Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Write that Book! #GuestPost by Jaylee Austin #WritersLife

 Write that book, but how?

Do you plot out the story line or write from the seat of your pants? The two types are known as Plotters or Pantser. I find as a writer, I fall between the two, not a plotter and not a pantser. What am I?

Plotters tend to write extensive outlines, delve deep into character charts, backstory, and scene design before they begin their stories.

Pantser construct their stories on the fly with limited preparation allowing the story to unfold as you write.

A little of both! I would assume many writers find themselves somewhere in the middle between the three act structure, extensive character charts, and the scene sequence. As a writer, I freeze at the endless questions of theme and character background. That zzzombia glaze covers my eyes and my mind journey’s to that endless abyss of darkness.

As a writer, this is a major dilemma for many, fighting that dreaded writer’s blank page. Here are some techniques that work for me:

1.  Scrivener: A writing software system that allows the writer to organize, create scenes, synopsis, pictures, research all in one easy location.

2.  Story Structure helps me sees the whole picture. In the inciting incident I know in a 60,000-word novel, the first 6000 words is the setup.
*Michael Hauge “The hero’s Journey”
*Lisa Miller “Story Structure Safari”
*Lynn Johnston “From Premise to Plot”

3.  Personality survey of my characters traits, flaws, and overall personality. If you’ve experienced “The Emotion Thesaurus” you’ll love this site

As you see I’m both a pantser and plotter, I figure out my protagonist and antagonist and basic word count. Write a summary of the general storyline and away I go. And yes there are times I have no clue what will happen in the next scene.

A challenge: Try writing your next scene or chapter as a plotter or pantser and see what you learn about yourself. Tell me what works for you.


About the Author:

Jaylee Austin lives in Apple Valley California with her partner and dog. Jaylee has a Master’s in Education and works to inspire young writers to take the challenge to find their creative mojo.

Jaylee loves to hear from readers, so please e-mail at or follow me on twitter@jaylee_austin