It’s never what you expect.
In writing circles, you often hear the phrase, plan v. pants.
Do you plan everything out, or do you write by the seat of your pants?
As you might have figured from my feature image… I’m all about the pants. (in the British sense… North Americans would say underpants. I’ve lived with Brits long enough that for me, they are all pants… what’s under my pants and… well… my over pants. PANTS PANTS PANTS!) It’s taken about a year for my sister to know exactly what I mean when I say the word pants. She’s deduced it’s a matter of inflection!
That… and pants are sexy. So not only can I write about writing…*an occasional yawn* but I can keep your interest with pants! Because who doesn’t love looking at underpants?
Sometimes writing is exactly like the above picture of Djimon Hounsou in his Calvins. Sort of all perfect and smooth. With incredibly strong thighs. And pecs. And washboard abs. Yes. That’s exactly how writing is. And look at those biceps.
Oh… wait. I went from writing onto objectification. Maybe we need a slightly less perfect example. No! Wait again! Maybe I just made my point. Being a pants writer takes you on twists and turns. It’s never quite what you expect. One minute your characters are here… and the next minute they are doing something that is totally astonishing and you want to go there.
In The Raveners, we have the character of Pentadourn, who was totally supposed to be a walk on for a future book. Then he turned into a major player. I wasn’t planning on it… it just happened. In my opinion, it’s a brilliant twist. I love Pentadourn. His will probably be the third book in the series. Would that have happened if I had planned the book out? Nope. That character was never even on the radar.
Another thing I like about being a pants writer is the freedom.
Seriously! Look at how much space she has in her pants? She can write over here… she can write over there… her ideas can go wherever they want to. And I know where your ideas are going! SHAME ON YOU!
But back to the honesty. I really like the ability to go where I want in the story. I’m lucky. I generally keep it tight. The characters wander around and do their own thing, but it’s never too insane. I have heard of pantsers who end up with non cohesive series of scenes, because they got a little too free. I would say that my pantsness ends up with me doing a little more editing, but it’s very unusual for me to scrap a scene I’ve written. Maybe I just get bigger pants.
All ladies know that big pants can be especially comfortable. If no-one is going to see your pants, then what does it matter how big the damn things are. Pants are like novels. They can always be bigger. Look at George R.R. Martin, his books and his pants? All big. All the time.
No. I’m not judging his pants. We probably wear a similar size.
Ok.. some pants are too big. Those ones defo need an edit! Cut it down, trim it out, and it will be just fine! One does have to be reasonable, after all!
No. Those are not my pants. But if my pants were a tent, they could sleep 8 comfortably.
To me, plots and plans are incredibly constricting. I know Planners who never deviate. they have it all worked out in advance and that’s the only way it’s going to be. EVER! EEEEEEVER! I don’t know…
Thats just like wearing a corset to me. Not that I have a problem with corsets… there might be times in my past where I’ve worn one… quite a few! In fact, I LOVE CORSETS! But… I don’t want to write in one. Neither figuratively nor literally. It’s just one of those things.
But no matter what, pantser or plotter, do what works for you and write! That’s the main thing. My way works for me. Your way must work for you!
Just like your choice of underwear!
(But I really want to know what ‘no displacement is possible? That makes me think of Sir Tom Jones… you know, the famous picture of him in a speedo? You have to have seen it? There is absolutely no displacement there. The banana is in a hammock, the budgies are smuggled and as the Nan of a good friend of mine says.. oh, he’s a well built lad….)
The 80s. A constant source of joy and terror! And with that I’m done.