‘A Pantster and a Plodder’, Chortles Private Tutor
In my heyday (before being a private tutor) many moons ago, when maidens were fair and knights were bold, it was noted that I often went about life’s tasks like a pig at a potato. Now, I think I can safely announce that I am a pantster and a plodder.
A couple of decades ago I started writing a play which took thirteen years to complete. Now, if that isn’t a ‘plodder’ I don’t know what is! ‘A couple of decades ago’ – has it occurred to you, when one reaches a certain age of maturity, how one refers nonchalantly to decades instead of years? However, I digress.
I have just completed the first draft of my first novel. Ah, what a long dark tunnel of self-discovery that has been. In November 2012 I penned the opening chapter. That chapter has now become the final one! Who would want 3,500 words of setting the scene of a man’s life before getting to something that ‘happens’? Of course, that may change as I get to grips with the first edit and it may even go back to being Chapter 1 once a professional editor starts mauling and pulling apart my baby. There I go again digressing. ‘Self discovery’ should have been this paragraph topic and I’ve been prattling on about chapter order.
Self Discovery. I have discovered I’m a ‘pantster’. Apparently, it’s someone who writes without a plan. My day job involves telling students to ‘Plan, Plan and Plan’ before jumping in to answer the question. It is a mantra I have chanted for decades but which I find I do not myself chant now the chips are down and I am the one doing the writing.
Self Discovery. For years I have wanted to write a novel but I never had a plan (that word again). Then I had an idea and put pen to paper (not finger to keyboard) and the writing flowed [sort of :-)]. I had a beginning and an ending but not the 75,000 words in the middle. Then it happened. I looked at the blank piece of paper and the ideas tumbled out [sort of :-)]. One idea led to another and 78,000 words later, here I am blogging about it. Indeed, I am a ‘pantster’.
Self Discovery. I found I have an interest in B.D.S.M. – sort of :-). My novel isn’t about whips, paddles and nipple clamps per se but I broke out of ‘my box’ and allowed my main character (Seth) to participate. As I was writing, ’50 Shades of Grey’ was setting the book charts alight. ‘Serious’ newspapers were giving column inches to it and I wanted to know more. I didn’t read the novel [no, honestly, I didn't - :-)] but I had my mind opened to something I had never thought about before [honest :-)].
Ouch! Ouch! and more ouch!
Self Discovery. While chugging down my 78,000 word track I have tuned into blogs, books, writing magazines and tweeters who have enlightened me ([frightened the life out of me :-)] about things such as editors, agents, publishers, self-publishing, etc. There is a wonderful community of people out there willing to ignite, illuminate and elucidate the inner recesses of my dense, dark and dingy mind.
Self Discovery. I have explored cyberstalking, an underage relationship and erotic nightmares [not personally, you must understand :-)] through Seth. I have traveled down paths less trodden and come out of the other end a wiser [honest :-)] private tutor with 78,000 unedited and unpublished words.
Self Discovery. A ‘pantster’ yes. Less than 2,000 words per week for 45 weeks – a ‘plodder’ – yes.
Are you one of those or am I on my own?