Thursday, February 2, 2012

Hello! My Name is Pantser

From where I sit, I see the mist...

The other day I was checking out a blog over on Fresh because of an interview Joan Swan (a debut author of Fever due out at the end of February) was having with Cindy Gerard for a discussion on setting goals and having a book giveaway. I left no comment, as I'm not a registered member. I clicked the link Cindy had posted just to check out what was being discussed and though the book giveaway sounded nice, the thing that stopped me was Joan's take on writing. The very thought has stuck with me for the past few days—

Here is what Joan had to say....
Now, my goal setting techniques are a lot like my plotting techniques. I write (and set goals) into the mist. It's similar to the panster way of writing, but with a tad more structure. The best way to describe it is that I'm standing a point, looking forward. I can only see so far—to where the landscape gets a little fuzzy (that's the mist). I write (or set a goal) to the farthest distance I can see, then set out for it. I know where I am, I know where I'm headed, and if time is an important factor, I have a rough idea of how long it will take me to get there. And somewhere, out there beyond my scope of visibility, is an end point. In a story, that might be the next chapter, the next act or, if we're uber lucky, The End. It's the same with goals for me.
I really like her take on how she writes into the mist. I am a bit more structured when I write, too, though I don't plot at all but I kind of take it as far as I can see into the mist myself and her sentiment really rang true to me, so I just had to share that small gleaning of commonality. Her debut novel also sounds intriguing (title links to the amazon page for it)

Anyway, the first thing this sentiment made me think of was one of my favorite quotes about writing—

It's like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.
~E.L. Doctorow~
It's amazing how often I forget that other authors out there are really, truly just like me. We all are traveling this road to reach similar destinations and I think we all enjoy our own method of getting there. Just as some cannot type a single word without a clearly defined outline, there are also those of us who want to walk into the mist, taking that mysterious journey with our characters as they make the journey as well. Either way, I think that's what is so exciting for us.

Writing revs our engines, fills us with a need for the adventures that lay ahead and whether we use a road map or just jump in the car and drive with only a few little clues as to where we're going, we still know we're going to make it to our chosen destination just the same, with all the little bumpy scenic routes along the way.

This felt very appropriate for this blog today— Into the Mystic—

Here's to lovely travels today my friends. Stop by tomorrow to check out what's on the roster for Fun Feature Friday.


Amy said...

Taryn - I love that quote! Hadn't heard it before, but it's so true! Such a lovely portrayal of our journey as writers!

Great post!

Taryn Raye said...

Glad you enjoyed it Amy and as always, thanks for stopping by! ;)