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‘A Pantster and a Plodder’, Chortles Private Tutor

September 11, 2013
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Thoughts From The Corner

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.

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Private Tutor Reaches the age of Maturity

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.

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‘Plan, Plan and Plan’, chants Private Tutor

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 :-)].

English: A nipple clamp clamping a man's nipple.

English: A nipple clamp clamping a man’s nipple. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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?

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Private Tutor finds he’s a Plodder.

From → Writing

  1. Seth. I began my debut novel in late 2009 and only managed to self-publish it in late 2012. That was after extensive revision, querying and then eFormatting though. I have a novel that I began in 2006 and it still isn’t finished, so work that one out. Worse? My 1999 novel is still waiting in the wings, only half-finiished. There’s a decade project for you. But since I self-published, my writing has become prolific. Some weeks I’m turning out 15,000 words, so publication can change you. Self-confidence and determination undergoes a change that is only exceeded by an accidental overdose of gamma radiation.Enjoy plodding. Once you publish, things may never be the same again. 🙂

    • Thank you for the great comment.

      Seth, by the way, is the name of my main character, not me. Perhaps I didn’t make that clear.

      I will publish, even if it’s only in ebook format and sells one copy – to my mother! 🙂 Thinking about that, it would be harsh to charge my mother, wouldn’t it?

      Good luck with you writing. Who knows, we may meet at a book fair one day.

      • Apologies – that’s me commenting at 8am (my time) and its consequences. Re-reading more carefully, I see my silly error. 😦
        I read once that Sidney Sheldon didn’t publish his first book until he was 55. That’s a decades-old ambition fulfilled and always assures us that there is still time.

      • No problem, you don’t have to apologise.

  2. Hi just catching up. You’ve finished your magnificent octopus…brilliant and well done. Doesn’t matter whether you plod or speed, the important thing is you get it finished. There is nothing more unsettling than having unfinished MOs around. Look forward to the finished article.

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