Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lack of Planning = ME!


Funny thing:

I'd decided to "pre-plan" my blogs this year. Each weekend, I'd write my Monday, Wednesday and Friday blog to help me manage my time during the week.

Last weekend, I cracked my knuckles and got started. I was SO very excited to get Monday and Wednesday's blog done... didn't quite make it to Friday's but 2 out of 3 is progress right?

Well... Monday I decided I didn't like the blog I wrote for Wednesday, so I'm rewriting it. Blah, so much for that attempt!

But... my "pre-planning" fumble made me smile, because it is JUST LIKE ME!

If you know me at all as a writer (and really, as a human being too) you know that I do many things seat of the pants. I write that way, I go about life that way. I like to be organized and have everything planned ahead of time, but I only succeed at it about 20% of the time. The rest of the time I wing it.

I've decided though, after years of berating myself for this habit, to embrace it. It's how God made me, and really, who am I to mess with the Master? (I realize there are many holes in this theology... just humor me today okay?)

The thing is, plans are boring. If you have everything mapped out ahead of time, know exactly what you are doing, when, where, why, and how... well, it leaves very little to the imagination. You know what to expect. But being spontaneous... now that can be FUN! ***Krista note*** It can also be VERY stressful at times!

That's how I am with my writing. I have an "idea" for a book. Usually it starts as one thing, either a setting, a major plot point, or a really cooky character. Then I add a little spice, a little sugar, a little pizazz, and when I have just enough, I start my book. As I write, more bits come to me, the plot deepens, the characters become real. My heart starts to pound faster at the story shaping up. I write faster too, because I want to know what's going to happen next... because many times I have ZERO clue.

You plotters out there are hyperventalating at the thought of this, I understand. But isn't it cool how God makes us all different, and we all have different methods to our madness?

Discussion: Are you a plotter or a pantster? Or somewhere in between? Does your need to "plot" mirror your need for planning in your "real" life.... and conversely, does your "pantster" status give away your "Seize the Day" mentality of your non-writer interactions?

16 comments:

dirtywhitecandy said...

Plotter, definitely! Because I have an extremely overactive imagination, and if I don't plan where I need to take a story I will make up hectares of unusable nonsense! The only time I tried to write with no idea where I was going, I ground to a halt after 60,000 words, having got the characters into a desperate and totally unsolvable muddle!

As to your other question, I suppose I do try to plan things in real life - and then usually torpedo them by doing something whacky instead. My imagination is really quite badly behaved.

Katie Ganshert said...

Yes, that makes me hyperventilate. And yes, it's SO cool how God creates us so differently. I'm a plotter, plotter, plotter. Mad, insane plotter. My cretivity and impusliveness comes while I create the outline, which is very detailed.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I pre-write my blogs but half the time something will come up that I want to talk about and I end up saving the one I already wrote for another day. LOL

I am a "loose" plotter. I need a general outline and a few details then some of it develops as I write.

Georgiana said...

How fun--you live life by the seat of your pants!

As for me, I'm mostly a plotter, but I leave room for surprises. I never thought about the correlation to life, but it's so true!

Jessica said...

LOL I'm SO like you! Total pantser. I like to have an idea of where the story is going and about the character's background, but that's it.
As for everday life, I hate being bogged down by plans and commitments. I hate to be busy too. So I do have a planner that I write things in, and I am organized with a clean house, but it's all done as I go through the day, with not much preplanning. Like you said, that takes the fun out of things. *grin*

(I am, however, extremely anal about naps and bedtime. LOL)

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Panster! I start with nothing and progress with nothing. A few chapters in I get something and try to run with it. Sometimes that gives me a word or image for each chapter. Sometimes. And then the characters change it up on me. It's fun (frustrating)!

T. Anne said...

I'm a plotter. The panster in me is far too lazy to achieve any goals lol. She's does her best work at the mall.

Susan R. Mills said...

Funny ...I posted about the same thing today. One of my goals for the new year is to plan a little more. Maybe I'll learn that I'm no good at planning and end up embracing my pantster ways like you. :)

CMOM Productions said...

I'm a mix when it comes to writing. When it comes to life, I'm organized and plan some things out, but not every little detail. However, making plans often keeps me motivated.

Erica Vetsch said...

Plot, organize, plan, then sit back and see what happens, because it RARELY actually goes as I thought it would...both in writing and in life. :)

Jody Hedlund said...

*Breathes deeply into bag* Um, yes! Okay, think I'm under control again. Oh wait, hyperventilating again. *Another deep breath into brown bag*

There. I admit. I'm no fun. I'm absolutely dead boring. ;-)

Seriously. I do think we should embrace how God made us. He doesn't make mistakes and so we need to love and accept ourselves for the way we are!

Kaye Dacus said...

The irony for me is that in life, I like to have everything planned out to the nth degree---I don't like surprised, and I'm definitely not one who lives for spontaneity.

However, though I have to have a somewhat plotted synopsis written to sell my books now, I usually find myself sticking to it only at the very basic level of the story and letting the characters guide me through it, still being surprised by things as they come up.

Of course, writing romance, it's great for me that I have a basic structure on which to form my story (meet, fall in love, lose, reunite, live happily ever after). I think that's what keeps me from going absolutely insane from not knowing exactly what's going to happen next---because I still know where I'm supposed to be going.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Krista -

I'm definitely a pantser, but struggling to learn how to do a minimal amount of plotting. I'm trying the Snowflake method with my next book - enough to give me some kind of direction - yet still give me room for creativity.

As far as blogging, I stay a month ahead of schedule. I've had too many life interruptions over the past several years to feel comfortable winging it. Besides, all those ideas pile up and start fighting with each other to get out of my head.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Patti Lacy said...

LOVE this post as I'm an amalgamation of both!

That image captures my heart, as you described, then I start thinking about Moral Premise, or as my agent so aptly puts it, "What is the What?" Eight great steps in that book, The Moral Premise, REALLY help with plotting, even for a smarty pants soper.

Blessings!
Patti
www.pattilacy.com/blog

Eileen Astels Watson said...

I'm a panster like you, Krista, but apparantly much lazier. LOL. If I didn't like I post I pre-wrote, I might tweek it, but re-write it, no way!!

Better luck next weekend with getting all three posts written!!

Wellington Grey said...

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I'm a professional time management coach and would love to help you out. The first session is free, so let's get in touch.