Photo credit: Kal Visuals on Unsplash
Recently, I heard a podcast guest talk about being a “discovery writer.” The term was new to me. The former appellation, which I never liked, was “pantser,” as distinct from a “plotter.” According to common wisdom in the writing world, plotters plan out their books before they begin, often writing lengthy outlines, while pantsers fly by the seat of their pants, writing whatever comes into their heads with no idea what’s coming next.
I like to discover a story. Granted, it’s the reason my first drafts tend to be all over the place, with structure and order imposed in the second draft. I wonder, though, whether the plotters are doing the same thing except that instead of calling them first and second drafts, they’re calling what they create the outline and the first draft.
I did some discovering in today’s writing. As I said yesterday, I’d planned to write about my character’s ambivalence about moving. Toward the end of yesterday’s piece, her sister-in-law (who is currently separated from her husband, brother of the main character’s boyfriend) asked her for a ride to quartet rehearsal. Picking up with that today revealed an entirely different aspect of the story, one which may or may not stay in—the main character begins to suspect that her SIL is seeing a man who is in her quartet.
I left the main character walking in the woods. No idea what will happen tomorrow, but I’m looking forward to discovering the next piece of the story.