Thursday, February 1, 2018

Things a Pantser Will Do

I’m a pantser and proud of it. Here is one reason why.

I was working on a lengthy manuscript the other day. The scene had the heroine trying to escape a boring party and being harassed by a dull male until she eventually shooed him away. At that point he was just inserted by me as part of the scenery. I began to wonder if he had an ulterior motive. What was his real purpose? Maybe he was up to no good.

If I was a serious plotter I would already know the answers, having decided he was simply a walk-on, throw-away character passing her by in the night. But being a pantser, I wondered if I should find something useful for him to do and employ him a while longer.

The heroine is going on a trip. Would anyone be curious about this? I have it! My throw-away character is a bumbling spy who must continue to pursue her. Gives me someone to keep her busy while she is in transit. I can use the action around this hapless male to explain the how and why of a few other things going on rather than use a boring info dump. So I did.

Might never have come up with this angle if I was a meticulous plotter. While not a character who will become a main player, he did get to play an expanded part.

I often create characters I know little about at the time, only to learn more about them as I create. Sometimes they become major players. In this case a simple walk-on player earned at least two more scenes and probably made enough extra to cover his groceries and beer for the next week.


The Dark Lady Trilogy (Volume 1,2,3)
The Queen’s Pawn (Volume 1,2,3)
The Housetrap Chronicles (Volumes 1 to 8)
Alex in Wanderland,
Knight’s Bridge
We’re Not in Kansas
Toltec Dawn Trilogy (Volume 1, 2, 3)