Every writer has their own modus operandi when they begin a new project. Since my artistic abilities are rather lacking, I like to create a vision board. I browse magazines, scavenge for items in nature, snap photos, rifle through old family albums, and clip words of inspiration to pin to a wall in MY SPACE.

The somewhat odd collection reflects the setting, the mood, and circumstances that influence my cast of characters.  A glance at the wall motivates me during the dry spells or keeps me going when I’m on a roll.

I am not a plotter, not yet anyway, so I need all the help I can get. Although I do plan ahead in fits and spurts, by definition I am more of a pantser – one who flies by the seat of her pants. I’ll have an idea for a story, an intriguing first line, or a title and start to write. Most often I think I know my characters – their wants, needs, and wounds – but then they take over and throw me off a cliff instead of the other way around. The twists and turns they take leave me gripping my head shouting, why didn’t I think of that?

Well, silly woman. You did!

Of course, these incidents are opportune moments to plot and plan a new direction, which I do. So would that make me more of a Pants-a-Plot? In any case, it works for a time, but eventually leaves me wailing at the wall again, Now what? 

For one current work-in-progress, a contemporary middle grade Grimm’s fairy tale-ish tale, sometimes the answer twinkles from an ancestors eyes, peeks from the cracks between a ramshackle cottage’s worn floorboards, or bobs in a rushing river. Other times there is silence. Dead silence. Until the ticking clock or a bit of birdsong drifting through an open window reminds me to turn to these generous words of encouragement David Sedaris wrote in my copy of Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk:

If David Sedaris could have faith in my ability to tell a tale after a three minute chat about the adventures of a 13th century chicken, maybe I should too.

A bit of encouragement goes a long way. Otherwise I’d have given up years ago.

You’ve got this people. Whatever this is!
Be Well
❤ and thank you for stopping by ❤

P.S.  to my writer readers – I’m curious…
Are you a plotter, a pantser, or
a Pants-a-Plot like me?

About Donna Gwinnell Lambo-Weidner

I am an adventure seeking ponderer of the mysteries of the universe, writer of children's books (represented by Stephen Fraser of the Jennifer DeChiara Literary Agency), and lover of anything involving armor, archery, or swashbuckling.
This entry was posted in ADVENTURES, PONDERINGS, VIEW FROM MY SOAP BOX, WRITING CHALLENGES and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to enVISIONing A WORK-IN-PROGRESS

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good for you!! Keep up the good work – with or without pants-a-plot.:)


  2. Lyn says:

    I’m definitely a “pants-a-plot.” LOL I think. I write all over the place – scene here, scene there. I usually find a photo for each of my characters on either Dreamstime.com or iStock so it’s easier to visualise them. I found an absolutely perfect photo for my book’s main character – so perfect it was identical to how I described her in one scene.


  3. Susanne says:

    I’m 90% panther. When I get stuck I “reverse plot” to figure out what I’ve done so far and what might come next. Probably not the most efficient process but it works. Lucky you to have David Sedaris on your side. Wow!


  4. Beautiful <3. You know my way 🙂


  5. Great post Donna! I tried life as a plotter, but seem to always end up a pantser.


  6. David Sedaris was right: you have a great sense of humor. I’m not surprised he enjoyed it even in your brief talk. I am definitely a pantser, though I did plot out a mystery I have yet to write….


A Doubloon For Your Ponderings

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s