Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Writing

Are You a Pantser or Plotter (Outliner)?

By Tessa Dean copyright August 2020

Most writers are either a pantser, which means they write by the seat of the pants or a plotter, which means they have to have an outline that lays the whole story out before they start to write. Now there are a few people who are a combination of both and they are called plantsers.

Pantsers write one day at a time letting the story tell itself. When they start they are not sure whether it will be a novel, novella or simply a piece of flash fiction. They must be ready to scrap their work if it doesn’t work out. The pros of being a pantser mean that you can kill off a character and not have to rewrite the whole outline. The cons though mean that it is far easier to get stuck and not be able to continue on until you straighten it out in your head. You have no plans to fall back on.

A plotter or planner plans their whole novel before they start writing. They methodically plan it out from start to finish. It can be scribbled on a piece of scrap paper or neatly written or typed out. It can be plain and simple or fully color coded. This is great for people who don’t want to go off plot because they can’t focus. They don’t want to go off their original plan. The pros are that they hardly ever have writer’s block because they can’t finish their outline until the whole story emerges anyhow. The cons though are really rough as they can’t just make changes on the spur of the moment as they will have to change their whole outline to fit in the changes each and every time they make a change.

Although I am a pantser for the most part, when it comes to novel writing it is too long for my memory to remember all the details so I am becoming a plantser as I have to create a story bible with my world built in it. It may be a contemporary story, but there is still a world to create for fiction.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

#1linerWeds, Book, Fiction, Prompt, Writing

One-Liner Wednesday, August 5th – I won NaNoWriMo

Badge by Laura @ riddlefromthemiddle.com

I won Camp NaNOWriMo this July with my new thriller (40,000 words so far) which I am calling “A Dark Obsession.”

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website –http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Author, Book, Fiction, Writing

Time to get back into the saddle!

It is time to get back into the habit of posting on my blog regularly. I got out of the habit as I have been feverishly working on my work in progress from NaNoWriMo. I can’t believe how excited I am with this project. It is around 40,000 words so far and I am not sure it will be a full novel length, but I am working hard on it while at the same time doing live streams and videos for youtube. I have 58 subscribers to my youtube channel so far and I am stoked. Here’s the link to my youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

My current work in progress is a thriller. It has been so much fun planning and writing this. I have never written a thriller before. I kept changing my villain, but there are clues pointing to all the main characters so you will have no idea who did it, if I did it right, of course.

I am sorry to have fallen behind with my blog posts, but I am super busy with my writing and youtube videos and live streams. Plus editing my videos for youtube is time consuming and I am still learning editing on top of all the rest of the stuff I am doing. I am getting over the awkwardness now and so it is getting more fun to do.

Good thing I don’t work. I can’t fit in all I want to do now.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Prompt, Writing

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Writing Challenge

Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Caffeine, Cup

Hey everyone, this is Teresa Smeigh from www.tessacandoit.com and I am posting on my new blog www.tessadeanauthor.com. I am writing with a pen name now.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this prompt.

If we were having coffee, for one thing I wouldn’t have coffee as I don’t drink it and it is way too hot anyhow. I am mainly drinking water only or occasionally I will make a pitcher of ice tea. You can choose your poison.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I am working on my new novel for NaNoWriMo and keeping slightly ahead of target for the month. I count anything to do with writing in my 3 hours a day goal. If I am writing great. If I am watching a how-to video that is also great. As long as it deals with writing it is fine. Still trying to come up with a title for the book. That is proving a little harder as the subject leads to titles used a few times already which I am told you can’t copyright a title so that isn’t a problem, but I would like something a little different. It has a working title of “Dangerous Obsession.”

My dad has recovered from Covid-19 and on Wednesday night my sister and I are going to the nursing home to visit. Visitation is being allowed by the governor but must be held outside and within social distancing guidelines. Fine with us since we have no desire to go inside the building which is riddled with the virus.

I tossed the outline I struggled all of June with and am pantsing my books as usual. It is in my head and there is no need for an outline. All I really need is a list of character names as they get confusing at times and their relation to the protagonist. Still trying to figure out how to use different POVs (point of view) because I think that will add some necessary parts of the story that would be missing if I was just telling it with a narrator, the protagonist. I need to get inside the heads of those other characters.

I had the second injection on my spine and I am in worse pain than the first one. I spent most of today lying down to ease the pain. Sitting is uncomfortable for long periods of time. I also have to wear a back brace for timed periods throughout the day. This could increase the pain.

Be safe everyone,

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Prompt, Writing

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Hair cut, finally!

Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Caffeine, Cup

Hey everyone, this is Teresa Smeigh from www.tessacandoit.com and I am posting on my new blog www.tessadeanauthor.com. I am writing with a pen name now.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this prompt.

If we were having coffee, for one thing I wouldn’t have coffee as I don’t drink it and it is way too hot anyhow. I am mainly drinking water only or occasionally I will make a pitcher of ice tea. You can choose your poison.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had my hair cut tonight. The salon just reopened and it was weird because they only have a few staff and customers at once and no more walk-ins. Everyone must have an appointment. I was shocked that on their first day open I not only got an appointment I got my usual stylist. Lucky me! Of course, being the last appointment of the day at 8:30 PM is probably why she was still available. I hate driving at night, but I needed a hair cut and I could still have my usual stylist so I will drive at night if need be. I made sure that they were enforcing the wearing of masks both stylists and customers because that is one thing a lot of states that reopened sooner were not enforcing and now those states are having huge surges of the virus. New Jersey got hit hard in the beginning, but we are dropping now and opening slowly and still enforcing the wearing of masks. Maybe we won’t have a massive resurgence. I was concerned about going there tonight as I don’t go out unless I have to food shop (once a month) or get a prescription.

