Hot take: Plottin’ vs pantsin’

abf6007c5cacb7be5febb4c4ec76bfa0
Me whenever I try plotting

 

Good day, fellow writers! Gather round, because I have come here to ask you the age old question: when it comes to writing, are you a plotter or a pantser? You’ve heard those those terms, yes? I ask this because I have wanted to write about this for a while, and because I am immensely curious.

I shall begin by stating that I am a pantser. For those unfamiliar with the term, it means that you ‘fly by the seat of your pants’: as a pantser, you’re the Jack Dawson of writing: you start out with an idea, get excited and just run with it. Carpe diem! There’s no outlining involved, set characters, nothing. You go go go, just letting your vaguely invented characters and story take over, and pretty much bullshit your way through (in the best way possible). Basically it’s like a riding a wild stallion: it takes off at lightening speed, slows down then speeds up again, and sometimes it just stops to chill and graze. Which is totally fine.

On the other hand, if you consider yourself a plotter it means you like to plan out your story scene by scene. That makes you… Rose Dewitt Bukater (before she met Jack.) Or perhaps Mr. Andrews? Either way it means…. Outlining! Character charts! Properly thought out scenes! Amazing and thorough detail! You like having a detailed outline as to where your story is going and how it’s going to end. It’s pretty convenient, actually.

That being said, I’ve tried the plotting route. Really I have. But I just can’t do it. Even as a kid, I got bored with the idea of outlining your story from beginning to end (I blame school writing assignments). For me, outlining everything gets to be tedious; not to mention, it kind of spoils it by knowing exactly what comes next. Pantsing, however, gives me a rush when I get that new idea, which in turn leads to a new scene, or a surprise something from one of my characters. It’s fun! But on the other hand, this method sometimes brings the writing to a halt. I get stuck at a crossroads, and I have no idea where to take it next. I have to pause and stew over it for a bit before I’m able to get writing again. But it comes back to me eventually!

With all that said, in terms of plotting I find the process of outlining my characters fun. I like getting down to the nitty gritty of who they are, where they hale from, their interests, quirks, etc. Filling out character charts help progress my story, and helps me understand where they’re at. Other times (or most times, rather), I just let them reveal themselves because their voices are louder (aka, they’re disobedient little s****s), and I like to see who they become as I write.

If you’re a pantser like me, I hope that wild stallion takes you to far off magical places. If you’re a plotter, I hope that outline keeps your story and characters steady like a ship above water (and not like the Titanic). And if you’re a plantser… Well then, congratulations, you’ve got the best of both worlds!

And if you don’t know what writing method works best for you, then just experiment. Both methods have their perks, but in the end it’s totally up to you. But I have a feeling that deep down, you already know. (And that you either absolutely love one method, and totally hate the other.) Also, don’t think about it too hard either, because you’ll never get any work done.

Sincerely,

a self-proclaimed Pantser.

Top image came from Tumblr.  (So sorry, I have no idea who created it, but it’s definitely not mine to claim.)

Advertisements

Seen and heard this June

IMG_1030.jpg

Folks, it’s already half way through June. The summer is finally upon us! My new and faaabulous Esther Williams swim suit lies patiently in wait for a day at the beach (if not that, then a ballet class when I’m feeling super extra). I’ve never been so excited to get a swim suit in the mail. (Ps: It fit!)

Seen

IMG_1042.JPG
Just a snapshot of the chaotic-neutral madness

-First of all… Congratulations to our champs, the Toronto Raptors. After many months of highs, lows and Kawhi Leonard’s laugh we finally hit it big winning the championships and now we are (well, they) are basketball Gods among us. They accomplished what the Maple Leafs haven’t achieved in 60 some odd years, the Blue Jays in 25 (?) years, and now they come first in the league of extraordinary Canadian sports-ness for the first time ever. We the North indeed! The Parade was on a few days ago; there were about 2 million(!!) people packing the streets from the CNE grounds all the way to Nathan Phillips Square, and no one saw it coming. Meanwhile, I sat in the comfort of my family’s kitchen watching the madness play out from afar.

