Are You Afraid of "Plodders" too?
I’ve heard said there are two kinds of writers. Those who, perhaps like other aspects of their lives, set everything out in direct order before embarking on any great plan. They map out the course. They measure the task. They count the cost. They're our organizers, our planners, our list-makers, and our realists. In writing, we call these the Plotters.
(Excerpt from “Let’s Go Home Little Bear” by Martin Waddell)
“Come on, Little Bear,” said Big Bear, but Little Bear didn’t stir.
“I thought I heard something!” Little Bear said.
“What did you hear?” said Big Bear.
“Plod, plod, plod,” said Little Bear. “I think it’s a Plodder!”
Okay, slight regression.
The other category, in which I determinedly fall, include those who fly by the seat of their pants! And of course, we call these writers the Pantsers. These start with an idea and run with it any which way it may lead. Exciting, huh? Exhausting? Sometimes. Have you ever seen a rabbit chased by a German Shepherd… thus the term “rabbit trails!” I have twelve editions of my first novel… and if it doesn't get published soon, there could be more.
Which category do you fall into? How has this been beneficial (or a hindrance) to your progress as a writer?
Now, neither one is good or bad, right or wrong, it merely reflects the way we are wired… in life, and also in writing. And with all else, no one is purely one side or the other. Maybe stronger in one direction, but we all utilize both.
Structure with fluidity offers us the middle ground. A skeleton to keep us on track while our creativity sails through the ribs ;).
I say all this to introduce our teacher for December’s chapter meeting (12/3). Terry Brennan is a 22-year veteran to the editing and publishing industry, including a Pulitzer Prize as Editor of the Mercury newspaper (Pottstown, PA). Terry is also the ACFW 2015 Carol Award winner for his Suspense/Thriller The Aleppo Code. (www.terrybrennanauthor.com)
On Saturday, December 3rd, from 10-12pm, Terry will teach us on the foundations of plot structure (keeping us focused on the heart of our story) and the essential elements of the mythic Hero’s journey. Whether you’re a Pantser or a Plotter, a writer or observer, I know you will find Terry’s insight and wisdom to be invaluable along your journey. Please see events at www.journeywithwords.com for specific details. And for those in the NY/NJ area, we would love to have you join us!
Remember too, that for the month of November, if you share or comment on this post, your name will be included in the free book drawing. This month's selection is Blind Hope, by Kim Meeder and Laurie Sacher.
Kim Meeder is the founder of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Oregon-- A ranch of rescued dreams. She and her husband Troy were our inspiration for our own horse ministry in Mexico. Their ranch pairs broken kids with rescued horses. Blind Hope is a true story about a young woman who reaches out to save a dog in need, and soon realizes that the dog was rescuing her.