Dead Reckoning

 

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So, here’s the thing:

Writers often get asked if they’re a plotter or a pantser – do you meticulously outline major scenes and plot points and write extensive character notes before you start writing the book or do you fly your book by the seat of your pants?

I tend to be a pantser, although I do write a very skeletal outline of what the book is about and where I want to wind up and any MacGuffin I plan to use. I do think a lot about the major characters, their backstory, what motivates them.

Then I chuck all of that in a folder and tuck it in a drawer and let it roll.

Why?

Because my books are very much driven by well-developed characters and snappy dialogue, not plot.

Because I don’t want to be so outline and plot driven that I strangle the magic of a spontaneous development – a minor character who suddenly becomes major, a sudden turn that takes the book in a different and far better direction.

Don’t kill the magic. Let it happen.

But be ready to shoot it graveyard dead if it turns out to be a cheap parlor trick that takes you nowhere.

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