Friday, March 28, 2014
A recent article I read in Writers Unblocked talked about "pantsing" which they described as writing spontaneously and hoping that a story will emerge. They made it sound crazy, as if this was the hope of some irrational writer. I guess that's me. I've never been one to outline a story or book. I start with the characters, the location, the year and yes, I hope for the best. With Sown in Tears, I was inspired by a story my father told about my grandmother, although the book was not about her life, just the turbulent times she lived in Russia, 1905. The full story did emerge as I wrote and thought about the possible events in my protagonist's life. If I were a mystery writer,things would be different, I'm sure. Then you need to know how the story ends before you begin. But for me, as in real life, stories have a way of not adhering to an outline and you must be ready to change with the turn of events. It does take longer and it's more frustrating, but it's my approach and so far, I'm stuck with it. Pantsing, indeed. Flying Out of Brooklyn, my first book occurred the same way. I had two characters, the year 1943, Brooklyn and World War 2 plus the emotional state of my heroine, Judith. For the reader, it makes no difference how you approach it, it's the final story they care about, but for us writers it's a gamble I willing to take.