IWSG: Pain in the Pants

InsecureWritersSupportGroupInsecure Writer’s Support Group

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

I am a pantser, though I usually have some idea of where I’m headed with regards to my main character.

Book 1: Discovery
Book 2: Consequences
Book 3: Retaliation
Book 4: Recovery

But when it comes down to the details, I usually discover them in the heat of the scene. Not to say I haven’t tried to plan, but all attempts have ended miserably. I don’t enjoy it, and if I don’t enjoy it, why do it?

Well, I’ve run into a bit of a pickle. There are these little things called antagonists that any good fantasy needs in order to do well. Hmmm. I guess I should’ve gotten a better grasp on them, because frankly, they’re running rampant without any direction and keep compounding the freaking story line. Sheesh! I thought I was the one in control here. This isn’t going according to… oh… I guess I didn’t have a plan, did I? Drats.

Have you ever over-complicated things and then had to find a way out of what seems to be an ever-growing pit?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

30 thoughts on “IWSG: Pain in the Pants

  1. I’m a pantser too most of the time so I can relate! Hope you get those antagonists under control. πŸ˜€

  2. Your characters are running away with the story? Taking over? It’s almost like you were never in charge to begin with, huh.

    *still laughing*
    Author of Wilder Mage at Spirit Called
    Facebook Wilder Mage

    • Yes. And it seems like there is never a normal character either. They all have to be twisted in some fashion. πŸ™‚

  3. LOL, yes, of course! And that’s why I’m a plotter. I decided that while I don’t exactly enjoy plotting, I REALLY dislike writing myself out of the Infinite Pit of Plot Problems πŸ˜‰ Good luck, though – grab yourself a lasso, and rope those antagonists in!!

    • Ah the Infinite Pit of Plot Problems… it has a sign hanging on the wall that reads “Home Sweet Home”. πŸ™‚

  4. LOL – I do that all the time.
    Good luck with whipping your characters into line.

    Thanks for your kind (and funny!) comments on my blog. I’m trying to get back to Thanmir War so I can write a review for you, but, well, other things have obliterated all my reading time. πŸ˜›

    IWSG #268 (until Alex culls the list again or I goof and get myself deleted. :P)

    • Obliterated? I could imagine so. But that heart-pumping panic can be exhilarating at times… right? Or am I just telling myself that?

  5. LOL. I totally started as a pantster too, but I found that to keep myself sane, my fingers moving, and not having to edit A BAZILLION TIMES, I really did have a plot, even if it was loose. It’s been years of forcing myself into the mold, but it definitely makes the whole process easier. My characters still grab the reins and run while on occasion, and sometimes I even let them. =)

    • I suppose plotting would make things simpler. But dang, it isn’t easy! And the characters, they make such convincing arguments on why they should be in control.

  6. Oh, totally! I have a knack for over-complicating things. πŸ˜‰

    • But, of course, where’s the fun if it isn’t a bit complicated?

  7. My recent ms I had a similar problem. It is a ya contemporary/mystery, and tying up all the unraveling loose ends was mindboggling. Rewriting the ending so many times, because I couldn’t decide who was the killer. So many of the antagonists wanted to claim the job. Good Luck corralling your characters to do your bidding.

    • I sometimes love that guessing game. If you don’t know who the killer is, then maybe the readers won’t either. Take them by surprise! πŸ˜€

  8. I know exactly what you mean. I’m a pantser and I love how the story just takes me away. I’ve had a few times where the villains have done some things or have been so good at being bad that I have no idea how the hero is going to get out of trouble. It helps me to step away, do something else for a bit, and then come back to it.

    • It gets exciting when you’re discovering the adventure as you go along.

  9. I started off a total pantser. Now I believe I’m a hybrid of plotting and pantsing only due to necessity. I needed a way to keep track of everything everyone was doing owing to the fact I kept, as my family put it, “writing myself into a corner”.
    I don’t get as many instances of cornering myself now, but my characters still run away on me. Especially the older ones who aren’t as used to someone else being in control (seriously, who am I to argue with a nine-foot-tall lizardman?)

    • Veng doesn’t seem like the type to take orders from anyone. πŸ™‚

  10. I spend more time on my outlines than I do writing. I’m an over-planner.
    You can compromise and plan a little, but not so much it derails the rhythm of your writing style.

    • I’ve actually tried planning, but then I get to writing and, like Shiny-Object-Syndrome, I’m off on a different road.

  11. I’m stuck in between. I have a protagonist with a problem and I have an faint idea what happens. It’s the middle that I generally have no idea about. It’s a painstakingly slow process following her or him around until I figure out their story. They’re not always helpful either. Would be so much easier if they’d just tell me what it is they want me to write. LOL. Nothing good is ever simple, I suppose.

    • Precisely! Why must characters sometimes act like drama queens?

  12. When they take on a life of their own, I just go with the flow

  13. I’m a pantser too. Like you, I enjoy seeing where my characters will take me. It’s always a fun, although sometimes frustrating, ride. Good luck!!

  14. I know I’m going to do a lot more plotting when I finally make it to book number two, but gotta finish book number one first. I’m pretty excited about using Scrivener to brainstorm and outline my next project.

    • I’ve played with Scrivner before, but yWriter5 seems to be more my style. But then again, I don’t use many of the planning features. πŸ™‚

  15. Oh dear! Granted my stories are usually really ugly the first round. I let the characters do as they wish and then snuff out the crazy on the edits. Yeah – okay. Round too is sort of a re-write at times. I still couldn’t be a plotter if I made millions. (Well okay. If someone paid me millions, I’d think about it.)

    • Heh, yeah, I’d probably plot too if someone paid me millions. πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.