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Writing the First Draft: Pantster Style

Today I am starting a blog series about my process from the first draft to the last draft. I've been going through this process for the last few months and so its all very fresh in my mind.

Step 1: The Spark of an Idea

 
That moment of perfection when you come up with the most brilliant idea of all time and you are just so hyped about the whole thing. I start a pinterest board, spend hours pinning to the board, still having no clue of the plot, and coming up with character names and settings.

  Step 2: THE BEGINNING

At the beginning I manage to stay focused and rush through the first few chapters like a madwoman, my fingers flying, my heart pounding, and characters having a blast. There's the inciting incident, my character starts to get into a few small problems, I get to introduce my other lovely secondary characters. My most favorite part of the beginning is usually when I get to introduce the love interest and if I'm lucky I get to write a scene with the protagonist and love interest.

Step 3: The Start of the Dreaded Middle


Some writers have a hard time with this part but I rush through the entryway to Act 2 pretty quick while starting to slow down. At this point my creative engines start to lose steam.

Step 4: Oh My Gosh! What? No, You Can't Do That. This Is So Hard. Why Do I Do This To Myself? No! Don't Kiss Him!

My creative engine is breaking down and my characters have a mind of their own now. I am no longer in charge of the story, my protagonist and love interest and every other person in my story is now in charge and pushing me around to do what they want.

Step 5: The Big Twist (Or The Thing I Didn't Know Was Going to Happen) But You Still Feel Awesome For Thinking This Up

By the middle of the middle of my story my character's are all taking turns driving the car and almost crashing into everything imaginable. Something blows up, a character dies without permission, she kisses that one guy she's not supposed to, or runs off without telling anyone (including me) where she's going. Yet you still feel awesome that you came up with this plot twist that makes the book worth writing.

Step 6: The Ranting/Groaning Stage Where I Babble to Friends and Family About Why I Do This To Myself and How My Character's Aren't Cooperating


This would be the muddy middle where everything drags and my writing is sucky and horrible and I'm racked with self doubt about why I even thought this was a good idea or story. The feels are taking over and numbing me inside and out. All I want to do is curl up in a ball and do nothing but ignore my laptop.

Step 7: Running Like a Maniac To The End Without Stopping

But then I see the light in the distance. I'm finally out of the darkness and the ending is coming. The feels at the end take effect and you get all excited and want to scream and jump up and down but instead stay glued to your laptop for hours rushing to the end. There's that epic climax with lots of bad stuff, your character is in despair and you love it. She kisses the love interest Finally! and you can't be happier.

Step 8: THE END


Writing that last page, that last sentence makes your heart explode and your reading to have that mental breakdown now. Cry, laugh, scream, jump or do all of that at once because guess what??!! You finished the book!

Step 9: The Rewards and The Relaxation


You sit and congratulate yourself with cookies and candy and binge watching your favorite TV show and reading that book you've been dying to read for weeks.

                    Are you a Plotter, Pantster, or something in-between??

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