I’m very pleased to welcome author Heena Rathore P today. Heena is 25 and lives in Pune, India with her husband. As well as being a novelist, she is a novel critic and a blogger. Her novel, Deceived, will be published in February by Citrus Publisher – details of the book at the end of the post. When I asked Heena ‘are you a planner or a pantser?’, she came up with a very unusual answer!
Being A Planster
Writers are unique beings. Just by the power of their words, writers can touch thousands and millions of lives without even leaving their homes. This is nothing short of magic and magical is the only word that comes close to defining the process of writing. We all have read epic stories like Harry Potter and A Song Of Ice and Fire series, and we, as readers, know that our lives would have been so much different without stories like these.
So how do writers create such magic? How do they work their spells and prepare their potions and writing quills, and how do they put life into words? The answer is that writers live in their own unique world of imagination full of limitless fantasies and boundless stories full of colourful characters. The truth is that the process of writing is the most amazing thing there is to be witnessed.
Writing takes a lot of self-discipline and motivation. The process of writing is a solitary journey that an author or a writer undertakes to create magic. And in doing so, every writer has a different way of writing and creating stories.
We all know that in the writing Universe there are mainly two types of writers – Planners and Pantsters. A Planner is a writer who plans their novel rigorously with the help of various outlining tools, follows a strict story structure and makes use of tools such as brainstorming and mind-mapping in order to plan the entire plot and characters of the novel. On the other hand, a Pantster is a writer who simply sits and writes from the seat of their pants. In other words, who simply believes in letting the words flow and writes on a whim without any actual planning or plotting.
For a very long time, I believed that I was a Pantster and wrote by the seat of my pants. But after a while, I realized that my story was all over the place and that further writing freely was going to get me nowhere. So I decided to plan my novels and hence became a Planner. But eventually I observed that even that wasn’t getting me anywhere and my story was too “planned.”
That was the time when I made the conscious decision of mixing both the methods and writing without any restrictions or boundaries. And that was the day I transformed into a Planster and have been writing happily ever since.
So what is a Planster?
Planster is a writer who first plans the novel and then writes by the seat of their pants. So it involves Planning followed by Pantsing followed by Planning and Pantsing again till you complete your project.
The planning, in this case, is not as intense as a Planner does. It is just a basic outline with a few brainstormed ideas for scenes and a very loose structure that gives an insight into story progression. And the Pantsing is not as loose as a Pantster does. It involves keeping a somewhat constant tab on the story structure and the outlines while simultaneously letting the mind take over while writing scenes and details.
In this way of writing, plotting is not used as the basic building bricks, but just to jump start the imagination and to get an idea of what to write next (the most dreaded question a writer has to face innumerable times while working on a single project), followed by writing freely for the rest of the way, occasionally aided by the help of story structure, outlines and roughly drawn character arcs.
This is the way of writing I trust because it helps me take advantage of both the methods and lets me write in my own unique way. Deep down inside, I believe this is exactly what most of the authors do.
If you want to know the truth, every Planner needs to write by the seat of their pants at some point or the other and every Pantster has to have some sort of an outline at some point if they are to finish their projects in time. The thing is, if you cling to a single method then you may write, no doubt, but you may never finish. And most of the time that is the biggest problem a writer ever has to face.
So it won’t be wrong to say that Planning and Pantsing are two different sides of the same coin and in order to be able to use both the methods of writing efficiently, a writer should be open to the idea of using them both as per the requirement of a particular project.
How well do you know your loved ones?
A girl struggling to cope with the murders of her mother and five-year-old brother.
A journalist chasing the ghost of a potential serial killer.
A thirteen-year-old girl who slaughtered her parents.
And a revenge-driven psychopath who is about to destroy everyone’s life.
After 9 years, a young writer is still coping with the brutal murders of her mother and five-year-old brother, as she moves into a house of horrors, to start a new life with her lover. Will friends and family be able to redeem Ally out of the impending doom in time? Will her infallible love become the key to the destruction of her already fragile world? Will madness prevail over love; true love over revenge?
Deceived is a gripping psychological thriller that mazes through the deepest, darkest emotions of human mind through the story of a vulnerable girl who treads in the mist of deception bred from a long unforgiven betrayal.