Friday, October 21, 2011

Never Mind the Cat

I have been forced once again to rethink my writing technique. Outlining the Work in Progress using the techniques described in Save the Cat doesn't work for me.

You will recall my boasting a couple of months ago of how I put up a board divided into three acts, as recommended by Blake Snyder, and how slickly all the events of my thriller fell into place once I started sticking 3x5 cards up on the board. You will recall how smoothly I thought everything was going.

That was before I hit fifty thousand words of the first draft and saw how everything I thought about this book was wrong, how it needed a complete overhaul. Actually that's okay. That's what second and third drafts are for. But the thing is, a novel is not a screenplay. I am not a natural plotter. The intricate wacky plots of the books I've written in the past resulted not from forethought but from getting my characters into situations that required Rube Goldberg methods to get them out. Not a plotter. What I am is a pantser.

So for all you other pantsers out there, here's the method that works best for me: Begin at the beginning, go on until you come to the end, and then stop.

Kate Gallison


  1. Must be something in the air or water. I too am not a natural plotter - give me setting, character, dialogue, but plotting is like rolling the stone up that mountain. Good luck!!! Thelma

  2. Kate, I think up plots quite easily. BUT once the characters take over, they do whatever they want. They invent better stories than I do. I think I have to start with a plot to get myself out of the way.

    I love that madcap quality of your stories. PLEASE don't change that for anything.