 

IMG_1031.JPG
Sunday morning at the beach

-Second, guess who happened to be trending on Twitter Sunday night:

Screen Shot 2019-06-16 at 9.52.10 PM

Well bless my buttons, if it isn’t my favourite Disney Prince. Why this was trending to begin with, I don’t know; weird things surface on Twitter and I’m better off not questioning it. I haven’t heard any new rumours of a Little Mermaid movie, although god knows it’s in the works. I read a few of the suggestions as to who could play him potentially: i.e., Harry Styles, Sebastian Stan, and some K-Pop singers I’m not familiar with. Hmm. First of all, you need someone with good eyebrow game. Secondly, I don’t even know why I’m even thinking so hard about this–other than that I have a weird thing for hot Disney Princes. If anything, all I can think of are older actors from back in their hey-day: think Keanu Reeves, Paul Rudd (yes don’t @ me, deep down Prince Eric’s a goofball), or maybe Christopher Reeve. Ok, I’m done now. (Whoever it is, just pleeeease don’t let it be Harry Styles.)

 I revisited this clip from the terrific (and now sadly defunct) Twitter account Dancer on Film (which I found back in September). I don’t know anything about this film other than that I love its dance sequence; the bright 1990s vibe (that colourful shirt!), the catchy music, and of course the spontaneous street dance itself. Everything just works.

Taylor, we may have our differences, but never the less I mentally shake hands with you on your impressive capability of creating colourful and catchy music videos.

Heard

-Bon Iver. It started with Choir! Choir! Choir! covering his “Flume” song, and I’ve proceeded to listen to a few of his other songs since. How this guy escaped my knowledge these last ten years is beyond me; I think it would have been perfect for me in my university days, but I guess these things happen at the right place at the right time.

Boogie Shoes, courtesy of KC and the Sunshine Band and Sirius XM radio.

After the Goldrush, Prelude.

Lilac Wine, covered by Miley Cyrus.

Read(ing)

-A compelling argument for buying lunch.

-Finished The Woman in White, and in search of my next great read.

You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. ~C.S. Lewis

Advice I wish I had been given at 13

  • Embrace that curly hair.
  • Don’t touch that zit. That’s a given, but seriously: don’t.
  • Some of those kids who are jerks to you now will actually turn out to be decent in high school. Some.
  • Middle school is gross, but soon enough it will be a distant memory.
  • Just because you need help with math doesn’t mean you’re dumber than every one else.
  • Pulling your wet hair into a pony tail will not make you look like Buffy Summers, as cool as she is. See above.
  • There will be some things that you will laugh about later. (Like getting beaned with a football while moping on a hill. Amazingly I did not get a concussion.)
  • Despite what you see in the mirror, you are not ugly.
  • Anyone who turns down a Secret Santa gift because they’re “already getting it for Christmas” is not worthy of your time or money.
  • Do not try that new skin care product the day before your grade eight graduation photos.
  • Even the most confident of girls has insecurities, even though it doesn’t seem like it.
  • Since Youtube tutorials do not yet exist, read and reread CosmoGirl magazine. It will lead the way.
  • 13 is tough, but this is a time of immense change, and things will get better.
  • Keep an extra pair of underwear at school for “those” days.
  • Know your worth.

Love, your 29 year old self.

Seen and heard this May

IMG_0984.JPG
Spring time around the neighbourhood

Greetings, and welcome to mid-May, where the days are longer (though not necessarily warmer), the plant life is fresh and the nights are short. The latter being in my case. Why? Allow me to explain.

Seen

IMG_0463

-Allow me to introduce you to the newest member of my family. Skye is 4 months old, and she is an absolute basket full of energy. She loves to chew on hair, get in to trouble, and has a tendency to pee in the house. But above all, she is most certainly a loveable lil’ pup. (Even if she wakes up at 6 am by scratching in her crate).

-Avengers: End Game. I saw it, and I have thoughts. A) the ending was both happy and devastating. B) I would rather have seen TONY AND NATASHA SURVIVE. C) TONY SURVIVING AND LIVING ON TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER GROW UP AND NATASHA COMING BY EVERY WEEK AS THE COOL AUNTY. It’s been almost three weeks and I’m still not ok. D) the whole time travel and five year catch up baffles me. Also… “Back to the Future was a bunch of bullshit” apparently.

-You enjoy what every morning, Joan??

Getting dressed in the 1920s.

Game of Thrones stuff. I’ve never watched it yet I strongly sympathize with you fans out there. I know what it is to have a show that gets you deeply invested in its plot/characters, only to watch in horror as it turns into a flaming pile of trash because of horrible writing.

