Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border

Kootenai River in NW Montana, near Canadian Border
photo by Gene Tunick of Eureka, Montana

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Writing Tip O'Day #55

Laura Joh Rowland and Roquel Rodgers are planners, not “pantsers.”

Laura: "Write a synopsis before you start your book. It will be your road map and your chance to test-drive the story before you invest a lot of time in it. Also comes in handy to show editors and agents. A lot of people would rather 'fly by the seat of their pants' but I'm not one of them."

Roquel: "For first drafts - S.I.O. (S**t. It. Out.) Just get it out on paper, let it flow, and go back and fix it when it's all down. But before the s**tting - outline, outline, outline."

Dixon says: I met Roquel at the 2010 Flathead River Writers Conference in my home town of Kalispell, Montana. A lot of the discussion there was about whether it's best to be a planner or a pantser. I think those two positions are at the edges of a wide spectrum and most of us toil away somewhere between those points. Some genres are fairly anal in the plotting requirements, and in some experimental styles you can't find a plot. A lot depends on your personality as a writer, your genre, and your market.

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