Pantser or Plotter?

My split personality revealed itself to me as I walked
along the shoreline of Lake Huron.

I have always considered myself a pantser. I
blithely write along and hope something good happens—kind of like throwing
spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks, ergo it’s al dente. Don’t get me
wrong; I take my writing very seriously, but I don’t plot.  I trust my Muse (whose name I still must
discover) and my characters. I like writing this way, but it came to a
screeching halt when I began my attempt at a mystery. Oh no, I AM a plotter!

Unlike my historical romances where I had a general
idea of the story arc, my mystery calls for more planning.  I have notes (handwritten pages, sticky
notes, typed sheets saved into files that I cannot find) containing characters’
backgrounds, motives, red herrings, flashbacks, and scenes that need to happen…eventually.
This is like being lost in the Fun House. 
I can’t find my way through the tilting rooms or see clearly in the distorted
mirrors, but, man, I’m having fun.
I have to trust my Muse on this because she inspired
me as I drove along a busy highway with no way to record the first paragraph of
the book she whispered in my ear (see blog post June 21, 2012) and I remembered
it—word for word. The book must be written. So I’m currently about 13,000 words
into The Cavanaugh House, and I love
my characters though I’m not sure the plot moves along fast enough.

But I know this:
I love to write
I write well
Mystery a favorite genre
My Muse (what IS her name?) has never let me down
Challenges keep me young
So stay tuned. 
I will be publishing book number 3 in the near future. It’s HOKBIS time.

6 thoughts on “Pantser or Plotter?

  1. I like that idea, Deborah. No kidding, I was getting out of the shower one day recently (a frequent place of inspiration for some reason…) and wondered what my Muse's name is. I heard "Boris" in my mind. Boris! I think my Muse was teasing, but who knows? A Russian name, Boris means "short" or "wolf".

  2. Shouldn't your muse be something mysterious, like, Absinthia or Morgause? Maybe Circe or Raven. Or Velia which apparently means concealed. Personally, Circe sounds good to me–a siren call.

  3. Interesting suggestions, Betty, and I look forward to your mystery BUT while I admire Peggy's ideas (except Velia, because…I'll tell you all some day about a paraprofessional by that name) Agatha pays homage to a great mystery writer and just seems to fit. Of course it's your muse, and if yout thought it was Boris…I think some of Peggy's names might work for my muse, though, when I get one! 🙂
    Happy Plantsing!

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