Plotting and Pantsing


The Scottish novelist and playwright, and creator of Peter Pan, JM Barrie wrote:

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.

This brings to mind writing generally. Some novelists are 'plotters' who plan (sometimes to the last detail!) what is going to happen in their stories. Others are 'pantsers' who 'fly by the seats of their pants.' They start with the characters in their novels, and a basic plot (if it is a romance the hero and heroine will enjoy a 'happily ever after'), but the journey the characters take will depend largely on them….

I am a panster. Which can lead to a certain amount of anxiety as the writing progresses. I want my characters to have a happily ever after, but sometimes I'm not sure how they are going to achieve this!

Todays pictures were taken at the Crinan Canal, a 10 mile stretch of canal on the West Coast of Scotland. Numerous photos were taken (not by me…) of the way the locks operated, and how the water levels changed as a boat moved from lock to lock in the canal. What did I find interesting? The houses along the way. I imagined who had lived there in the past. And who could live there in the future….. 

Is blogging the modern form of diarising?

Walter Scott, one of the great Scottish writers, said:

What is a diary as a rule? A document useful to the person who keeps it. Dull to the contemporary who reads it and invaluable to the student, centuries afterwards, who treasures it.

At the risk of sounding dull to the contemporary reader, this is what happened today….

We had a flat tyre, and it cost an exorbitant amount of money, time and effort to get it fixed.  We found out the hard way that Hertz doesn't provide spare tyres in many of its hire vehicles (who would have known?)

On a happier note, we stopped the car next to a paddock and a herd of curious cows joined us as we cursed. I spotted this calf just before we drove away. The calf's wonderful heart shaped marking just had to be recorded….