So I’ve been living in picture book world for a few years, now.
And while I’m still busy analyzing and perfecting my craft in that arena,
(Mini craft lecture: Great picture books are as compressed as poetry, containing a world in about 500 words or fewer, leave 50% of the story to the illustrator, are paced strategically through language and page turns, evoke emotion through image, active voice, and characterization, and end in way that’s surprising yet inevitable. Easy, right?)
I could no longer ignore that tiny voice in the back of my head that wasn’t a picture book character, but a character from a YA/new adult novel.
She’s been bugging me for years. And now that her whispers have turned to curses, I’ve decided to listen. Five years ago, I tried NaNo as a pantser. I failed. Miserably.
This year, with a little encouragement from another blogger and writing coach, Kate Johnston, I decided to take the plunge again.
Only this time with a little planning. I know who my characters are, but five years ago I just let them run wild. So that’s what they did. They rambled. They wandered. Aimlessly. They got lost.
I got lost, then I wadded up my Scrivener file and tossed it in the trash. Failure.
This year, I’m going to start with a plan. A structure. A beginning, a middle, and an end. How I get there during November will look more like pantsing, but when I’m finished, that pantsing will be contained within October’s plan. Call it plantsing.
We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck!
And I’ve gotta tell you, I’m afraid of failing. Gulp. But it’s like that with all challenges, right?
If you, too, would like to take this on, give Kate’s website a look. I think you may find a tool or two to help you out.
Happy pantsing, planning, or plantsing! Cheers!