I belong to ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers). Amongst other wonderful benefits, you can join an email loop. This is where you can ask other ACFW members questions, post comments regarding writing, or information others might find helpful.
One of today’s subjects: OH, WE SEAT-OF-THE-PANTSERS!
Though I don’t read all the emails, for there are many, this subject title caught my eye. I’ve been a seat-of-the-pants writer, though I’m a little more then surprised that I am. Because of that, along with recent struggles with my writing, I decided to take a step back and look at my approach. What I thought I’d discovered…I should become an “outliner”.
After wrestling with this new found idea for some time, I decided to use the SNOWFLAKE PRO I’d recently purchased as a recommendation from an ACFW member. The program is amazing and I truly got a lot from it. It forced me to really think intensely regarding my characters, and not just my main characters but the secondary ones as well. It also forced me to pinpoint my characters goals, and struggles.
I took several weeks plugging information for my new story into the SHOWFLAKE PRO. Once I was done, I was excited to finally be able to start writing. So I start to write, and what do I do…Not really use the SNOWFLAKE PRO in its full capacity, what it was meant for but to type with excitement in full force like my true self…a-seat-of-the–pantser!
Oh well, so much for that. I’ll still use the SNOWFLAKE PRO for it did help me get to know my characters and a bit more of the story then I normally would have at the start of a new novel.
Now on to the point. It was very refreshing to hear of the others on the ACFW loop, published and unpublished authors that are “seat-of-the–pantsers” as well. And even those that are a bit of both, which I feel I’m learning towards with now using the SNOWFLAKE PRO, yet still winging it most of the way.
This is what one author wrote. I just loved it! It’s my kind of outline!
NOW, THERE'S A CLASS I COULD TEACH! "Completing an ENTIRE Manuscript by the Seat of Your Pants!" AKA: "A Twelve-Step Program for Pantsers!"
Major points would go as follows:
1. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY!
2. Oh, this is good!
3. "Who are you, Mr. Character? I didn't invite you."
4. I'm getting a bit stuck. Yow! I best go for a walk and have a talk with Jesus about this.
5. Okay, I'm back on track. (I wonder if I've reached the halfway mark yet. Hmm.)
6. Help! This isn't coming together. This stinks. I am the worst writer in the ENTIRE world!
7. Another walk and talk with God.
8. HE is giving me confidence and ideas I never saw coming!
9. Is this book EVER going to end?
10. Thank you for that wonderful idea, Lord.
11. We're getting there! Ah, I can feel, smell, and taste the ending. (If only my hubby would stop asking, "How's it coming? How many more days?)
12. THE END. (Thank you, Jesus!) Here's where I "take off my pants" and jump into my favorite part: EDITING!
From Shar MacLaren
Writing romance for the heart...fiction for the soul...
The Snowflake Pro, by Randy Ingermanson
ACFW, American Fiction Christian Writers