Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Plantzer Checking In....
No, that is NOT a typo. I both Plot and Pantz; hence my word 'Plantz'.
When I first began writing, I'd start with a basic idea and write whatever the muse/characters whispered in my brain. My version of childhood fairy tales, English assignments, my year-long foray into Sci-Fi followed.
I soon branched into my alter-ego's series and soon discovered the issues dealing with a time-span of five years, plus the lives of six characters. Add to this confusion the fact I wrote the first four books out of order, and suddenly I had a severely mixed-up timeline. I needed a calendar of events.
On a sheet of paper (okay; four sheets!) I listed a vague, month by month outline of what issues each character was facing. Nothing specific; just a one line phrase. For example:
E: Feeling hostile about alcohol counseling
A: Matt comes home; only sees her three times in 2 week period
K: Meets Kyle
G: Nothing yet
C: Back solidly with Bryan
S: Nothing yet
I wrote Wild at Heart and my NaNo project, Teacher's Pet, off the top of my head. I let the characters lead me.
Appetite For Desire and All She Ever Wanted were inspired by a cooking muse (can you tell I was watching waaaaay too much Food Network in 2008, lol?) and started with snippets of conversations and some of my favorite recipes. I knew how each would end; what I didn't know was HOW they would get from sexual tension to HEA.
Three years ago, I began six wips with nothing more than a slight character sketch. Guess what? They all stalled out on Ch 2, because I didn't have a clue where they were going and the characters refused to talk to me.
Edits and marketing for ASEW took over; writing took a back seat.
Off The Clock was a nice surprise, as was the morning a disgruntled worker demanded I write down his words. Model Behavior came to me during an insomniatic night (insomniac??), fully formed: The beginning, Chapters 2-5, and the ending. But before I could finish Ch 3, Class Reunion took over. I knew exactly where the plot was heading, but the details were fuzzy until they showed up at my fingertips. So is it considered to be 'plotted out'? I don't think so, since I didn't know everything my characters would do in order to get to the HEA. And now I'm having the same issues with my 1st attempt at a paranormal. The guidelines have been laid down; they have a week to fall in love or be forever separated. But now the hero has me bogged down with his family issues. I have no idea when my muse will return to sort it all out!
Same for my Zombie story; a character literally threw me a curve ball and now I have to deal with a surprise twist in their relationship. Why can't characters behave? Because then the story would be too boring and predictable? Geez.....
Detailed outline= Plotter
Vague idea= Pantzer
Vague outline+ Vague idea= Plantzer
That's my story and I'm sticking to it:)