Plotting By The Seat Of Your Pants

Plugging away.

That’s how writing goes often. Keep chopping wood. Put more words on the page.

Writers know that there are two general methods for getting a story on paper. The plotters love to outline, charting each scene and building up a framework that their words can fill in. The pantsers, so named for writing by the seat of their pants, make it up as they go.

Not quite the idea…
The plotters like knowing where they are going, having a map or blueprint to follow. The pantsers will tell you how their story can be more organic, being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up along the way.
How about a middle way?

Of course people do this all the time. You don’t have to be tried and true to one method to get to “The End.”

I was surprised when this started happening with me though.

I’ve always been an outline guy when writing papers. In college I would do my research, label it all out with Roman numerals and A. B. C., and when I was all done, write my final draft as my first draft. All done. Ready to go!
Yeah, it’s not that easy when writing a novel.

Closer? I dunno…
I have a general outline in my head. I know where my protagonists need to be…eventually. I have the ending all worked out. There was just a little problem with the middle, and getting them to where they needed to be. A small issue.

I kept dealing with writer’s block whenever I finished a point on my outline. Where to go next? How do I get there?

I’ve started doing it by the seat of my pants.

A technique that I’ve found effective for me is to set my phone’s timer, meaning I can’t browse the internet for some obscure fact that I HAVE to have for my next scene, and start writing. It might not be the best prose in the galaxy, but I have made progress.

It has been propelling me past these sticking points. I’m forced to make a decision and go with it.

And there’s been some good stuff come out of it. Who would’ve guessed?

I still have my general outline and I still know where I want to end up. But the process of getting there has become more interesting. Hopefully it all turns out when I get there!

So if you’re writing and wondering how best to do get moving – do whatever it takes. There’s no need to just plot or pants it. The point is words on the page.

Time to go set my timer…

Plotting By The Seat Of My Pants

Plugging away.

That’s how writing goes often. Keep chopping wood. Put more words on the page.

Writers know that there are two general methods for getting a story on paper. The plotters love to outline, charting each scene and building up a framework that their words can fill in. The pantsers, so named for writing by the seat of their pants, make it up as they go.

Not quite the idea…
The plotters like knowing where they are going, having a map or blueprint to follow. The pantsers will tell you how their story can be more organic, being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up along the way.
How about a middle way?

Of course people do this all the time. You don’t have to be tried and true to one method to get to “The End.”

I was surprised when this started happening with me though.

I’ve always been an outline guy when writing papers. In college I would do my research, label it all out with Roman numerals and A. B. C., and when I was all done, write my final draft as my first draft. All done. Ready to go!
Yeah, it’s not that easy when writing a novel.

Closer? I dunno…
I have a general outline in my head. I know where my protagonists need to be…eventually. I have the ending all worked out. There was just a little problem with the middle, and getting them to where they needed to be. A small issue.

I kept dealing with writer’s block whenever I finished a point on my outline. Where to go next? How do I get there?

I’ve started doing it by the seat of my pants.

A technique that I’ve found effective for me is to set my phone’s timer, meaning I can’t browse the internet for some obscure fact that I HAVE to have for my next scene, and start writing. It might not be the best prose in the galaxy, but I have made progress.

It has been propelling me past these sticking points. I’m forced to make a decision and go with it.

And there’s been some good stuff come out of it. Who would’ve guessed?

I still have my general outline and I still know where I want to end up. But the process of getting there has become more interesting. Hopefully it all turns out when I get there!

So if you’re writing and wondering how best to do get moving – do whatever it takes. There’s no need to just plot or pants it. The point is words on the page.

Time to go set my timer…

Plotting By The Seat Of My Pants

Plugging away.

That’s how writing goes often. Keep chopping wood. Put more words on the page.

Writers know that there are two general methods for getting a story on paper. The plotters love to outline, charting each scene and building up a framework that their words can fill in. The pantsers, so named for writing by the seat of their pants, make it up as they go.

Not quite the idea…
The plotters like knowing where they are going, having a map or blueprint to follow. The pantsers will tell you how their story can be more organic, being surprised by the twists and turns that pop up along the way.
How about a middle way?

Of course people do this all the time. You don’t have to be tried and true to one method to get to “The End.”

I was surprised when this started happening with me though.

I’ve always been an outline guy when writing papers. In college I would do my research, label it all out with Roman numerals and A. B. C., and when I was all done, write my final draft as my first draft. All done. Ready to go!
Yeah, it’s not that easy when writing a novel.