My dad appears to be doing well recovering from Covid-19. He was asymtomatic which helped.

I am still fighting with my outline for my new book for NaNoWriMo. I hate outlining and doubt I will try this again. Such a waste of time and it is making me anxious and annoyed.

Be safe everyone,

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Prompt, Writing

#WeekendCoffeeShare – steroid injection

Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Caffeine, Cup

Hey everyone, this is Teresa Smeigh from www.tessacandoit.com and I am posting on my new blog www.tessadeanauthor.com. I am writing with a pen name now.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this prompt.

If we were having coffee, for one thing I wouldn’t have coffee as I don’t drink it and it is way too hot anyhow. I am mainly drinking water only or occasionally I will make a pitcher of ice tea. You can choose your poison.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I had my steroid injections in the left side of my spine and he will be doing the right side on July 9th. Not quite as painful as the old pain doctor I had.

I would also tell you that we just got word that my 88 year old father, who is in a nursing home due to a stroke two years ago, now is testing positive to Covid-19. He is asymptomatic and feeling quite well.

My aide was here today making up for lost work due to illness Monday and Tuesday. She did my laundry today and tonight I will sleep on a freshly made bed. I always love the feeling of fresh sheets.

I am writing again, both blogging and personally. I am going to enter NANOWRIMO again and hope to start a new book. Maybe one of these days I can finish one. I am trying something new this time as I am outlining for this book. I am a pantser (I write by the seat of my pants) and the outlining is driving me crazy. I am not sure I will ever attempt to do it that way again. I am better just typing what comes into my head. All this planning is not necessary in my mind.

I have a pen name now and a new website/blog at www.tessadeanauthor.com and am busy writing and setting up that blog. I also am on youtube (see link below) now as well, doing a writing channel. I am keeping busy.

The aide has left for the day and I am contemplating taking a nap. I am exhausted. I am used to sleeping all day and now I have to get up early for the days she is here which means very little sleep since I am up until at least 2 AM or later every night.

Be safe everyone,

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg

Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Prompt, Writing

#WeekendCoffeeShare – Off Hiatus

Coffee, Pen, Notebook, Caffeine, Cup

Hey everyone, this is Teresa Smeigh from www.tessacandoit.com and I am posting on my new blog www.tessadeanauthor.com. I am writing with a pen name now.

Thanks to Eclectic Alli for hosting this prompt.

If we were having coffee, for one thing I wouldn’t have coffee as I don’t drink it and it is way too hot anyhow. I am mainly drinking water only or occasionally I will make a pitcher of ice tea.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I have been on blogging hiatus because in the end of January I was very sick. They thought it was Bronchitis complicated by my asthma which has become much more severe, but it seems there is a possibility that it was the virus. I was on oxygen while in the hospital for 10 days. It finally let go of its grip on me only to resurface a month or two later. This time I had to go to the doctor’s office and make sure it wasn’t the virus and just another case of Bronchitis. He was starting to tell me to just let it run its course, but then I reminded him of the last case I had and a hospital visit wasn’t something I wanted now that the virus was in full swing. So he gave me steroids and an antibiotic and I took cough medicine and finally kicked it.

So writing wasn’t something I was doing at that time. The good thing about the hospital visit was that it got me 4 weeks of home health care and a social worker and she got me applying for Medicaid (state help) and I was approved (who knew? I thought I made too much on Social Security Disability) and so now I have a home health aide to help me bathe and get dressed and she does the household necessities that I can’t physically do. She also makes me a simple breakfast and lunch. My bed gets changed weekly again and she does my laundry which is another task I found hard to do. I have a lot of benefits that I didn’t have before. So I am dually covered – Medicare and Medicaid (in the USA).

I did have to find a new pain management doctor which was fine with me, because the one I had just wasn’t cutting it anymore. He is no-nonsense and put me on physical therapy and an injection within a month of that first visit. I have that this coming Wednesday. Not looking forward to it, but he is highly recommended by my psychiatric nurse who said she couldn’t walk and he helped her to walk again. So here’s hoping he will work that well for me. My pain medicine has been cut way down and so my pain levels are very high, but I can’t do much about that.

I am writing again, both blogging and personally. I am going to enter NANOWRIMO again and hope to start a new book. Maybe one of these days I can finish one. I have a pen name now and a new website/blog at www.tessadeanauthor.com and am busy writing and setting up that blog. I also am on youtube now as well, doing a writing channel. I am keeping busy.

I also had my fifth grandchild on December 6, 2019 and he is six months old now. Missing seeing him grow up though.

Be safe everyone,

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website – http://www.tessadeanauthor.com

Author – Old Writing –  http://www.finallyawriter.com

About my life –  http://www.tessacandoit.com

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog, https://tessacandoit.com/government-property-a-memoir-as-a-military-wife/

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSpNS-6gfJ0s8eD1berLwQg