Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Who I Am

I read a lot about "are you a plotter or a pantser?" around the writing blogosphere and I used to try to pigeonhole myself into one or the other.

But the truth is? I'm neither. Or maybe I'm both.

You see, I write in much the same way as I cook. I drive my DH crazy, because he'll say, "So-and-so really liked that thing you made last week. Would you send them the recipe?" My response? "Uh. No. I can't. I'm sorry."

Because when I cook, I don't really use a recipe. I start with one, for certain, especially if I haven't made whatever it is before. But, even when I swear I'll stick to the recipe as written, sometimes my hands have a mind of their own and they add this or take out that or use a little more of another thing.

I bake by the handful. A teaspoon of salt? About *this* much poured into my cupped hand.

My MIL is the type who uses a knife to level the ingredients in her measuring cups. I even had a friend who would measure the water for her Kraft mac and cheese ("But it says 'use a quart of water'!" :::rolls eyes:::). Not me. And sometimes the things I make aren't edible, sometimes they're passable and sometimes they are absolutely stellar.

Same with my stories.

I usually start with a recipe (i.e. a basic plot with the characters I'll be using). I *think* know where I'm going or what I'm going to end up with. But then I'll get into it and the characters let me know I'm on the wrong track and I'll add or subtract or change.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But unlike cooking, the final product isn't done until I say it's done. I can go back and change and change until I'm happy with it.

Still... plotter or pantser?




PS I couldn't resist adding this book video since I titled the post after the song. I think it's one of the best songs about what makes a character: it's not the hair color or the clothes... it's this:

1 comment:

Kealie Shay said...

I'm singing along with the song... I love that song. It actually helps me with each writing/life setback. Nothing changes who I am... :-D

You know me, I'm a bit of both, but mostly I'm a pantser... with a plan. :-D