- Plotters, pantsers and cross-overs.
Every writer approaches their project in their own individual way, but… within that remit it is possible to put most writers into one of two categories, with a few exceptions when those two options merge.
There is the plotter, who, obviously, plots out their story beforehand. They know their characters inside out, they have their settings, plotline, and time all precisely mapped out.
And then there are the writers who call themselves ‘pantsers’, in other words, they make-it-up-as-they-go-along. Within this category there are many variations. Some start with their characters, some start with a single scene, while others see a setting which will be the back drop for their whole story.
And then there are what I term the ‘cross-overs’. They may start off with little idea of how their work-in-progess will turn out, but as they progress the plot line begins to appear and they start making notes, jotting down ideas and possibilities and keeping track of the plot and timeline.
While I am mostly a pantser, I have to admit to becoming more of a cross-over writer then when I started writing.
In my first Regency romantic suspense, No Job For a Woman, published by Sweet Cravings Publishing, I was inspired by a single word, ‘Forfeiture.’
I am a lover of the awesome Regency romance author Georgette Heyer and the sub plot in one of her novels dealt with a wastrel member of the ton being threatened with losing all his lands.
Today, in the UK, it is called ‘repossession’. Back in the Regency period the property owner was handed a ‘writ of forfeiture’.
In No Job For a Woman I did not put either my heroine, Deborah, or my hero, Julian, into the hands of the bailiffs, but instead chose Deborah’s neighbour.
And it is the consequences of that development that threatens Deborah’s life.
Did I write the whole story by the seat of my pants? No, in the end I found myself making copious notes as I wrote, placed them at the end of each chapter and then re-red them before starting the next chapter. I refuse to admit to ‘plotting’ but will concede it was a pretty close run thing, hence my new terminology of a ‘cross-over’ method of writing. 😉
Julian Fanshaw answers a call for help from his life-long friend Lord Worth to help keep his friend’s widowed sister, Deborah, safe from her increasingly vindictive neighbours. It doesn’t take long to realise him or Freddie long to realise the Grangers aren’t using her as a long-promised act of revenge against them; but are playing a deeper and far more sinister game of their own.
Deborah Stavely is determined to overcome the increasing harassment from her neighbour without calling on her brother for help. So she is not pleased when Freddie intervenes and involves his friend, Julian Fanshaw.
Circumstances demand Julian and Deborah learn to work together and Julian dares to dream that he might gain the love of the only person he’s ever given his heart to.
But will Deborah live long enough to discover that by releasing everything she values, she will gain everything her heart desires?
Julian Fanshaw ignored the other letters in front of him when he recognized one from his long-time friend Freddie Dalrymple, now Lord Worth. He broke the seal and scanned the single sheet with growing concern.
Julian, my friend, I am writing to implore you to put aside whatever plans you have in hand and to set out immediately to stay with us for an indeterminate period of time.
Thoroughly alarmed, Julian flipped the page in his hand to discover it had been dispatched more than a week ago.
If I bring to mind a certain student up at Oxford with us, and reveal that he and his wife are, and have been, my sister’s neighbors for several years, it will give you but an inkling of the root of my concern.
It has come to my attention, due to the arrival of his brother upon the scene, and recent events concerning my sister, Deborah, I am persuaded you need not only to know what is happening here, but be on hand to assist in circumventing any consequences of actions taken against her.
I have taken the liberty of gathering some friends together for a couple of shooting parties, thereby creating a reason for your presence.
Since his return from the Peninsular, Julian kept promising himself a trip to Worth’s Norfolk estate. Unfortunately in the last eighteen months, time and circumstances had worked against him.
Casting the letter aside, Julian strode to the door and called for his butler.
“I am leaving immediately for Norfolk. Please see that my bags are packed and have my horse ready within the hour.”
“You do not intend to use your chaise, sir?”
“No. I’ll ride, with a stop to visit Mr. Sewel. Arrange for Becket and French to follow me in the chaise with everything I’ll need for a month.”
Not by so much as a flick of an eyelid did Thomas reveal he recognized the name of his master’s man of business.
“Very good, sir.”
Book Strand http://www.bookstrand.com/no-job-for-a-woman
Multi-published author, Sherry Gloag is a transplanted Scot now living in the beautiful coastal countryside of Norfolk, England. She considers the surrounding countryside as extension of her own garden, to which she escapes when she needs “thinking time” and solitude to work out the plots for her next novel. While out walking she enjoys talking to her characters, as long as there are no other walkers close by.
Apart from writing, Sherry enjoys gardening, walking, reading and cheerfully admits her books tend to take over most of the shelf and floor space in her workroom-cum-office. She also finds crystal craft work therapeutic.