
THIS EXPLAINS EVERYTHING. I'm going to have to look up some of the aforementioned products, too...

Also, Watcher: you're absolutely right, being a pantser does take a ton of discipline, even if it's just forcing ourselves to stop chasing rainbows so we can finally pick a path.
Hi, my name's Fenris. I'm a thousand-year-old monster who's broken free to destroy the world. Your kids will love me!

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MattLarkin
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by MattLarkin » August 2nd, 2011, 2:46 pm

dios4vida wrote:
Watcher55 wrote:This is where discipline is important, because it's not as much a matter of self-discipline as it is a matter of applying discipline to the story itself. You have the idea of the story arc, you just have to follow it. Let your characters be who they are but it's your turn to be in charge.
Amen, Watcher. Very well said. Great advice for us all. :)
Seconded. I just wrote that down in my notebook.

Even as a heavy outliner, I like that story arc idea for the initial planning.
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Watcher55
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by Watcher55 » August 2nd, 2011, 3:20 pm

MattLarkin wrote:
dios4vida wrote:
Watcher55 wrote:This is where discipline is important, because it's not as much a matter of self-discipline as it is a matter of applying discipline to the story itself. You have the idea of the story arc, you just have to follow it. Let your characters be who they are but it's your turn to be in charge.
Amen, Watcher. Very well said. Great advice for us all. :)
Seconded. I just wrote that down in my notebook.

Even as a heavy outliner, I like that story arc idea for the initial planning.
I'm flattered, and I'll tell you I got the story arc idea from Straczinsky. If you get a hold of the Babylon 5 series, turn on the commentaries. He talks a lot about his techniques and thought processes.

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MattLarkin
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Re: Here we go again--planners plus pantsers=?

Post by MattLarkin » August 2nd, 2011, 3:46 pm

I loved B5, but only watched commentary on a few of the episodes. Suppose I should watch more commentaries, then.

Edit: Actually, Watcher, can you post to expand a bit on how you write-up story arcs? I'm curious to hear more about what works for others in this regard.
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