From the people across the Bay

Sitting,

In the strange half-light of a sun buried in smoke,

While the ashes of other people’s lives fall around us.

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To be a Pantser or Outliner?

As you likely know, a pantser is one who writes by the seat of their pants, without an outline. An outliner may take months to write an outline, and only after it’s finished, begin to write. To me, the outliner is organized and the pantser is more scattered, and I yearn to be an organized person. I think I am, however, a pantser when it comes to writing, and perhaps, to life.

This is my first book, so I can’t say definitively, but I got halfway through writing it before I decided that the mess I was making could benefit from an outline. I currently have about 183,000 words and I’ve found that constructing a basic outline not only helps me to know where I’m going, but also helps me with order within my chapters. At present, I’m making a contents outline – a very basic one, and by making myself write what each chapter says and why, it helps me to know what each chapter needs. In the bigger picture, outlining helps me to fight through the cobwebs in my mind and see the way to the conclusion more clearly.

And as much as it irritates me to admit it, I think I’ll probably write my next book the same way. It takes me a while to find an idea that I can run with, so I attempt to write myself out of that problem, and, if I like what I’ve written, I just want to keep writing. It isn’t until I can’t find my way forward that I can make myself stop and outline what I’ve done thus far.

Any of you have these problems? I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

The photo above is a sleeping Koda. He’s my angel, and though the photo isn’t of great quality, I love his expression in this shot. 🙂

The Writing Life

I don’t remember when I decided I wanted to be a writer; I don’t even remember why. I just started writing. The writing began after about 40 years of life, love and travel and reading — always reading. I do remember that I started writing as a hobby, and enjoyed it so much that it soon became a more regular part of my life. At first, it was a secret. I didn’t tell anyone what I was doing. After a while, I told my husband, then my immediate family, and finally, friends. But I’ve yet to share my fiction writing with anyone.

I’ve been writing for about five years now – maybe more. It’s still a hobby, in that I have a full-time job and take care of my family and our many pets, but it is the thing that’s always in the back of my mind – my characters, the story, and how I can improve it. I give it two days a week, and write for as many hours as I can produce something useful. I’ve begun and discarded a few novels, but I’ve been working on my current one for at least two years. I’d like to (self) publish it this year, or early next year. I thought this process might be interesting to others, so I decided a blog would be the thing to spur me on to finish and publish my current novel, and perhaps encourage others to do the same through this blog. If you find it interesting, that’s great. I’d love to have you on this journey with me.

Some of my interests are travel, photography and politics. I may share some of my outrage at the current political situation in America, perhaps my travels and some of my favorite photos. Thank you for you interest – Aurora