Monday, May 7, 2012

Moments of brilliance

I have a confession: I, Liz Parker (The English Bad Ass), am a pantser.

"Did you say pants? Can I nom them?"

Now maybe I'm not a total pantser. I do a small outline. And by small I mean that I write out a one-sentence summary of probably the eight most pivotal scenes of my stories--for plot purposes (climax, etc.) as well as character development. But from there, I just write.

And then I revise. And then I rewrite. And then I revise some more.

During this whole process, I'll know that I have scenes I'm missing, usually transition scenes. These scenes will then come to me in some moment of insanity too much tequila brilliance. Most often this happens at a time where my mind is free of distractions (like phone calls, social media, etc.) and when I can't write it down. Key places of brilliance include: in the car (I admit other cars should be distractions. Also, I strongly encourage driving without music. This forces you to think.), in the shower, while washing dishes, while walking my dog.

Don't judge my brilliance!

I keep a notebook with me mostly wherever I am (except on a dog walk), so that when these moments are over, I can write things down. Usually I'll do a paragraph description of what played out in my head, unless of course there was this awesome dialog that came down from me like fire from heaven. In which case I lock myself up in a room and write.

What about you? Do scenes come to you like this? Do they sneak up on you and make certain pieces finally fall together? If, so where are your creative places? Or are you one of those lucky individuals who knows all the scenes before you start writing (damn you! I'm terribly jealous.)?


  1. Fist bump, pantsing sister! I too carry a notebook at all time. And I always go back to work on transitions because the big scenes write themselves.

    1. <3

      So true! I find myself falling in love with those transitions though.

    2. Definitely! Transitions = character banter time!

  2. Funny... My places of brilliance are very similar to yours. I get tons of ideas and work out lots of plot problems while running as well. It clears my head. Though I do like an fairly detailed outline, sometimes pantsing feels pretty darn good (and works out pretty darn well!).

  3. I also carry a notebook with me--and if for some reason I don't have one, I'll make notes on my cell phone.

    I don't outline, but I do write notes--not detailed ones, mind you. Just notes. :)

  4. I outline a bit, but I'd like to do more. And I'm totally obsessive about keeping a notebook or scrap of paper and pen with me at all times, because guaranteed any moments of brilliance are not going to happen while sitting at the computer typing!

  5. Totally. I use plot points, but basically in the shower and on walks it all melds together. LOVE that doggie picture and caption!

  6. Some of my best writing ideas come to me as I'm falling asleep. It's really annoying because I have to debate whether or not I'll remember it the next morning or if I should get up, grab my laptop and write it down! But yeah, letting your brain work on stuff while you're not actually writing can be very productive.