There are two main trains of thought when it comes to writing a book, pantsing and plotting. Plotting is where you work out what will be happening in the book, whether this be just having some basic notes for events that will take place and pantsing being where you just go for it, you start writing and see what happens. Today, I’ll be looking at why pantsing could work for you.
One of the biggest problems people have, especially on a first book, is that they spend so much time working out what will be happening in their book. They spend hours upon hours working on this, wanting to get everything just right before even writing a single word of the story.
This works for some people, but just imagine how much of their book could have already been written if that time had been utilised in a different way, if they had actually spent at least some of that time writing the thing.
It’s a simple fact that the first draft of any book is going to be bad, it’s just one of those things, which is why there are second, third, fourth, etc drafts, where everything is reworked to provide the final product.
By pantsing, you can let your mind run free and just write. There are no hurdles you have to jump while writing, because you have a clean slate. You may have some idea of what you would like, you may even know how your book is going to end, but even these ideas should be no more than ideas.
Being a pantser means that you can just let the story flow naturally, and you will often find that it goes in directions that you had not even thought about. You should never be scared to just let the story tell itself, with you there to simply record things.
Maybe there comes a time when your main character needs to be killed off. If it seems right at the time, then let it flow, go with it. You may have a big ending planned in the old manor house, but halfway through the book, this burns to the ground – don’t worry about it.
In the end, this is the first draft, so what does it really matter? Even if you find that you need more control, you can do this with the first draft being used to see where it goes and to find out which ideas come out and then use some of these ideas to rewrite the book as a plotter.