One Legged Panster

DaveK's picture

I'm thinking about do NaNo this year and would need to start planning a novel very soon. But instead I'm writing this. I do like the idea of plotting the story line and maybe even getting to the point where I have each scene plotted. I started thinking about the snowflake method. It's a detailed outlining guide in which you start at the one sentence idea and end up with a complete scene by scene outline and fully developed characters. I tried it by never got too far. I even made a spreadsheet in which each page is a step in the process and one sheet flows to the next so it doesn't require double entries. Today I realized that I get stopped by the character pages. Normally I would just make some snide comment about disliking people and move on. But a forum I was reading was also talking about the outlining vs pantsing issue and I realized that while I do like to do a bit of outlining for the plot and story logic I don't for the characters.

I thought about my painting attempts. There I tend to be very tight, realistic, for the image but not so much for the color. In a lot of painting forums there is a lot of discussion about getting the correct shade but suggest the use of a large brush so that the form be left rough.

Which leads to the title of this posting. I'm half outliner/tight developer and half panster. Some might say I'm a half ass-ed writer. I do wonder how unique that is. Does everyone lump character development and plot development together? Some stuff that I've read indicates that people develop characters and then put them in some situation and write what happens. Of course I'm the opposite.

Enough of this. If I'm going to make a valid attempt at Nano I need to get some story plotting done. I finally did come up with a true SF idea for the attempt. It's an alien invasion story that attempts to give a logical reason for aliens to invade. Oh, and the aliens are humans.


Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Well done on making your W1S1

Well done on making your W1S1 goal this time.

Good luck with the nano

Good luck with the nano project. I'm going to try to join you informally (reworking a novel I hafl-finished years ago, so not technically a nanowrimo, but I'm going to push to get it done in six weeks). This is an interesting post. I'm more of a character writer myself. Plot is difficult for me. I like creating flawed people and finding a situation to reveal them growing, but as for "stuff happening" I've had difficulty keeping it interesting in the past. Flash fiction has taught me to keep my scenes spare, the tention taut. I'm hoping that will help as I have another go at this novel thing. If each scene carries the reader, the whole novel will as well, right? :-] That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Congralations on making your W1S1 goal for October.

I love the "one-legged

I love the "one-legged pantser" concept. I'm in the same boat: a half-pantser-half-plotter going into NaNoWriMo with less outlined than I'd like and fairly hazy character ideas. I'm still looking forward to the adventure though. Best of luck with your SF project, and congrats on meeting your W1S1 goals!

I'm definitely half-pantser,

I'm definitely half-pantser, half-plotter with my long fiction; with the short stuff, I just wing it. Way to go on meeting and beating your October W1S1 goals!


How far have you got,

How far have you got, Dave?

And swinging buy to say congratulations on hitting the October W1S!.


I've never managed to outline

I've never managed to outline a novel. Mostly because I rarely know what is going to happen in the middle... or on occasion the end. It's a problem LOL Someday I want to try an outline but not this month Eye-wink

Good luck with your NaNo novel.

~ Rhonda Parrish

Congrats on meeting your W1S1

Congrats on meeting your W1S1 goals and good luck with your novel planning/writing.

~Jeff Chapman


The one legged panster might

The one legged panster might not fully be a science fiction novel creation. An animal resembling the same used to roam the earth surface during the historic times. This page gives a very good description of its creation in the fiction and the explanations to it.