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Or what I like to call pantsing it when you have no idea what’s going on.
Inspired by a Sunday morning impromptu dance off, I come to you live from my living room where Mattycakes is busting a move. I’m filling in for the Bo’sun today and you will have to bear with my crazy weekend antics. This is why they don’t let me blog Mondays.
We like to dance. Every Sunday morning, Mattycakes and I schedule a little dancing time. It’s our way of spending time with one another since we don’t see much of each other on the weekdays. I stay up extremely late on Saturday nights to write and then get up all goofified from lack of sleep. This is when the dancing gets wild.
We’ve spent a lot of time thinking up specialty moves that are unique to us. We turn on the radio in the kitchen and bust a move. We have something we call the lawn mower and the row boat with a little of the offset arm action to compliment each other. Then we go our own ways. Usually this is the moonwalk from me and the booty shake from Mattycakes before we move back to do a little of the freak boy made popular mostly by Too Short in the ‘90’s. You know, where the girl does the freak against the boy and the boy’s got his hand in the air like he’s a pimp or maybe that’s more popular now since the Lil Jon era. Anyways, then we go straight into interpretive dance. I call this my pantsing. This gets my brain warmed up. I love to dance. I’m not exactly the most graceful person in the room.
Mattycakes is good at the pansting. He’s actually quite creative. Today’s dance off was inspired by “So You Think You Can Dance”. I make Mattycakes suffer through this two hour affair every Wednesday night. What he calls his interpretive dance number is mostly moves he’s seen in movies. Which to watch a man who’s every bit of 6’4” and looks like a tank, try to move like a dancer is hilarious. But we have a different kind of humor here. Mostly us just jumping around like ballerinas and twiggy cheerleaders. Not a pretty sight.
I bet you’re wondering what this has to do with writing. I know Hellion is sitting on her treasure chest, chewing on the end of her dagger and trying to rationalize throwing it at me.
Just so you know, daggers hurt, babe. That’s why we’ve got a life size poster of Capt’n Jack. That’s supposed to be for target practice not me.
I went to the school of pantsing. Well, I did until I got tired of going and made up excuses not to go. For me, knowing the story before it unfolds on the page is boring. I like to go in several different directions when I write and if I’m set to one thing, it’s certain I’ll go another. The road less traveled is the one I enjoy the most.
Mattycakes and the dancing have really taught me a lot about writing. And no that’s not the lack of sleep talking.
I get an idea in my mind and I go somewhere with it. Just when I think I know what’s going to happen next, I throw a screwball in there and change it up. Dancing is just like that. You have to anticipate your partner’s moves and think up your next one. It flows together even when you had no idea what was coming next. And if it doesn’t you move forward and interpret what to do next.
Just like dancing with a partner, you have to know your characters in order to pants. I’ve always thought pantsing is more of a character driven way of writing. You let the characters tell you what direction to head in next. Let them tell the story the way it was meant to be told. Sometimes, they aren’t sure either but that’s when you throw the screwball in, the kidnapping attempt. The phone threat. The stalker. The ex-girlfriend. The baby. Whatever.
Do what’s best for your story and you’re the only one who knows that. Learn to rely on instinct. It’s like an adrenaline rush each time you open a new page.
So today let’s discuss methods of writing. What crazy thing do you do to get into the mood to write? And if you’re a reader, do you have a method to your wicked reading ways?