August 20, 2013

Calling All Pantsers!

Close up of blue jeans with text: Calling All Pantsers

I’m afraid I don’t have much of a post here today, but I have a good excuse—with news to help writers. *smile*

First, I have a guest post over at Paranormal Unbound, where Angela Quarles and I discuss the subtext in paranormal stories. What does it mean for the romance if the couple is “fated” to be together? What’s the danger of using the “love at first sight” trope? How does the subtext change if the couple remains two different species at the end of the story? If you love subtext or paranormal stories, be sure to check it out!

Secondly, if you write by the seat of your pants (or if you want to avoid over-plotting your stories), you’ll want to check out the second project that’s been keeping me busy. Registration is now open for my “Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writer’s Guide to Plotting a Story” workshop.

Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writer’s Guide to Plotting a Story

Do you write by the seat of your pants?
Do you want to write faster?

This workshop teaches a minimalist approach to story development to accommodate “pantsers” (those who write by the seat of their pants) while still establishing the big picture for the plot and character arc. By the end of this class, students will have enough direction to make “Fast Drafting” techniques work for them. Students will receive several tools (worksheets and beat sheets) developed especially for pantsers.

Anyone who has seen my beat sheets and worksheets for writers knows I love story structure, and this class received great reviews when I offered it last year (yes, I offer this class only about once a year—be warned), so I’m downright giddy to open it for registration again.

“Jami Gold is not only the master of structure and plotting spreadsheets, she’s also the master at taking all those books on craft and rolling them into a single, easy, cohesive plan.” — Melinda Collins

“I’ve taken a couple of webinars from Writer’s Digest previously, and this class compares favorably with them. In fact, I’d say that this one is my favorite of all the web-classes I’ve taken.” — Teresa Robeson

I jokingly refer to this workshop as my “plotting for pantsers” class, but it’s really about how to plan our stories at a high level and work our way down only as much as we need to. Attendees receive exclusive tools to step them through a unique process that allows pantsers to plan “just enough” to keep both their freaking-out inner editor and their diva muse happy.

I’ve even heard from plotters that they find the method useful too. Bonus!

Many people signed up to hear when registration opened again, so apparently I’m not the only one who thought a “plan just enough” method would be helpful. Those who left comments on my workshops page should have an email waiting for them with all the details (and special pricing!).

Readers of my blog can get $15 off by using the promo code: savethepants. (*psst* My newsletter subscribers will receive a special link for additional savings.)

And don’t forget to check out my guest post with Angela Quarles over on Paranormal Unbound. *whew* Yep, I’ve been busy. *smile*

Registration is currently open for my workshop on how to do just enough story development to write faster, while not giving our pantsing muse hives. Interested? Sign up for “Lost Your Pants? The Impatient Writers Guide to Plotting a Story.” (Blog readers: Use Promo Code “savethepants” to save $15 on registration.)

Do you consider yourself a plotter or a pantser? Has pantsing ever worked for you? If so, how did you make the story come together? Is this an extra busy time of the year for you too? (And is anyone else excited about this class, or is it just me? *snicker*)

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Comments — What do you think?

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Teresa Robeson

Yay! I’m the first commenter, which is great because then everyone will have to scroll past my comment where I urge them to TAKE YOUR CLASS!!! 🙂

Seriously, this is one of the best classes ever! I think people will learn lots even if they aren’t pantsers, but as a pantser myself, I absolutely loved the class.

That’s all. Back to lurking… LOL!

Stephen del Mar

Off to read the post about subtext now. Sounds exactly like what I need for a short I’m working on now.

Serena Yung
Serena Yung

Ooh I like the question of: will the subtext change if the hero and heroine remain two different species by the end of the story? 😀 (I love it when they do stay different species. It’s kind of more romantic to me.) As for pantsing, what I do nowadays is that I write until I can’t write anymore, or when the things coming into my head are getting dry. Then I brainstorm what happens next, as well as what plot events come later on in the story. Sometimes I brainstorm what climax scenes there will be–and sometimes even the ending. The brainstorming also includes character details (e.g. their interests) sometimes, subplots, character relationships, and the like. For the brainstorming, I have a bag of little paper slips, each with a word on them (usually names of objects), and I draw some words out of it. (I think I told you about this already?) I write down the bunch of words I get from the “lucky draw” on the page in a scattered way (i.e. not a neat descending list), and see if one or more of those words can give me clues as to what happens next, or what happens further on, etc. Sometimes I use an online random word generator for the same purpose. I also have another type of random word generator smart phone app that gives you a random made-up word, like “dupsyomush”. That’s gibberish, but sometimes I see little parts of the word or even single…  — Read More »

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