Monday, May 23, 2016

Why We Don't "Pants" in Public

     The Mental Ward came to a close this past weekend.  I very much enjoyed writing this story and discovering it along with you all.  Your encouragement made a world of different to me, in helping me finish.  And it was kind of fun to just write without worrying about anything.  There were definitely some motivation-and-pleasure advantages to writing and sharing a story as you create it.

     That being said, there are reasons we plan our stories before releasing them to the public.  If you read over The Mental Ward, from beginning to end, you will find multiple errors, some people speaking or acting out of character, several overused gestures or expressions, a few plot holes or unresolved threads, and so forth.  That's because stories are not perfect the first time through.  Remember, we edit for a reason.

      Writers are often categorized as plotters or pantsers.  Plotters have their novel planned out before they start writing.  Pantsers do like I did with Mental Ward -- we write each scene without a guiding outline, discovering the story as we go.  Either one is a workable method, but, when you fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants in public, everyone gets to see your blunders.  It's a little smoother if you pants in private, then edit, and THEN post your story.

      Add to that downfall the issue of dependability.  I tried really hard to write a scene every week for you guys without fail.  But you will see that there was a gap of several weeks where absolutely nothing was written.  Which is another reason why writing the whole thing ahead of time would have been a great idea.  I could have scheduled it out on my blog and then sat back to watch.

     So I'm entirely arguing against the idea of sharing a story as you write it, but there are definitely some reasons why it could be embarrassing to "pants" a story in public. Lol.

      What do you think?  Can you think of other reasons why you should or should not post as story as you write it?

This is a picture I took on the James River, in the fog and rain.  It was such a fun day, and I loved the air of mystery added by the mist.



  1. For me, it would depend on what I was writing, as I seem to switch between plotting and pantsing depending on the nature of the story. For my Sleeping Beauty story, I felt I needed to have strong footing in each chapter, and I would go back almost immediately after each chapter to fix holes and polish things. But I'm writing another story now, which is a loose fairytale built just on pantsing. And I really wouldn't want anybody to see that now. It's riddled with spelling errors, and whole plot points that never happened, that I have to go back and fix. I guess there's definitely more freedom and confidence in creating a story in private, but the excitement of discovering a story along with the author has its own special thrill. :)

  2. I have never really put a whole story up on my blog for anyone to read, I think that was very brave of you. I have been doing tons of beta reader so I didn't have time to read most of the installments, but what I read was good.