Inspiration for a Plantser

Many authors identify as either plotter, someone who plans the whole plot and all the details before they start writing, or a pantser, someone who flies by the seat of their pants.

I am a proud plantser, so somewhere in between. This means I have a general idea of where the story goes, writing out general plot ideas before I start, but I’m often surprised by my characters.

I tend to scribble notes as I write, reminding myself that the love interest has green eyes and what his middle name is. The scribbles become my ‘bible’ so that I can edit for continuity. K.M. Allan blogged about creating a series bible, but I recommend creating one even for stand-alones, especially if you’re a plantser like me.

Another thing I’ll do before I start is to choose the setting. Setting is extremely important to my writing, almost becoming a supporting character, and I only write about places I’ve been to and know. Yes, I still have to research. I’ll look back over my photos and read my travel diaries and blog posts, and I become a Google savant. For the book I’m currently writing, I’ve been on Google street view, travelling down the roads in the tiny Oxfordshire village my aunt lives in – just to get the details right.

The last thing I always do before I start writing is ‘cast’ my book – always the main character and the love interest, and sometimes supporting characters. This makes it so much easier to write, because I just imagine them in those places and sometimes whole scenes will play out in my head before I write them down. Actions become easier to write when I have the setting and the characters visually locked down.

So, I thought I would share some of my casts – just for fun.

One Summer in Santorini (and the sequel): Sarah, James and Josh

My next book with One More Chapter (title to come): Cat (Sarah’s sister) and Jean-Luc

My work-in-progress is a Christmas novela about three childhood friends from Australia, Colorado and the UK: Lucy and Will; Lauren and Matt; and Lisa and Archer

And the next next book is set in Bali and Scotland

Jaelee and Alistair

So, there’s a little of my plantser inspiration for you…

3 thoughts on “Inspiration for a Plantser

  1. Love your cast choices, Sandy! Thanks for the shout out of my series bible. I agree that one for stand alone books is worth doing too. Every book has plenty of little details in need of keeping track of 😊.

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