-I would wear the shit out of this for a Halloween costume, or any costum-y event.

-I’ve been thinking about Italy a lot… Particularly Positano, because nothing sounds more appealing right now than eating a glorious meal outdoors overlooking a beautiful coastline. Like… Ugh. (And looking through Pinterest doesn’t help what so ever.)

Heard

Bad Guy, Billie Eilish. The video is pretty weird (a little too weird to link), but the song itself is catchy.

-Speaking of catchy, so is Shawn Mendes’ new song Can’t Have You. Usually I can’t stand a lot of the music they play on the radio but artists have been killing it these days. Then again, Shawn is pretty much killing it with everything. (Someone get him to star in a movie, dammit!)

And turning back to our usual retro programming, because I still like listening to oldies on the radio while I’m driving.

-Ok, here’s an even older one. Whenever I hear It’s Been a Long Long Time, I get happy and sad, because it will remind me of the Avengers–namely, Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter and the end of their story line and I’m getting weepy just thinking about it.

-James Charles. I don’t know anything about him or the youtube makeup community, but when there’s drama involved I’d like to share my unauthorized and irrelevant opinion: who’s going to care in 100 years?

Read/reading

The Woman in White. What ho, I’m almost finished! Turns out that it’s most riveting mystery novel, and I’ve joined the 160 year old fan club for Marian Halcombe. She who thinks Queen Elizabeth is overrated (haha) and isn’t afraid to lay it straight with the gentleman (not mention, goes climbing around rooftops to eavesdrop on her evil brother in law).

IMG_0988.JPG

Thoughts on a Friday

Europe2007 359.jpg
Taken somewhere in Italy(?), circa 2007
  • I found this picture in a folder in my trash, and I honestly don’t remember dropping it there.
  • I love it. I must admit I took a magnificent shot.
  • Then again, it’s a magnificent statue.
  • I mean, look at that detail of the folded material.
  • I’m guessing this is in Italy.
  • On a school trip over the March Break.
  • Hey ho, it’s Avengers weekend!
  • I’m am in the midst of a Marvel binge watch to prepare.
  • I am very much looking forward to it while also dreading it.
  • I almost forgot Thor had long hair in the first Avengers Movie.
  • I like it better.
  • And I’m not one for long hair on guys.
  • Although on Chris Hemsworth I will make an exception.
  • As would most people, I’m sure.
  • How about that Star Wars Ep. IX trailer, though?
  • Oh sorry, different movie.
  • RIP Coulson.
  • See you in Agents of Shield!
  • Hard to blog and watch at the same time.
  • But I’m trying.
  • Thor is still hot with long hair.
  • You know who’s also hot?
  • Don’t answer that.
  • I wish my lines were as sassy and sarcastic as Tony Stark’s.
  • But alas, they aren’t.
  • Oh my gosh I made a significant breakthrough in my story!
  • It’s taken months, but I finally did it.
  • Now I just need to push further.
  • I don’t think I’d want to be in New York when any war is being waged.
  • Just judging by Loki’s destruction.
  • I found my new favourite dress up video!!
  • Videos like this make my life.
  • This article I read earlier this week got me thinking about my own irrational fears.
  • Among them, shrouded bodies.
  • They just creep me out.
  • Same with anything where you can’t see a person’s face.
  • On that cheery note… Music!
  • Have a groovy weekend, and enjoy getting this stuck in your head.
  • Sincerely, your super hero-loving Grandma.

Honour the Earth

IMG_2015

“We are living in powerful times. Opportunities abound for us all, to fulfill our soul’s calling, and become the wondrous beings we truly are. See the living spark of the divine in all people and all things. Honour it and love it absolutely. Honour the earth as your mother. Honour the earth as your friend. See her beauty, and be nourished and cleansed by her pure waters. Sing songs of grateful praise for the abundant blessings, right and here right now in our lives. Know that each one of us has our special part to play, no one greater than another, and that it is time for us all to be living our dreams; fully manifesting heaven on earth right now.”

Brilliant words by Sarah Hopkins, an Australian composer. She wrote these words to open her piece called Honour the Earth.

Picture taken by me from in 2015, while visiting Mundy Regional Park in Perth Australia.