Friday, November 4, 2016

Pantser vs. Plotter with Amy Sandas of The Untouchable Earl

Pantser versus Plotter

Ah, the age-old question.

Every writer is either one or the other, or some variation in between containing qualities of both. I imagine the last description is probably the truest for most people, though I do know of some rare birds who outline every detail of their WIP and never stray from their plan. And one or two who can sit down with little to no idea of where the story will lead, but with an expectation that they will figure it out as they go.

For a long time, I was a Plotter. I made extensive notes on plot points, characterization, setting, and scenes. I created outlines on plot and did character studies. Everything was laid out in my mind. When I started writing, it was with a clear idea of the story in significant detail. I knew what was going to happen and when, I knew all about the Black Moment and how things would resolve into the Happily Ever After.

In looking back, I think I spent at least twice the time thinking about and planning my stories as I did writing them. I felt I had to get every detail figured out first. If I were to analyze my reasons for this, I would hazard a guess to say it was because I doubted myself. I think I used the planning process as a means of procrastinating the actual writing of the story. But that is probably a topic for another day.
Once I got down to the writing part, I started to realize that one thing about all that planning is that so much of what I thought would be in the story, didn’t make it. The plot would take an unexpected turn or just wouldn’t work logically once I got to a certain point. Or the characters would go off in directions they were never supposed to go. I have pages and pages of notes that look nothing at all like the finished product. Because stories sort of have a way of taking on a life of their own. I blame the characters for most of it.

I struggled with this for a while, spending far too much time trying to force things along the path I had originally envisioned. But a funny thing happened when I tried to push my characters into the mold I thought they belonged in. They rebelled and the story went stagnant.

I had to learn to let go. And once I did, things changed.

Not just my process, which involved a lot less notes and less focus on the plot, but also my situation as an author. Writing under a deadline forced me to make the most of the time I was allotted. I couldn’t waste days or more forcing things to go in a direction that was just not going to work. I had to accept that when things didn’t flow and the story felt off, it’s because it was. I had to trust what my characters wanted and start writing in directions I had never considered going. And I ended up in some pretty cool places.

I can no longer say I am a Plotter, but I am not a pure Pantser, either. Though I still make sure to have a good idea of my story before I start, I do not lock myself in to a specific plan. The most I do before starting a new project is to make sure I know my characters inside and out. I complete worksheets about their backstory, their motivations, their fear, and their dreams. If I run into problems while in the midst of writing, if I feel locked in a corner with nowhere to go, I refer to these worksheets and remind myself who these people are. For me, I now know that the characters drive my stories more than any plotting or planning. As long as I let them lead, they always find a way to claim their Happy Ever After.

27015389The Untouchable Earl 
(Fallen Ladies #2)
by Amy Sandas
Mass Market Paperback, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Original TitleNo More a Lady
ISBN 1492618756
He's a reclusive Earl with a painful secret that's kept him from knowing a lover's touch. She's a sheltered debutante tired of living by society's rules. But when she's forced from the ballroom to the brothel, Lily discovers the dark thrill of falling from grace...and into the arms of a man who could destroy her as easily as he saved her.

Lily Chadwick has spent her life playing the respectable debutante. But when an unscrupulous moneylender snatches her off the street and puts her up for auction at a pleasure house, she finds herself in the possession of a man who fills her with breathless terror and impossible yearning.

Though the Earl of Harte claimed Lily with the highest bid, he hides a painful secret―one that has kept him from knowing the pleasure of a lover's touch. Even the barest brush of skin brings him physical pain, and he's spent his life keeping the world at arm's length. But there's something about Lily that maddens him, bewitches him, compels him...and drives him toward the one woman brave and kind enough to heal his troubled heart.

And don't miss Roderick and Emma's story!

About the Author:
Amy Sandas
Amy Sandas' love of romance began one summer when she stumbled across one of her mother's Barbara Cartland books. Her affinity for writing began with sappy pre-teen poems and led to a Bachelor's degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She lives with her husband and children in Wisconsin. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Due to time constraints we may not be able to personally respond to every comment made, but we do read and appreciate them all. 📚❤️🙂

✋ RBtWBC has a zero-tolerance policy for review harassment and author bashing. Such comments will be deleted at the the blog's discretion.