There is a phrase I’ve come across in the online writing community ‘Pantsing’. This means ‘Writing by the Seat of your pants’ – ie making it up as you go along, with minimal plotting ahead. It seems that most writers sharing their experiences online are a mixture of Pantsers and Plotters (ie have it all laid out before start), myself included. The previous post on this blog revealed the surprise this can lead too.
And now it’s happened again. I am happily writing a scene, I know exactly what the next bit is (not the precise words- imagine having to write a presentation: you know the topic, you just need to find how to vocalise it).
THEN the lead character reveals with NO WARNING WHAT SO EVER that he almost had one of his closest friends committed to hospital under the Mental Health Act.
I literally had no idea! I finished one paragraph, went to write the next and he said something completely different. I had just enough time to stop myself writing and add a set up for the next 250 words correctly.
Mind you, this whole chapter has been hiding surprises from me. I knew it existed- its a party, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to write about. I just knew it needed to exist as a bridge between two major plot points. A little later I realised I needed to introduce a new character to tie up the loose ends in what I suppose is the ‘C’ arc of the book, and I look at this as yet unwritten chapter, and find this guy fully formed with a appropriate back story, as if just waiting for me to find him.
Ok. I may be getting a little wierd as I get older…