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plotter vs. pantser

Does Drafting Terrify or Energize You?

Woman leaping above a field with text: Does Drafting Make You Feel Free?

Last week I started a new work-in-progress (WIP). Yay! I love drafting but I know others don’t. Some people call the first draft a “discovery draft,” and that description certainly holds true for me. My first drafts are all about discovering the story. Literally. I’m a reformed plotter and now […]

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June 11, 2013

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When To-Do Lists Fail

Page labeled Things To Do with text: When To-Do Lists FAIL

Ever have one of those days where nothing on your to-do list gets checked off? When life has other plans for you? That happens to me more often than I care to admit. Despite my writing-by-the-seat-of-my-pants method to drafting, I’m a planner in the rest of my life. Or at […]

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May 30, 2013

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Can Story Themes Help Pantsers Write?

Landscape with Magnifying Loupe in foreground with text: Themes: Our Story's Big Picture

My favorite blogger, Janice Hardy, had another great post last week. This time she talked about how writers can develop their theme. She shared three tips for understanding how themes work in our stories. One of her tips struck me—a confirmed pantser—as a great way to keep our pantsed stories […]

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February 19, 2013

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Recipe for a Successful Synopsis

Index card box with text: Recipe for a Successful Synopsis, Synopsis 101

Whether we’re entering contests or submitting manuscripts to agents or publishers, at some point, most of us need to write a synopsis. Many writers hate writing synopses, but I don’t mind them. At least not anymore. Synopses no longer intimidate me now that I understand what’s supposed to go into […]

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February 12, 2013

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Actions and Reactions: The End-All-Be-All of Storytelling

Rippled panel with text: Building a Story One Action & Reaction at a Time

This might be a deep philosophical post. Or it might be random thoughts triggered by my remaining sugar coma (7 Thanksgiving desserts!). You’ll have to let me know. I’d been thinking about doing another post about actions and reactions in writing, but the more I thought about it, the bigger […]

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November 29, 2012

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The Point of a Scene: Thinking in Concepts

Pencil connected to a light bulb with text: How Detailed Do Our Ideas Need to Be?

A couple of months ago, I read a blog post that forever changed how I approached drafting scenes. That probably sounds melodramatic, but it’s true. We’ve often talked about the differences between plotters and pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), and how as a die-hard-and-happy-about-it pantser, […]

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November 20, 2012

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Write Romance? Get Your Beat Sheet Here!

Drawing of plot arc with text: Romance Writers--What's Your Arc?

NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November) starts today, and while I plan to continue blogging throughout NaNo, I wanted to make sure I gave you something good to keep you happy during my crazy month. *smile* Of course, whether or not you’d define today’s post […]

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November 1, 2012

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NaNo Prep: What Writing Tools Do You Use?

NaNo Participant badge

Today is my last “NaNo Prep” post, as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month—write a 50K word novel during November) starts on Thursday. But stay tuned because I’m planning a big post on Thursday with a gift for all romance writers. I’m excited about NaNo because this is the first year […]

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October 30, 2012

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NaNo Prep: How Do You Get in Touch with Your Muse?

Crystal ball with text: How Do You Get in Touch with Your Muse?

In my last post, I explained that I’m a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants) because that’s the best way—for me—to hear my subconscious ideas of what to write. But maybe one reason why some of us are plotters and some of us are pantsers is because we […]

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October 18, 2012

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NaNo Prep: Should Pantsers Be Plotters?

Two kids with ice cream, one looking envious, with text: Do All Pantsers Have "Plotting Envy"?

My friend Roni Loren has often mentioned that she has “plotting envy.” Like many pantsers (those who write by the seat of their pants), she wonders if her writing method is the best she could do. Pantsing can feel a little like magic—we trust our subconscious to come up with […]

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October 16, 2012

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