Thursday, July 23, 2009

Are You a Schizophrenic Writer?

Well, are you?

Yes. No. What in the name of cucumber sandwiches am I talking about now?

I’m sure you’ve all come across the great Pantser vs Plotter debate by now but what about those of us who are left floating somewhere in between? Some days I’m in plotter mode to the point that I scare myself, other days those neat little note cards, that fifteen page powerpoint presentation or that excel document bite the dust as chapter four is completely rewritten which of course results in the add-on effect and bam! Different book completely.

Yes the original, plotted black moment would have my heroine in tears and anyone else in the vicinity but it had to go (and if I’m honest I don’t miss it because I honestly believe it wouldn’t fit anyway). Why does this happen? I blame my characters (because I can). If, for once, they did as they were told I’d probably get someone to do a psych evaluation of me.

So if I’m not sticking to my plot, I must be a pantser right?

Yes, that’s what I thought too but the fact is that I need an outline to start a book. I need to know where it goes for those moments when I hit a wall and wonder when my brain went on vacation and why it hasn’t changed the message on its answering machine.

The point is I switch. My brain can’t decide what it is. It starts of plotter, switches to pantser and then flips back and forth a couple of times just to make my writing complete and utter rubbish or interesting… (it depends on how you look at it) ;) If you’re like me it might be handy to know WE ARE NOT ALONE! Lucy Monroe joins us in our quirkiness! Personally I think there’s something wrong with the rest of you… ;)

So are you? Are you a schizophrenic writer?
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13 comments:

Janette Radevski said...

Without a doubt i'm schizophrenic. Have tried to refrom myself, but to no avil...

Teresa Ashby said...

I rarely stick to a plot - if I make one at all. It's good isn't it, if the characters take on a life of their own?
(I love cucumber sandwiches - specially with peanut butter!)

Aideen said...

Yes, of course I'm not one of those! But seriously, aren't we supposed to be, in every sense? I mean, let's face it, sometimes I much prefer talking to the people in my head than the people in my life. Plotter, panster, that one gets me every time too. I might have a name in mind, one itty bitty scene and I'm off, with absolutely no idea where I'm going. Then I reach half way and realise, crap, I have no idea what these people are doing because like you Lacey, my characters NEVER listen to me. Kinda like having children don't you think?!! But that's when I think maybe I should try plotting, which I do....then I stop again because plotting just ain't no fun for a girl like me. The very fact that I'm not really sure what my answer to your question is, is proof enough that yes, I am indeed schizophrenic. In my writing life that is...

Aideen.
P.S And as for blogging, no, I don't have a blog because I'm really just too lazy. Or paranoid that nobody would read it. Or lazy.

Joanne Cleary said...

I think I might just be a schizophrenic!!

I cannot believe I am a plotter, I am so disorganised in many parts of my life. But I'm definitely a confirmed plotter. I plot motivations, conflicts, chapters and each scene before I write it. How sad is that. Actually my CDs and DVDs are all lined up in alphabetical order too ...

Jackie Ashenden said...

Lacey, I am a happy (or unhappy??) medium. Used to be a total pantser, but then have come to see the value of plotting (like you, my brain goes on holiday and I can't write while the wretched thing has fun elsewhere). Anyway, nothing wrong with being both. Works for me...most of the time ;-)

Lacey Devlin said...

Welcome to schizophrenic writer land all :)

I don't think we can be reformed Janette :)

I agree, it's best when the characters direct you. I love reading the blogs of plotters who have had to start over because their characters haven't turned out the way they expected at all. I'll have to try cucumber and peanut butter Teresa!

Ah Aideen you make me laugh. Sometimes I prefer my fictional characters too :) and I would read you blog! I'm a little relieved that I'm not so technologically challenged that I couldn't find you :)

Once I lined my DVDs up alphabetically but they didn't stay that way for long lol. I gave up in the end, now I watch things on a "if I can find it" basis. Yeah I live life on the edge ;).

Ah a converted pantser Jackie? I think perhaps I am too. My "plotting" is more thorough even if I don't stick to it like glue ;)

gaelikaa said...

Hi Lacey, this is a great post and I've learnt a few things. Can you please come over and see my post 'Magnificent Sevens' dated 24th July? I've a tag to pass on to you...

Lucy King said...

Don't know what I am, but I wish I was more of a plotter. I tend to jump straight in, write loads, go back, realise that the beginning is rubbish, change that, which means the rest is all wrong. And then repeat the process over and over again. Oh the joy!

Lacey Devlin said...

Hi gaelikka thanks for tagging me.

Ahh Lucy but the process obviously works even if it's driving you nuts ;)

Felicity Roger said...

Definitely a panster and if I discover that I have story boards neatly placed in my office, power point presentations done and cardboard cut-outs made you know I have turned, not into a plotter, but a procastinater. Would love to plot more, but am always to eager to get into the story for any of that nonsense...

Suzanne said...

Want to be a plotter - would make life much simpler. To be honest, I'm so disorganised I don't know how I ever manage to get any words written at all...

Lacey Devlin said...

Oh I love that Felicity. Now I have to wonder if I am part plotter or if it's really procrastination mascarading as plotting ;)

Remember Suzanne disorganization is the sign of a creative mind (comforting isn't it?), just ask JK Rowling (spilling your coffee over your work might help too ;) )

gaelikaa said...

Lacey, thanks for taking my tag & I know you'll deliver great answers in your own time. But can you possibly pop over again for a minute and read my post dated 27th July? I have an award for you...