Panster + Plotter = Potter
I used to be a total panster. Then a friend asked if I'd like to write a book with her - I said sure! Sounded like fun. What I didn't expect was that my structured, reliably anal friend (I have literally relied on her for years to keep ME in line, both personally and professionally) would turn into this creative smut maven and that I, who never thought twice before jumping into the pool without checking for water, would suddenly become the guardian of word count, the methodical A goes into B and rarely into C, "it's not reality, it's actuality..." roadmap reader. I have always flown by the seat of my pants. All of this care and double-checking, the tedious monitoring of timeline and chronology, and the infernal care I've been ladeling on my characters...well, it's wearing on me!
What the hell happened to my speak-to-the-hand-because-the-ears-don't-give-a-damn? Before my conversion from panster to plotter, every time a character told me they didn't want to "go there", like a dumbass with an IQ of 10, I'd mumble okay and let them lead me where they wanted ME to go. Now I'm a different kind of jerk. I argue and fret and refuse to be led around by imaginatry people, forgetting that it's the the marriage of both sides of the brain, not the control of one over the other, that produces my best verbiage.
Prior to the past few weeks, my editors would rail at me for not paying closer attention to detail, for not catching my own timeline faux pas. Now they love me. So becoming anal does have its perks.
Back to my explosion of psychic powers, though. I've only written one novella with my friend. We're eyebrow deep in our second. I've also agreed to crack my own comfort zone with yet another friend--I've agreed to write a female/female romance.
Measuring years of controlled "I'll do this but not that" kind of writing against mere days of "Go on, girl...fly without a net this time", I've come to the conclusion that it's only writing, it's only life. They can't eat me (well, they could offer, which might be interesting). So I'm gonna take more chances, more even than I've already taken. I've found that I rather like flying without a net, as long as I'm in good company.
And I predict a lot more energy in my writing, that I'll drop my pants more frequently and show my ass in the process, which is probably not so good. But I predict that I'll be a much happier writer, having learned how to work both sides of the brain.
Now if I can just get them to be compatible more often. Guess that's where the potter in me must shine. I'll have to learn how to choose good material, to simply throw the clay on the wheel, shape it, and then...let it take shape.
Come to think of it, that's not a bad way to live life, huh?