Where has the year gone? I swear it was only a few weeks ago that I was at the Dreamspinner Workshop and that was February. How can it be November already?
It’s been a busy year for me. I’ve written three and a half books — the half being my romancy pants as heck! Novella Ghost Writer of Christmas Past in the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar this year. Maybe one and a half of them turned out to the book I had planned going into the writing process.
OK, basically what happened is I sat down to write a fluffy-as-feckadoodles contemporary romance. Then fifteen thousand words in I had to send my editor an apologetic letter in which I explained that my characters had let me know they were actually hard-boiled bad-asses.
I mean ‘bad ass’. I’ve just written one of them having his butt kicked like it was a football. Still, not fluffy.
That’s the problem with being a pantser instead of a plotter. Sometimes the seat of your pants drops you down into the middle of a story you’d not been looking for, twenty thousand words in. I can’t imagine it happens to plotters, not without the weight of your commitment to the story already there against your back.
So what is a pantser to do when this happens? Try and bully everyone back into being who they went to be? Or just go with the flow?
Well, I already emailed my editor so you know what I picked! Luckily, they understood. Sometimes you write the book you want. The rest of the time you write the book you’ve got.
The thing is, you have to have confidence in yourself as a storyteller. If my brain decides that ‘hey, this story would be well better if we do this!’ then it’s probably right. It’s hard to admit that, as hard as it is to start any conversation without prefacing my opinion with, “I’m probably wrong, but…”, but it has to be done.
Don’t get too cocky, mind you. Not EVERY passing fancy is a great idea, you know. It’s like listening to feedback on our story, you have to find a balance between what will make it better and what will make it into someone else’s story.
So, no apologies! Well, still, a few to my editor. It was meant to be fluffy! Honest to God!
Anyhow, I hope those who celebrate it will have a good Thanksgiving. Good luck to everyone else on the slow, merciless slide towards Christmas. I have a Christmas novella coming out as part of Dreamspinner’s Advent Calendar, Ghost Writer of Christmas Past. It’s romancy-pants as owt! No deaths! Only a few wee crimes!