Life in progress

#SoCS – Having to Guess


I’ve come to the conclusion that writing a series of books rather than a standalone is harder when you’re a pantser. A pantser, if you’re not familiar with the term, is a writer who writes by the seat of his or her pants, as opposed to a plotter, who plots the entire story out ahead of time. If I could just plot out where my characters are going to go after book three, I would know if their life beyond it was worth writing about. Because let’s face it, no one wants to read a book about people getting up and going to work every day, coming home, cooking dinner, watching TV and going to bed, ad nauseam. It’s bad enough that most of us do just that in real life.

Therefore, I can only guess whether my series will be a trilogy or if it will go on.

Don’t get me wrong – I love pantsing. Sometimes I’ll be happily typing along, minding my own business (because I don’t make up my stories. I just pluck them out of mid-air and transcribe them) and suddenly one of my characters will say something that completely blows me out of the water. Like, I had no idea it was coming. It’s by far the best part of writing. When you’re reading a book and you get hit by a sudden revelation, you can bet that there’s a good possibility the author was struck at the same point in the story with that same gong. What’s not to love about being hit by a gong? (I do enjoy stream of consciousness writing.)

If I was to guess right now, I’d say it’s going to be a trilogy. Yet I know I’m going to miss my characters so much that I’m not going to want to stop writing. Will they get up to more adventures? I guess they could. We all do, once in a while, right? If we didn’t, our boring day-in-day-out existences would drive us to eventually seek something more anyway.

Speaking of adventures, I’ve updated and edited an old post. It has more pictures now, as well as a few more links. I can only guess whether or not it will show up in your email if you follow me that way. I’m guessing it will, if you weren’t following me in July of 2013 when it was first posted. I urge you to read it if you haven’t already: it’s one of my best. Even if you have already read it, check out the new pictures. I’ll repost it in an hour or so. It’s entitled “A Haunted Visitation.”

John Holton 2016-2017

This post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You can find the link to join in and read all the other posts here:

While you’re here, take a good look at the badge, for it may be the last week in which it’s featured! The contest is on right now for a new SoCS badge design. We have five entries already, which means there are only five slots left open. Click the following link to read more about it, see the entries so far, and enter the contest yourself:

Author: Linda G. Hill

There's a writer in here, clawing her way out.

17 thoughts on “#SoCS – Having to Guess

  1. From reading this, and my little dabblings so far, I think I’m going to enjoy writing fiction more than memoir writing – so many more possibilities!


  2. I’m definitely a pantser. Seems like I need to be inspired and then the writing flows out easily. Interesting point about the gong. It is so great that characters can take off by themselves in a story. Pretty amazing. 🙂


  3. I have a hard time controlling characters in an 800-word blog post. I can’t imagine trying to do it from book to book. I have faith in you, Linda. You got this.


  4. I’m sure you’ll work out when it’s time for you and your characters to move on be it after a trilogy or a longer series. I don’t write but I think I would be a plotter when it came to starting the writer but definitely a pantser at meeting deadlines.


  5. Hmmm… it’s hard for me to figure out which one I am. I have been plotting my book for the past year, but when I go to try and write what I have plotted, it sucks. I do my best work, my best writing, as a pantser. But only in short bursts. For the life of me, I cannot figure out how to piece them all together into one cohesive unit. I guess that means it’s not time yet…

    Liked by 1 person

    • It takes immense concentration to piece together something that’s already written if it didn’t come out naturally in sequence. Sometimes it helps to write a mini-synopsis of each section and look at that instead. Once you have it all in order, it’s much easier to create segues.
      I’m the same way though. If an idea comes to me when I’m not at the computer or in a position to write more than a sentence about it to remember it, it never comes out as smoothly as if I’d been able to write it right away.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Listen Linda, it’s takes immense concentration just to be ME. And I’m not writing fiction, I was thinking more of memoirs. I have so many stories that I think I have done a good job on, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to piece them together. I’ve even broken them down into categories, trying to make sense of them in smaller pieces. But you’re right, it’s difficult. And I’m not sure it’s something I want to do anymore, at least not now. However, I do still have this overwhelming feeling inside of me that I will be writing something for people to read. I don’t think it’s just going to be on my blog. Have you ever read the book Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz-Weber? Maybe someday in your free time (Bwah-HAHAHA! Even I crack up at the thought of you having free time!) you can check it out. It’s amazing and changes your perception of the people you come across in life. It’s basically a series of essays on her experiences. Each chapter is independent of the other, so they don’t have to tie together as one giant story. Yet they all have an underlying theme. It’s hard for me to describe, because I’m not technically a writer and really don’t know what I’m talking about. I just feel like I identify with that writing style (and the author, AND her experiences, AND her humor!) and would love to have your opinion on that, some day. Just something to keep in the back of your head…In your free time, ha ha..

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ll look it up and add it to my TBR list on Goodreads so I don’t forget. Thanks for the recommendation, my dear. It looks fascinating. I read much more in articles about the human psyche and what makes us behave the way we do than anything else. It’s all research to me. 🙂
          I knew you were talking about non-fiction, and I know what you’re going through trying to piece it together, because I’m trying to do the same thing with a memoir of my own.
          When the time is right, you’ll know. 🙂


          • Ah, glad you can make sense of my ramblings. I knew you “got” me. Definitely read the book…it’s written by a female pastor who used to be an addict. Not a religious book, but spiritual for sure. It’s enlightened me and it made me laugh.

            And you’re right, when the time is right, I’ll know. That goes for everything in life.😊

            Liked by 2 people

        • I seem to remember Anne Lamott writing books in which essays are not necessarily in sequence or connected except in general ways. Though I have not read her recent works which is embarrassing since she’s my favorite author.

          Liked by 1 person

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