Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Planning vs Pantsting and a Book Give Away!

I’ll fully admit that I’m a pantser. I rarely plan for anything. From what I’m going to wear in the morning, to the food I’m gonna eat during the day, to the books I read, to the stuff I write. To when I am going to do what in my free time. To what/when/where and why of my vacations (which has left me sleeping in train stations before, but thats something everyone should do at least once).

I often feel like I have two different sets of personality; I am either meticulous to the point of being OCD, like at work, or I am fly by the seat of my pants straight up chaos, like at home, which is why my room looks like a tornado hit it, and there may or may not be turkey skin on the kitchen floor.

Most of the time when I am reading a novel I can’t tell if it was written by a panster or a planner. Yet, every now and again I pick something up, and feel like the author must have done some excessive outlining. Or at least alot of re-writing, but most likely did alot of outlining. Even more impressive, however is when I read something and think, damn, I really wish I could/did outline and plan so that my writing could have that many twists/turns/reveals that you thought might be coming but really weren't sure.

And I just finished a series like that the other day. It’s called the Riyria Revelations by Michael Sullivan. Now I’m gonna go ahead and do two firsts today. Why, because I feel like it. Although I’m kinda scared...actually I’m very scared but what the hell I’ll do it anyway.

I’m writing a review of the series (not one book the entire series, but dont worry, no spoliers)

AND I’m hosting my first ever book giveaway! I will be giveaway 1 copy (only one cause I’m poor) of Theft of Swords, the first book in the series.

The rules are, there are no rules:

The way to enter is:

Comment on this blog--and say if you're an pantser or a planner and why (1 entry)

Blog about this book giveaway--and say if you're a pantser or a planner and why (1 entry)*

Tweet about this book giveaway and link back to my blog (1 entry)**

*please link back cause I'm lazy

**please give me a link cause I am tweeter illiterate.

So you can get up to three entries!

You dont even have to follow me, thats how much I liked this series! Although I would appreciate it.

On to the review (aka why you want to win the book):

I’ve read books that make me remember why I love language. The Riyria Revelations are not those books. No one would call these books a masterpiece of the english language. They are decidedly and blissfully simple. The writing is clear and concise, which lets you get deep into the story. Which is awesome. It is pure fun, and an enjoying read.

The story is about two thieves, who are hired for a job, a simple job. They are hired to steal a sword. But what starts out as a simple job drags them deep into a world of political intrigue and plots. Where our two unlikely characters are poised to save the world.

It is (as I said above) masterfully plotted. Each of the six books (condensed by orbit into three) reads as a stand alone novel, yet weave together to create a flawless story throughout. If you look carefully, and try to catch all the clues, you’ll still probably be surprised at the end, although looking back you will see the breadcrumbs left along the way. There is so much misdirection that you doubt your theories before they are fully formed. Hints of what is going to unfold.

A lot of series like this leave unwoven ends, thoughts and ideas hanging loose. This one doesn't (well it does, but its only one and I think it was deliberate and I can’t tell you what it is without giving a spoiler away).

My biggest flaw with the series was that some things were repeated a few too many times (although I believe this has more to do with how quickly I read it and the condensing from six books to three), and the last book felt a little rushed in a few places.

I think thats it. Now comment away. I’ll close the drawing/running/contest/whatever on 4/1/12.

Now for more blog type news...I’m gonna be out until 4/1/12. I’m off to teach civics boot camp again, and so I doubt I’ll have time to do anything, and any time I have to do anything will be used to plan for the A-Z Challenge.

I’ll end with two quotes of the day, cause sometimes even I am surprised by some of the things I say:

“Dancing is like walking in a fancy order.”

“Thats as confusing as murder”--dont ask me I really dont know.


  1. I will pass on the contest but thank you and wish you much success on it.

    I am mostly a planner, but I can be like you in that sometimes by plans fall by the wayside and I 'fly by the seat of my shorts.' It's too ot here to wear pants. lol

  2. I'm a total pantser. Though that's really only half true. I don't sit down and just free write a novel. I do think about what I want to write for a day or two ahead of time, and I usually know my ending before I start, so I do write with an endpoint in mind. Everything in between is unknown though, until I write it. :)

  3. Fun giveaway! I like where your inspiration came from. I'm a plotter, then a panster. Outlining is my thing, but it only takes me so far. Quite often my characters lead me in the opposite direction I plotted. They're very disobedient! : )

  4. I'm up to my ears in books, but I'll tweet your contest. :)

    I'm both a plotter (for the whole book) and pantser (for the individual scenes).

  5. Great review! I'm definitely a pantser. :) If I do try to outline anything I'm off it after the first few bullet points. The characters know what they want :)

  6. I'm a pantser now. I used to be a planner, the kind with detailed outlines and everything. But I found I was trying too hard to stick to the outline, to the detriment of my story. I wasn't giving it any room to grow. So now I'm a pantser again.

    Thanks for the giveaway!!/TobiSummers/status/182774083715473408

  7. Already own the book, but I'm a plotter. I'll stray from the outline but not usually too far.

  8. I don't have to follow you? Awesome, I'll go ahead and just unfollow you out of principal!

    I'm a bit of both. I plan a very, very loose outline, and then I just fly by the seat of my ass. I find that when I'm writing a truly good story, the story just writes itself. Plus, I love twists, and it's hard to outline those.

  9. I start a pantster then become an outliner in the edits. I need to learn to just outline first and save time!

  10. Awesome contest! I started out as a plotter but realized sometimes I need to pants it all the way. Now, I'm a bit of both!

    I've tagged you in The Lucky 7 Meme on my blog today! Enjoy :)

  11. I consider myself a bit of a plotser - someone who outlines beforehand, then tosses said outline in the trash after the first paragraph is written. Then I go back and try to make an outline after I've written a draft and look for places to make it seem like I've followed an outline instead of the other way around.

    I've heard Mike Sullivan on many interviews, and I think its cool that he self published those books and found so much success that he was able to get a huge book deal out of them. I've wanted to read them, but then again, I've got a tbr bile about six feet tall.

  12. Those sound like great reads. Never heard of them until now. Thank you! And far as planning and pantsting go, I'm both. :)