When writers panic!

Roughly speaking there are two types of writers.

One group is planning a plot ahead of time. They make a 2 page- (or a 10 page-) chapter summary, and once finished, they write a book according to that outline.

Many thriller and murder or mystery authors, write like that. You need to know who the killer is to properly set up your clues.

Another type is called discovery writer. Previously they have been called “pantsers” as in they write by the seat of their pants, without a guideline or a plot. The naming has changed but the main point stays in that these writers discover what the story is about while writing it.

Of course, it won’t surprise you that plotters don’t waste many words (paragraphs or chapters). They know from the start what is going to happen.

Discovery writers don’t. 

They get surprised by plot twists the same way as their readers later on when they read it for the first time. But because of this, discovery writers blunder many chapters.

I am a discovery writer.

Why am I telling you this?

After finishing 90 000 words on my current work in progress, which accounts to about 450 pages, I read it through last weekend for the first time. And I realized that one third needs to be deleted.

I don’t need to point out how extremely painful this realisation was.

I was, in fact, panicking.

However, after having a few sleep-it-overs, I gathered my wits and wrote down the plot – discovery writers actually DO have a plot but for the most part it is subconscious – therefore figuring out which pieces are good, which I need to kick out and which pieces I still need to write.

Having it done on flash cards really helped me!

Someone smart once said that the problem is not if you fall. 

The problem is if you don’t get up again.

But, with this kind of a story – and I actually quite like it, if I may humbly say so myself – needs to be finished 🙂

On a side note, during the autumn school break, my family and I went to visit our family in South Africa. It has been 10 years since the last time we were there and it was wonderful to see our family and the country again.

We also took time to visit Kruger national park and if you are interested in a short overview, check out the video here.