Pantser VS Plotter

Okay, so there’s generally two camps in writing (there’s a lot of middle ground here, but these are the general groups). A panster is a writer that writes “by the seat of their pants”. Kind of unfair term because many have a plan, but they don’t have an outline. They write what comes to them in the story, finding their way to the end.

A plotter is, exactly what it sounds like, a writer who plots. Yes, all writers plot, but these are the ones that have an outline before they start writing their book.

I used to be a pantser and then accidentally became a plotter. No joke, it just happened. While writing Vanity in Dust, I had all these ideas for the next books in the series. I wouldn’t let myself start another one until the first was done, so I just kept notes for the other books. When I was ready to write book 2, I took a look at my notes and started moving things around into the right order and adding scenes where I needed more and, in the end, had a complete outline.

I decided to try the nanowrimo method and give myself a daily word count goal and just write it–from one scene to the next, down the outline until I was done. 95k in a month.

I’ve done this four more times since and it works for me. I obsess about an idea for a while, thinking it over and making notes that are anywhere from paragraphs of detail and dialogue to “something here”. Some scenes do develop organically while I’m writing, adding to the outline here and there after the daily writing, and others come out exactly as I planned. But, because I have an outline, I never get stuck thinking about what I should do next and inevitably on twitter or watching Killjoys.

Plotting works for me, but that’s not to say the pantser method doesn’t work for others.

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Vanity in Dust release date

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We’re excited to announce that Cheryl Low’s debut fantasy novel, VANITY IN DUST, will be available in ebook and paperback August 8, 2017. VANITY IN DUST is the first in the Crowns & Ash series,  set in a decadent dark fantasy world of hedonism, addiction, and political intrigue.

About the Book

In the Realm there are whispers. Whispers that the city used to be a different place. That before the Queen ruled there was a sky beyond the clouds and a world beyond their streets.
 
Vaun Dray Fen never knew that world. Born a prince without a purpose in a Realm ruled by lavish indulgence, unrelenting greed, and vicious hierarchy, he never knew a time before the Queen’s dust drugged the city. Everything is poisoned to distract and dull the senses, even the tea and pastries. And yet, after more than a century, his own magic is beginning to wake. The beautiful veneer of the Realm is cracking. Those who would defy the Queen turn their eyes to Vaun, and the dust saturating the Realm.
 
From the carnivorous pixies in the shadows to the wolves in the streets, Vaun thought he knew all the dangers of his city. But when whispers of treason bring down the fury of the Queen, he’ll have to race to save the lives and souls of those he loves.

About the Author

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Cheryl Low might be an Evil Queen, sipping tea and peeping on everyone from high up in her posh tower—a job she got only after being fired from her gig as Wicked Witch for eating half the gingerbread house.

…Or she might be a relatively mundane human with a love for all things sugary and soap opera slaps.Find out by following her on social media @cherylwlow or check her webpage, cheryllow.com. The answer might surprise you! But it probably won’t.



We’ll be revealing the cover for VANITY IN DUST on May 10th. If you have a book-related blog, join our cover reveal team so you can see it before anyone else, and also have the chance to receive an advance review copy.

While you wait for the cover, please add VANITY IN DUST to your Goodreads shelf, and follow Cheryl Low on Twitter.

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When Writers Shack Up

10 things that happen when two writers shack up.

1. There is no voice of reason.

2. Every possible scenario/event/outcome has been discussed in incredible detail.

3. Very little cleaning gets done.

4. “Wait. I gotta write something.” is not only understood but normal and followed by complete silence.

5. Songs get put on replay and no one complains.

6. Not only is your first reader on the other side of the room but you get to read their books first too.

7. Joint oohing and awing over great lines and scenes.

8. Heated discussions on lyrics.

9. Word choice always matters in an argument.

10. More than ten years in and still haven’t run out of things to talk about.

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Writing Update – Editing

20150520_132048I am ecstatic to share that my book is going to be published with World Weaver Press.

There is a lot of editing ahead but I am so looking forward to it! I can’t wait to get Vanity in Dust in perfect shape for publishing and out into the world.

This will be my first published work. It is honestly a dream come true. I had some communication with the publisher during the query process and knew that things were going pretty well since I was still being considered but when I got the email that they were interested in publishing me, I cried. It was a bit embarrassing because I was at the gym.

I am so excited to be working with my editor at World Weaver to get Vanity in Dust ready for publication. It’s already been a fantastic experience and I’ve only just started.

I’m in the first round of substantive edits. Wish me luck because it sounds like there will be more!

-cheryl

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7x7x7x7 Challenge

I was challenged by Laura Harvey on Twitter and it sounded fun so here it is!

How it works? Go to the seventh page of your work in progress, find the seventh line, and then post the next seven to your blog or this blog or wherever you like! Then challenge seven other writers to do the same.

Vaun retorted sharply as he pushed the paper off to the side and picked up his fork once more. She might have ignored his breakfast cake but he would not.

The cringe never went beyond her eyes, but he saw it and it was enough to make him smile again. His sister had been forced into a marriage with the oldest son of the Vym family long ago and had never quite recovered from the scorn of it all.

“Tell me you didn’t rat me out to my own sister.” The Prince looked at Addom, taking a bite but only pretended to enjoy it. Eventually, even cakes became dull.

What did I learn from this?

1. My sentences are long. Really, really long.

2. Almost all of my writer friends are recluses who refuse to have twitter or blogs or even facebook. So, if you’re one of my writer buddies and you read this blog, consider yourself challenged. I’m going to have to go dig a few of you out of your hideaways..

-Cheryl

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