Closer? I dunno…
I have a general outline in my head. I know where my protagonists need to be…eventually. I have the ending all worked out. There was just a little problem with the middle, and getting them to where they needed to be. A small issue.

I kept dealing with writer’s block whenever I finished a point on my outline. Where to go next? How do I get there?

I’ve started doing it by the seat of my pants.

A technique that I’ve found effective for me is to set my phone’s timer, meaning I can’t browse the internet for some obscure fact that I HAVE to have for my next scene, and start writing. It might not be the best prose in the galaxy, but I have made progress.

It has been propelling me past these sticking points. I’m forced to make a decision and go with it.

And there’s been some good stuff come out of it. Who would’ve guessed?

I still have my general outline and I still know where I want to end up. But the process of getting there has become more interesting. Hopefully it all turns out when I get there!

So if you’re writing and wondering how best to do get moving – do whatever it takes. There’s no need to just plot or pants it. The point is words on the page.

Time to go set my timer…

Potholes in the Writer’s Road



Didn’t see it coming!





 I don’t know about where you live, but where I live the potholes this time of year have been known to eat cars.

At least it felt like it that one time.

I hit a monster-sized pit on the right side of the road one time. I noticed in the glint in my headlights a hubcap careening off into a parking lot. I pulled over to see if I could find it. Walked around to the right side of the car.

I heard a loud “hissing” sound.

It wasn’t snake season, so I looked at my car. The pothole was so bad that it caused a flat tire. I limped my car to the closed tire store, parked it, and begged a ride home. It was ready for the nice repairmen in the morning.

I hit a pothole in my writing this week as well.

I hadn’t shown much of my latest work to my lovely wife. Seeing as I have a female protaganist, I asked her to read it with an eye for the female aspect, in case I wasn’t accurately writing the female mind (tall task, I know). She came back to me last week with a look on her face that said, “I’m sorry.”

She doesn’t like my main character.

She called her a “poop” actually. Didn’t see anything nice about her. I was a little shocked. Jenna is the woman I spend the most time with aside from my wife (writers are weird like that). I couldn’t see it. I read through chapters again, observing areas where I could change a few words. I really didn’t think of any major changes.

I guess I have a blind spot.

I have a couple of friends looking at it with a critical eye now, giving me suggestions on why Jenna is acting like such a meanie. It makes me realize that writing is an activity that can’t be totally isolated. Yes, I do most of the work with me and a keyboard. I still need other imput to help my blind side and avoid potholes. Hopefully I’ve got my story in with the right mechanic that can help diagnose any problems.

For my fellow writers out there – what are some of the potholes you’ve hit in your stories?

Potholes in the Writer’s Road



Didn’t see it coming!





 I don’t know about where you live, but where I live the potholes this time of year have been known to eat cars.

At least it felt like it that one time.

I hit a monster-sized pit on the right side of the road one time. I noticed in the glint in my headlights a hubcap careening off into a parking lot. I pulled over to see if I could find it. Walked around to the right side of the car.

I heard a loud “hissing” sound.

It wasn’t snake season, so I looked at my car. The pothole was so bad that it caused a flat tire. I limped my car to the closed tire store, parked it, and begged a ride home. It was ready for the nice repairmen in the morning.

I hit a pothole in my writing this week as well.

I hadn’t shown much of my latest work to my lovely wife. Seeing as I have a female protaganist, I asked her to read it with an eye for the female aspect, in case I wasn’t accurately writing the female mind (tall task, I know). She came back to me last week with a look on her face that said, “I’m sorry.”

She doesn’t like my main character.

She called her a “poop” actually. Didn’t see anything nice about her. I was a little shocked. Jenna is the woman I spend the most time with aside from my wife (writers are weird like that). I couldn’t see it. I read through chapters again, observing areas where I could change a few words. I really didn’t think of any major changes.

I guess I have a blind spot.

I have a couple of friends looking at it with a critical eye now, giving me suggestions on why Jenna is acting like such a meanie. It makes me realize that writing is an activity that can’t be totally isolated. Yes, I do most of the work with me and a keyboard. I still need other imput to help my blind side and avoid potholes. Hopefully I’ve got my story in with the right mechanic that can help diagnose any problems.

For my fellow writers out there – what are some of the potholes you’ve hit in your stories?