Writing, though a community sport, is also done in isolation. You can LAN it up for the big show, but the bulk of the work happens between you and your writing medium. That’s why people talk about pantsers and plotters.
Pantsers – write by the seat of their pants. Little to no prior outlining. Everything is written as it comes to the author. This can lead to sudden turns and disconnects between the beginning of the work and the end; however, it also leads to surprise twists which up the tension. A good editor serves pantsers well.
Plotter – write an outline and fill in from there. They know where they’re headed from the start. While this can mean they’ve got neat little details that end up coming back around later (nice in crime novels, thrillers of any sort, and mysteries), they can also be formulaic (fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc). Beta readers really give good feedback here.
I’m a minimal plotter. I have a lose outline, so I know where I’m headed, but the chapters are often rather by the fly. This means I really enjoy my beta feedback and my editor. For my debut, High Summons, I needed my editor more. While I’d done massive plotting with the first draft, I’d done a major overhaul by the time it came to the publisher’s desk. The old manuscript barely resembles what ended up with my editor, and what did was far more like what a pantser produces. Grimm Remains – the sequel to my debut due out in April– was much better plotted. I had only two commas added by my editors.
Whether a pantser, plotter, or in between the two, you are a writer as long as you write, so – just write. Block it out – 2 hours, 10 hours, 15 minutes. Just do it. Once that’s done, edit. Get beta readers. Get editors – put it in a desk and come back a week later. Writing is doing, undoing, and doing again. No matter how well plotted, you’re undoubtedly going to have to take bits of your story apart. Accept this and keep writing.
About High Summons
By Eli Celata
Publisher: Clean Reads
Publication Date: July 6, 2016
Jon Blythe is sick of waiting for his Yoda. After years of hiding his magic, he’s ready to retire from his mortal life, drop out of college, and jump into the world of demon hunters. He just didn’t really expect a bleach blond bookstore clerk with light up toys for weapons. Unfortunately, Jordan is Jon’s only hope. When rogue magic users come to Rochester with a malicious plan, the odd couple strikes out to save the day. Jordan might not be what Jon expected, but between demons and Econ homework, the demons win every time. Wild nights drag Jon further from normal into the world where his father vanished. Maybe he’s becoming an addict. Maybe magic just comes with a price. Either way, he’s hooked.
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About the Author
Eli Celata was born in Rochester and is currently attending Binghamton University as a doctoral student.
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