On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I am a Pantzer. I prefer to sit down and start writing and let the story flow. I also write out of sequence, so I might be working on a scene in the middle of the book, near the end, or chronologically next. This can be a wonderful way to write, and a frustrating way to write. For instance, I may have a scene already done that I'm working toward only to find that by the time I get there, it won't work because the characters have changed.

I also "feel" a plot. For me a plot is rhythm with beats -- highs and lows, tension tight, and secondary characters (especially the Familiars, the telepathic cats) to relieve that tension with humor. If I am able to sit down and write the plot will come and twist and turn on it's own, naturally making the beats. However, like most writers, I sell on proposal now, so I must have a "detailed outline" before I sell. As a Pantzer, this is the hardest part of the writing process for me.

I'd say most writers don't stick entirely to their outline, as they get into the story, the characters change, motivations change, actions occur that weren't anticipated in the original outline. And I know editors take that into consideration. But the fact is, to sell you must come up with a story that hangs together, has elements of the unique that will please your editor and an audience. So I can only be a modified pantzer anymore, but I still wear the label with pride.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I plot a rough outline but I leave room for pantzer tendencies :) It is nice to let the story speak to you :) Your method definitely works for you, Robin :)

7:08 AM  
Blogger Destruction Angel said...

Pantzers, modified or not, unite!

Someday, we'll takeover the (publishing) world. ;)

8:49 AM  
Blogger sex scenes at starbucks said...

I write chronologically with a conclusion in mind to work toward, but no plot. I've found the magic is in letting the characters do their thing, even when I most disagree. I also think it creates tolerable, realistic ignorance among my characters when I don't know what's going on either.

Glad to know I'm not alone in this...

3:24 PM  
Blogger Liz Maverick said...

I'm a pantzer/plotter hybrid. I have the amazing ability to write a proposal that gives the impression that I know exactly what's going on. Not. ;)

3:57 PM  

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