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Plotter or Pantser?

February 1, 2018

The writing world is divided between people who meticulously plot their novels in advance and those who fly by the seat of their pants. JK Rowling recently tweeted:

I fall somewhere in between. In a class with YA writer, Robert Paul Weston, I developed a broad outline for a young adult novel as a class assignment. It seemed useful and KM Weiland’s book, Outlining Your Novel, inspired me to add more detail.  I wasn’t sure I’d actually stick to the outline, but over time, it proved to be an invaluable map that kept me from straying off-course to follow exciting but unproductive subplots.

And now that I’m finished draft one, (small cheer), I face the real work of refining the story. Following the sage advice of Anita Morris  I’m developing a reverse outline based on the Story Grid template developed by Editor, Shawn Coyne. This outline helps keep track of characters, motivations, conflicts, time, setting and more. Coyne actually recommends using this method to plan a novel in from the beginning, but, there is still a pantser in me! I even have trouble committing to the level of detail he recommends for a reverse outline. So, now I’m experimenting with my own outline categories. So far, it seems useful to keep track of:

  • Chapter, Scene, word count
  • Date, time, setting
  • Key events
  • Characters on and off stage with physical detail
  • Conflicts
  • Questions raised or answered

I guess I’m plotting my pantsing….if that makes any sense at all.


Some people get everything right

December 4, 2017

The sixth annual reading was loads of fun! This year, each of us started with the same first line to create seven short stories and one poem. From a long list of 75 famous first lines, we chose, “Some people get everything wrong,” from Alice Munro’s story, “Pride,” in Dear Life. But clearly, we got everything right in choosing friends and family who gave up a sunny afternoon to hear us read. Thank you, everyone, for your ongoing support!

The Bathurst Muses: June Rogers, Anita Morris, Alison Girling, Valerie McDonald, Michelle Adelman, Shila Desai, Alison Colvin, Lynn Horton


Three days to go….

November 30, 2017

Save the date!

September 18, 2017

Bathurst Writers

Sixth Annual Reading

Sunday, December 3, 2017