Why I’m taking my pants off this November


You know the deal. Writers are supposed to either be Plotters or Pantsers. I started with my pants firmly on. They’ve been dropping by stages, and I think it’s time to take them off completely and run around in my brightie whities. Because frankly, when they’re round my ankles they trip me up.

Two Nanowrimos ago I opened the laptop with nothing more than a misty dream to try to convert into text. I won that Nano. But none of you would be surprised to hear the manuscript was TERRIBLE. So terrible, in fact, it’s still not finished. It was my first attempt at writing in YEARS and YEARS and YEARS, so I’m proud I managed anything at all. Some of it even sort of nearly made sense.

By my second Nanowrimo (2015) I’d found children’s books and fallen in love with them. I’d spent a year absorbed by writing. I did have a vague idea of what I wanted to write that November, but not much more. I won again. That manuscript I’m finalising right now, and I love it. But it certainly wasn’t happy-dance awesome at the end of the first draft.

I’ve been reading so much these last few years, I’ve learnt how brilliant it is to find a novel with twists and turns. I’m tired of adding those in after the first draft, of months of rewrites. I want them there from the start.

And this sounds suspiciously like Plotting to me…

So it’s time to change my approach. Take off the pants. I’m not going to go crazy and plot a longer plot than my manuscript, but this Nano I’m going to start writing a story I actually know the middle and ending for.

Let’s see if it will work… Bring on Nanowrimo 2016!


What works for you? Anyone out there tried to ‘change sides’?


13 thoughts on “Why I’m taking my pants off this November

  1. Hey! So am I!! Always a Pantser – till this coming NaNo. I’m actually taking a class where I’ll be prompted to plot the ins and outs and ups and downs at the same time I’m piling up the word count. The instructor planned this on purpose, so that – should we accept the challenge – by the end of the class we’ll have a first, rough draft of our novel. Fun! Wanna be a Writing Buddy? Type in “Pierr” to join me. I’d love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just experimented and it might be hard to find me now! There are nearly 1,000 “authors” to go through that somehow have “Pierr” in their usernames? Yikes! So send me an email with your NaNo name and I’ll invite you to be a buddy: pierrless@gmail.com


  3. I’m changing sides half way through, probably a less effective approach! Will be using nano to try to finish a novel I’ve already started, which I’ve mostly been pantsing away at and now have hit the tricky middle…. I. Happy to buddy as well, I’m Rachel_76.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Done! Yay! I think I’ll be doing several novels this Nano, because I’m aiming for some Junior Fiction about 20K long each… have to Plot up a few more before the 1st Nov! Heather


  4. You’re brave! I cannot do NaNoWriMo without plotting, my winner head wants to reach 50 000 by the end of the month and I don’t trust myself doing that without a proper plan.
    I’m j.ejebjork on NaNo, will try to find you for a buddy

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I like using the Save the Cat beat sheet. An easy way to hit all the beats of a story without losing the fun of writing. Because of your post title, I thought you were going to mention Libbie Hawker’s Take off Your Pants how-to book. It’s more rigorous, but will get you to the end. It’s also her tried and true method for writing submittabke books in less than a month. I wish you lots of luck, and fun, this NaNo!

    Liked by 1 person

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