Should I Plot or Pants? Yes!

The debate between plotting and pantsing your manuscript is one for the ages. People on both sides swear by their preferred method. The thing is, what works for one person could be the worst thing ever for another. I’m going to say right up front that I don’t think one way is better than the other. You might prefer to work one way, but there are aspects of both that can be really helpful.

First up, Plotting. (or Plodding to those who don’t enjoy it.)

Just like those awful reports you used to have to do in high school, having an outline can definitely help. It gives you a clear path to follow, which can be really nice. To oversimplify things, once you’ve finished plotting, the actually writing is like finishing a dot to dot versus drawing something from scratch.

I can’t wait to see what it’s going to be!

Another nice thing about plotting is you can catch inconsistencies and logical issues before you write yourself into a corner. Again, having a clear path to follow when you write can ease or negate later headaches.

Next up, Pantsing. (or What The Crap Are You Doing? That’s Not How You Write a Book! to its detractors.)

Writing fiction is a creative, artistic endeavor, and for the most part, artists don’t like being told what to do.

Or what not to do.

With pantsing, you can add fun and exciting (or horrible and awful) things to your story as you write, often coming up with things that you might never have thought of if you were sticking to a rigid outline.

Pantsing can also be fun and exciting for the writer because you’re able to let the story take you on a trip. It can be easier to stick with a project because you’re excited to see where it’s going to go next.

Of course, with these positives come some negatives. That’s why I really don’t think you should stick with just one method. When you start, it’s probably best to have at least a rough outline of things that are going to happen. Otherwise you could get well into your story and realize you’re lost in happy fantasy land without a good way out.

…can I go home now?

But at the same time, you can spend so much time plotting and creating a beautiful snowflake for your story that you lose all interest, and the project dies before it even starts. I think it’s best to find a happy medium. A little bit of both works for me, and it might for you. Have at least a rough outline, with clearly defined points you want to make. Then you’re not wasting too much time meandering. But allow yourself some freedom to meander as you write. Characters and events and fantastic things are there to be discovered.

I agree with Robert McKee when he said, “We rarely know where we are going; writing is a discovery.” But I also think it’s good to take a map.


Song of the Week – Florence + the Machine

I was back home in Utah for the day last Saturday (more on that later). It had been a few years since I’d been there, and it was great to see my old stomping grounds. One of the best things was seeing the mountains I grew up with. As I drove down the freeway toward home, this song came on the radio. I had heard it a few times and really liked it, but something about being back where I grew up and driving to the house I’d lived in for the first 19 years of my life, made it stand out even more. I’ve been listening to it pretty much nonstop since then. I hope you like it too.

“I am done with my graceless heart
So tonight I’m gonna cut it out and then restart”

The YAmazing Race (again!)

Hello! Welcome to the next stop in the YAmazing Race with MGnificent prizes! It’s a crazy blog hop featuring over 50 debut authors and prize packs consisting of ARCs, gift certificates, swag, and many other cool items. I’m super excited to be a part of this awesome contest, and I hope you’re enjoying it! If you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out the Apocalypsies blog for more info, as well as the starting point (and the rules) to the race. It runs from May 2 through Tuesday, May May 8 at noon.

I participated in the first YAmazing Race a few months ago and had a blast. It was awesome being a part of such a cool blog hop. So I’m doing it again and it looks to be even bigger and better!

Here’s the cover and a little bit of info about my book OLDSOUL, which just came out on April 24th:

Jason Gouvas doesn’t want to believe he has special abilities or that he’s an Oldsoul– a vessel for the souls of people who have passed away, but the dead girl in his mind can be very persuasive.

Her name is Erin, and through her Jason is able to access the knowledge and skills of the souls within him. And with a group of power-hungry immortals bent on destroying the Oldsouls and overthrowing humanity, he’s going to need them all.

It’s available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon, and paperback and Nook at

That’s about it. Before you move on…bonus contest! I have a (signed if you want) final copy of OLDSOUL, as well as some bookmarks. Want to win them? It’s easy enough. Either head to OLDSOUL’s facebook page and “like” it, or add it on Goodreads. Easy enough, right? Feel free to do both and double your odds! (PS if you’ve already added it in those places before this contest, leave me a comment down below and I’ll add you into the drawing. And thank you!)

Ready to move on? Your next stop is the website of Fiona Paul, whose book VENOM comes out in October and looks fantastic. Here’s the link: Thanks for stopping by and best of luck!