Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Plotter or Pantser?

This month it's my first birthday as a writer. I started Fait Accompli in April 2010, so I'm pretty much a toddler now, blundering around the internet learning things that everybody else knew already. Before I started writing novel #2, the WiP, aka Write Your Name, I decided that I needed to be more organised about writing. I needed a plan, I needed lists (I'm a compulsive list maker), I needed to plot my novel from start to finish. And when this grand master plan (probably colour-coded; I'm a compulsive colour-coder) was complete, then, and only then, could I begin Chapter 1, safe in the knowledge that I was completely in control (also a control-freak.)

Cue complete change in plot circa Chapter 3. We're talking the actual genre of the book type change. We're talking an additional POV character. Now I love the new direction this story is taking, don't get me wrong. My new plot makes me beyond excited. But I am, in life, a plotter (not the devious kind, well, not much.) I think ahead, I make lists, I'm organised. Spontaneous? Not so much. Surprises? No thanks. But when it comes to writing, I'm beginning to think that I'm a pantser hiding in plotter's clothing.

The farthest ahead I've managed to 'plot' so far is three chapters. But that's not really plotting is it. It's not fully pantsing either. So what am I? A plontser? A plantter? How far ahead do you plan your writing? 

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

(Mis)adventures with querying

There I am. Standing in the library at my son's school. It's parent's evening, and yes, I'm very interested in his academic progress. I'm also having trouble dragging my eyes away from a book on the shelf. It's by Diana Wynne-Jones, and her agent has just requested a partial on my first novel. I can't wipe the stupid grin off my face (though I really should. My son hasn't been particularly devoted to his studies.) There's something cool about the fact that this book and I are linked (albeit in a spectacularly tenuous way.) An agent, a real live agent, is reading my work!

So now I have two partials out there, floating around in the magical arena inhabited by agents (otherwise known as London and New York.) And even if they both turn me down, I'll still be grinning like an idiot, sending out another batch of queries, and working on the new love of my life (otherwise known as the WiP.)